Books Acquired Recently

Brautigan, Richard. Revenge of the Lawn, The Abortion, So the Wind Won’t Blow It All Away: (Three Books in the Manner of Their First Editions). Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1995.

I received this omnibus edition of three of Brautigan’s books as a Valentine’s Day present. The only book by Brautigan that I’ve read is Trout Fishing in America, and that was about 17 years ago, so it will be good to have a fresh dive into his work.

Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master’s Guide. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2014.

Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2014.

Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2014.

Some friends and I have recently started playing Dungeons & Dragons (yes, dear reader, it was possible for me to get even more nerdy). After completing our first adventure, we decided that we want to continue playing, so I decided to buy the box set of playing manuals. I purchased these, Williams’s, and Womack’s books from amazon.com.

Williams, David. When the English Fall. 2017. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books, 2018.

This is a novel about how the Amish fare after an apocalyptic natural event. It sounds like a similar premise as Leigh Brackett’s science fiction classic The Long Tomorrow, which assumes that Mennonites will come to prominence after the fall of current American society because they are used to living simply without modern technology. Williams’s biographical statement says he is a Presbyterian, but in his author photo he is wearing an Amish-style beard, so I wonder if he is ex-Amish or has Amish ancestry.

Womack, Ytasha L. Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture. Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 2013.

My current research project is about two African American speculative fiction writers, Samuel R. Delany and Sofia Samatar, so I thought I should do some reading about Afrofuturism, which I know a little about, but not much.

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Books Acquired Recently

Davis, Todd. Native Species. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2019.

Davis is a former professor of mine and he also kindly blurbed my new book. Native Species is his six full-length collection of poetry. I bought it directly from the publisher.

Gallop, Jane. Anecdotal Theory. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2002.

I loved Gallop’s most recent book, Sexuality, Disability, and Aging, in which she discusses her earlier book Anecdotal Theory. The latter work sounds like it is relevant for my current project so I bought a copy from amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers.

Giovanni, Nikki. A Good Cry: What We Learn from Tears and Laughter. 2017. New York: William Morrow, 2018.

I received this signed copy from a friend who attended Giovanni’s reading at Colgate University earlier this week. I enjoy Giovanni’s work–I have one of her poems on my office door–but have not read any of her recent stuff, so I am looking forward to diving into this volume.

Whitman, Walt. “Leaves of Grass” and Other Writings. Edited by Michael Moon. New York: W.W. Norton, 2002.

I love Whitman, and thus ordered this exam copy from the publisher in order to read its paratext.

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Books Acquired Recently

Kuhn, Gabriel. Soccer vs. the State: Tackling Football and Radical Politics. 2nd ed. 2018. Oakland: PM Press, 2019.

I received an advert about this book from the publisher and ordered it immediately because I was able to get 50% off so it was only $10.00. A steal!

Peters, Torrey. The Masker. N.p.: CreateSpace, 2016.

I loved Peters’s other novella Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones so much that I ordered this one from amazon.com (I wanted to order it directly from her, but her website says she’s on vacation) as soon as I finished it. I can’t wait to read it!

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Books Acquired Recently

Bellatin, Mario. The Large Glass: Three Autobiographies. Trans. David Shook. Los Angeles: Phoneme Media, 2015.

I heard about Bellatin, whose work is mostly only available in Spanish, at MLA a few weeks ago and he sounded intriguing, so I decided to buy the one book of his I could find in English. I bought this and Muñoz’s book from amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers.

Gallop, Jane. Sexuality, Disability, and Aging: Queer Temporalities of the Phallus. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019.

I received an email advertising this book from the publisher and ordered it immediately because it sounds like it relates to some issues I am currently encountering in my personal life.

Muñoz, Manuel. Zigzagger: Stories. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2003.

As I have written in this space before, I have recently been researching the queer-Latinx intersection. I encountered a reference to Muñoz’s collection during this research and decided to buy it.

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Books Acquired Recently: Post-Holiday Edition

I’ve begun receiving books in the mail (all of the books in this post were ordered via amazon.com) that I have ordered as a result of my literary experiences over the winter break. I received Knecht’s other novel (Who is Vera Kelly?) as a gift and loved it, so decided to order her first book, and I heard about Awkward-Rich’s and Peters’s books last week at MLA.

Awkward-Rich, Cameron. Transit. Minneapolis: Button Poetry/Exploding Pinecone Press, 2015.

Knecht, Rosalie. Relief Map. Portland: Tin House Books, 2016.

Peters, Torrey. Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones. N.p.: CreateSpace, 2016.

Peters has her MFA from the University of Iowa and has published in a number of prestigious journals, but writes in her “About the Author” statement that “she’s trans, and has concluded that the publishing industry doesn’t serve trans women. So now, she just wants to give her work away for free to other trans girls.” This is a powerful political choice that makes the argument that literature has the power to change lives and that this possibility is more important than furthering one’s literary career via traditional venues. I read through Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones earlier today in one sitting and loved it; Peters is certainly not self-publishing due to a lack of writing skill. You can read more about her work at her website, http://www.torreypeters.com/.

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Books Acquired Recently: Desk Copy Edition

The new semester begins on Monday. Over the past few months I have received desk copies of the following books for my courses (note that not all of the books I will be teaching are represented here).

For Written Communication II:

Darms, Lisa, ed. The Riot Grrrl Collection. New York: Feminist Press, 2013.

Heti, Sheila, et al. Women in Clothes. New York: Blue Rider Press, 2014.

This book is always a hit with students and is one of my favorite books ever. Everyone should read it.

For Introduction to Literature:

Palahniuk, Chuck. Fight Club. 1996. New York: W.W. Norton, 2018.

Rivera, Gabby. Juliet Takes a Breath. Riverdale, NY: Riverdale Avenue Books, 2016.

Samatar, Sofia. Tender: Stories. Easthampton, MA: Small Beer Press, 2017.

Schakel, Peter, and Jack Ridl, eds. 250 Poems: A Portable Anthology. 3rd ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014.

I love poetry but it has taken me an embarrassingly long time to learn how to teach it effectively. Now that I do, I have made it a goal to assign a poetry anthology in all of my literature classes.

For American Writers After 1865:

Dove, Rita, ed. The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth Century American Poetry. 2011. New York: Penguin Books, 2013.

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Other Stories. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1997.

Morrison, Toni. Beloved. 1987. New York: Vintage Books, 2004.

 

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Queering Mennonite Literature: Archiving, Activism, and the Search for Community

I am excited to announce that my book Queering Mennonite Literature: Archives, Activism, and the Search for Community has just been released by Penn State University Press!

Though the terms “queer” and “Mennonite” rarely come into theoretical or cultural contact, over the last several decades writers and scholars in the United States and Canada have built a body of queer Mennonite literature that shifts these identities into conversation. I bring this growing genre into a critical focus, bridging the gaps between queer theory, literary criticism, and Mennonite literature.

My analysis focuses on recent Mennonite-authored literary texts that espouse queer theoretical principles, including work by Christina Penner, Wes Funk, Jan Guenther Braun, Jessica Penner, Stephen Beachy, Corey Redekop, Casey Plett, Miriam Suzanne, and Sofia Samatar. Their books argue for the existence of a “queer Mennonite” identity on the basis of shared values: a commitment to social justice, a rejection of binaries, the importance of creative approaches to conflict resolution, and the practice of mutual aid, especially in resisting oppression. The book encourages those engaging with both Mennonite studies and queer studies to explore the opportunity for conversation and overlap between the two fields.

By arguing for engagement between these two identities and highlighting the aspects of Mennonitism that are inherently “queer,” the book gives much-needed attention to an emerging subfield of Mennonite literature. It makes a new and important intervention into the fields of queer theory, literary studies, Mennonite studies, and religious studies.

You can find Queering Mennonite Literature on the Penn State University Press web site at this URL: http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-27-108245-5.html. You can get 30% off by using the code NR18. Please ask your local libraries, whether institutional or public, to order a copy.

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