Books Acquired Recently: Mennonite Literature Edition

Hedrick, Emily. True Confessions of a God Killer: A Postmodern Pilgrim’s Progress. Telford: DreamSeeker, 2014.

When this book was first released last year I heard about it and thought “Hmm, that’s an interesting title,” but I assumed it was theology (which is primarily what Cascadia, DreamSeeker’s parent company, publishes) rather than fiction, and thus didn’t pursue it any further. However, an ad for it showed up in my Facebook news feed, and it was convincing enough for me to buy the book.

Ruth, John L. Mennonite Identity and Literary Art. Scottdale: Herald, 1978.

This text basically founded Mennonite literary criticism. I first read it back in 2001 when I took a Mennonite Literature course in college. I decided to try to buy it in order to read it again because I have been writing more and more criticism on Mennonite literature. I was happy to be able to find a copy in good condition.

Both books were acquired from amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers.

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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