Book Acquired Recently: Leslie Feinberg’s Stone Butch Blues

Feinberg, Leslie. Stone Butch Blues. 1993. Los Angeles: Alyson, 2003.

I’ve been meaning to read this queer classic for a while, and recently was on amazon.com buying something else, and decided to finally buy Feinberg’s novel to help me get to the $25.00 free shipping threshold. To my horror I discovered that the book is currently out of print! I was able to buy a used copy for $20.00, which seems high, but since it is both out of print and important it may become rare quite quickly, so I felt it was worth it.

The reason this important book is out of print is that its publisher, Alyson Books, went out of business a few years ago. This is yet another example of the publishing industry’s troubles–it is more and more difficult for independent publishers to stay alive. Alyson was an important publisher of LGBT works that are now in limbo. One hopes that some other publisher will recognize their value and buy the rights. In the case of Stone Butch Blues, it still gets written about, and remained on syllabi while it was in print, so it would be a good investment for another company to make.

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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