Books Acquired Recently

Dahl, Roald. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More. 1977. New York: Puffin, 2010.

I just received a desk copy of this in my school mail today. I’m teaching it this fall in my Introduction to Literature course as an example of one of the reasons we read literature–for fun. Dahl’s short stories for adults are decent, but “The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar” is magnificent, it keeps me enraptured every time I read it.

Weinstein, Lawrence. Writing Doesn’t Have to Be Lonely: 14 Ways to Get the Help of Other People When You Write. Cambridge: OneOfaKind, 2012.

I received this as an exam copy from the publisher. It is the kind of handbook that I tend not to assign students because I’d rather have them spending their limited textbook funds on literature instead, but I am interested in reading this book for myself because one of my flaws as a writer is that I have a very difficult time asking for and listening to feedback from others. Learning new strategies for being proactive about this issue will be a big help.

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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