Books Acquired Recently

Hall, Donald E., and Annamarie Jagose, eds. The Routledge Queer Studies Reader. London: Routledge, 2013.

I recently had a friend recommend this anthology to me, and I have been wanting to read queer theory in a more systematic way than I have in the past, so thought this book would be a good place to start. I acquired it from one of amazon.com’s network of independent sellers.

Hess, J. Daniel. An Invitation to Criticism. Goshen: Pinchpenny, 1984.

I took a trip to Goshen, Indiana, last week to do some research, and while I was there I made a stop at Better World Books. I found this old Pinchpenny Press book with an intriguing title in good condition. I am always interested in the history of Mennonite attitudes toward education and art, so I look forward to discovering what Hess has to say on the subject.

Isherwood, Christopher. Christopher and His Kind. 1976. London: Vintage, 2012.

I received this book as a gift from someone who knows about my interest in queer literature. I have never read Isherwood before, so it is nice that now I have impetus to do so.

Reimer, Al. My Harp is Turned to Mourning. Winnipeg: Windflower, 1990.

This is the other book I bought at Better World. It is one of the first novels to depict the Mennonite struggles in Russia under Stalin, and an important text in the Mennonite literary canon. To be frank, I get a little tired of this narrative sometimes, but I found this volume in excellent condition for a good price, thus decided to buy it and finally get around to reading it this summer.

Richardson, Suzanne. The Softest Part of a Woman is a Wound. Georgetown: Finishing Line, 2016.

Richardson is one of my colleagues at Utica College, and she just came out with her first book of poetry! I am very excited to read 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…).

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