Books Acquired Recently

Momaday, N. Scott. House Made of Dawn. 1968. New York: HarperPerennial, 1999.

Palahniuk, Chuck. Survivor. 1999. New York: Norton, 2010.

After my post yesterday about needing to support local businesses I decided to stop by the Central Book Exchange on my walk home from the office. I purchased two books that I have been meaning to read. I’ve read relatively little Native American literature, and nothing of Momaday’s, so buying House Made of Dawn is one step toward rectifying this issue.

On the other hand, I’ve read lots of Palahniuk, and hadn’t been planning on reading more of him for a while because, while when he is at his best (Fight Club, Invisible Monsters, and maybe Pygmy depending on when you ask me) he is excellent, when he isn’t (Choke, Snuff) he is boring and his attempts to shock the reader feel arch and immature. But one of my students this semester wrote an essay on Survivor that made the novel sound intriguing because it is in backwards order (i.e., page 1 is the last page). As regular readers of my blog know, I am a sucker for postmodern fiction, including that which takes a non-linear form (this is one of the reasons why I love Invisible Monsters, and Invisible Monsters Remix even more so), and I am especially interested in contemporary examples. Thus when I found a used copy of Survivor in excellent condition I had to buy it.

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…).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: