Books Acquired Recently

Acker, Kathy. Pussy, King of the Pirates. New York: Grove, 1996.

I really enjoy Acker’s work because of its combination of postmodern form and explicit sexuality. I was wanting to read more of her fiction this summer and saw that Hume’s book has a section on Pussy, King of the Pirates, so I decided to acquire it and read it before beginning Hume.

Hume, Kathryn. Aggressive Fictions: Reading the Contemporary American Novel. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2012.

I bought this book because, aside from sounding fascinating in general (it discusses numerous writers/texts that I like: Acker, Philip Roth, Alice Walker, Chuck Palahniuk, American Psycho…) it has a section on Samuel R. Delany’s novel Hogg, which is generally ignored by critics. It always surprises me a) how often people write about Delany (they just tend not to write about his sex books), and b) how many literary critics have not heard of him at all, as he is a major voice in numerous fields. These two facts seem to contradict one another, but my guess is that most literary critics who have heard of Delany feel compelled to write about him as I do. He is becoming more and more canonical, and deserves to be so.

Both books bought on amazon.com.

Published by danielshankcruz

I grew up in New York City and lived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Goshen, Indiana; DeKalb, Illinois; and Salt Lake City, Utah before coming to Utica, New York. My mother’s family is Swiss-German Mennonite (i.e., it’s an ethnicity, not necessarily a theological persuasion) and my father’s family is Puerto Rican. I have a Ph.D. in English and currently teach at Utica College. I have also taught at Northern Illinois University and Westminster College in Salt Lake City. My teaching and scholarship are motivated by a passion for social justice, which is why my research focuses on the literature of oppressed groups, especially LGBT persons and people of color. While I primarily read and write about fiction, I am also a devoted reader of poetry because, as William Carlos Williams writes, “It is difficult / to get the news from poems / yet [people] die miserably every day / for lack / of what is found there.” Thinkers who influence me include Marina Abramovic, Kathy Acker, Di Brandt, Ana Castillo, Samuel R. Delany, Percival Everett, Essex Hemphill, Jane Jacobs, Walt Whitman, and the New York School of poets. I am also fond of queer Mennonite writers such as Stephen Beachy, Jan Guenther Braun, Lynnette Dueck/D’anna, and Casey Plett. In my free time I’m either reading, writing the occasional poem, playing board games (especially Scrabble, backgammon, and chess), watching sports (Let’s Go, Mets!), or cooking (curries, stews, roasts…).

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