Books Acquired Recently

Gass, William. Willie Masters’ Lonesome Wife. 1968. Normal: Dalkey, 1989.

I recently read about this novel, which includes a number of photographs, figures, and elements of typographical play. I am quite fond of these postmodern elements because I appreciate it when a book is fascinating as a physical object (as an artwork, even) as well as intellectually.

hooks, bell. Writing Beyond Race: Living Theory and Practice. New York: Routledge, 2013.

I love bell hooks and purchased this book for a discount at the Modern Language Association conference last month. I must say that I am not impressed with Routledge’s shipping department, as the book took over a month to arrive from the time I ordered it.

Kauffman, Janet. Obscene Gestures for Women. 1989. New York: Vintage, 1990.

I read this short story collection in college about a dozen years ago, but don’t really remember it. However, several of Kauffman’s other books (Collaborators, The Body in Four Parts, and Characters on the Loose) are texts that I have enjoyed repeatedly, and since I am writing about her in an essay on Mennonite literature which I am working on, I thought I would give this book another go.

The Gass and Kauffman books were 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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