House of Four Doors

by Lauren Coodley

Lauren Coodley has written a quartet of innovative histories of Napa and published several books about Upton Sinclair, who spent most of his astonishing life in California. In this volume, she includes previously unpublished essays about Napa and Sinclair, along with her reflections on teaching inside and about the State Hospital, while developing the first classes in the History of American Women. The book maps the “four doors” of her writing life.

Lost Napa Valley

by Lauren Coodley

Napa Valley, once known for its cattle and silver mines, has grown into an international wine destination. On the way, many buildings and institutions have vanished…

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The Same River Twice

The Same River Twice : Poems by Lauren Coodley

. . . I read a little at a time, savoring bright epiphanies. Lauren Coodley has a fine sense of rhythm and timing, but more importantly she has a sense of moments passing, flashbulbs of joy, of sorrow and of shame. She draws the reader into the work, letting them squeeze the grape of each line and savor the “sweet juice to wash the dirt down.”

—Kevin Fisher-Paulson, columnist, San Francisco Chronicle; author of A Song for Lost Angels

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Frankie's Journey: The Silk Road to Napa

By Stephanie Farrell Grohs and Lauren Coodley, with an afterword by Rue Ziegler. The Mousetail Press, 2014

Frankie’s Journey traces the 1908 trek of an imaginary San Francisco boy from his home at the Youth’s Directory, a Catholic charity in San Francisco, to St. Joseph’s Institute, an experimental farm in Napa County.

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Napa Valley Chronicles

Napa Valley Chronicles (Available now from The History Press, Napa Traditions and Copperfields)

In 1905, Napa’s mayor, J.A. Fuller, announced, “Napa for half a century has been slumbering in a Rip Van Winkle sleep but she has awakened at last.” Back then, fifteen cents bought coffee and a donut at the Depot and Sawyer’s Tannery made soft leather baseball gloves. In this collection, local author Lauren Coodley reimagines the unvarnished country life of historic Napa Valley 

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California, A Multicultural Documentary History

By Lauren Coodley

A primary source reader that focuses on the diverse experiences of all groups included in the histories of California: Filipino Americans, farm workers, Japanese farmers, African-Americans, civil rights activists, and more. Blending documents from both public and private sources, this collection will not only successfully hold the attention of students, but also construct a more complete understanding of the people and events that created and shaped California.

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Napa Valley Farming

By Paula Amen Judah and Lauren Coodley with the Napa County Historical Society

Napans tend more than grapevines. The area’s diverse soil and mild climate make possible a generous yield of agricultural products. This book traces the cultivation of these products through a chronology of Napa’s farming history, from indigenous food plants to the orchard that were planted to feed gold miners– orchards that would soon function as both therapy and sustenance for the patients in the newly created Asylum. Immigrants from Italy and Germany and Japan and China joined newly emancipated slaves and Mexican citizens who had settled here before the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Together they cultivated the land..

The Land of Orange Groves and Jails: Upton Sinclair's California

Edited by Lauren Coodley

Upton Sinclair is famous, but not for his life in California. Most Americans know him simply as the author of The Jungle, the astonishing novel that rocked the beginning of the twentieth century with its expose of contaminated meat. California history textbooks mention Upton Sinclair only in passing reference to what they usually label as his “unsuccessful” campaign for governor in 1934. This book will argue that it is impossible to understand Upton Sinclair without reference to his life in California, and it is equally incomplete to think about California in the twentieth century without turning to Upton Sinclair’s work.

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Napa: The Transformation of an American Town

The book is part of The Making of America Series presented by Arcadia Publishing. The revised 2007 edition was written with Paula Amen Schmitt and it includes a foreword by Carol Kammen.

“I grew up in Southern California and Napa is not my home town, but this book captured and held my interest every page of the way. It is a surprisingly poignant account of how life has evolved in Napa for the people and creatures living there – from thousands of years ago, up through the decades of the 20th century. I think almost anyone could enjoy this classic American story – the rise and fall of the native Americans, waves of settlers migrating from everywhere, the gold rush, the changing role of women, rise and fall of labor unions & small business, racial relations, and most recently – urban sprawl in a one industry (wine making) city. All this is told through very personal accounts about or by people living in Napa during these times. I particularly appreciated the author’s focus on women and girls. If only our school text books could be half this interesting. I highly recommend this book.” – Helen Cartwright