Books Acquired Recently

Cohen, Samuel, and Lee Konstantinou, eds. The Legacy of David Foster Wallace. Iowa City: U of Iowa P, 2012.

I ordered this book at a discounted price at the Modern Language Association bookfair last month, and it finally arrived this week. As I’ve mentioned numerous times here, I am a big fan of Wallace’s work, especially Infinite Jest. I am happy to see that scholars are actively writing about him, as his work certainly deserves canonization. I would love to teach Infinite Jest sometime, but it is so large that one would really need to devote an entire course to it. His first short story collection, Girl With Curious Hair, will have to suffice.

Jackson, Lawrence P. The Indignant Generation: A Narrative History of African American Writers and Critics, 1934-1960. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2011.

I bought this volume at a discount from Labyrinth Books, which is the premier independent seller of scholarly books in the United States. The book covers the period of twentieth century African American literature that I know the least about even though several of my favorite authors, including James Baldwin and Gwendolyn Brooks, were active during it, so I am excited to read the text in order to remedy this gap.

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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