Books Acquired Recently

Allison, Dorothy. Bastard Out of Carolina. 1992. New York: Penguin Books, 2016.

I had heard of this novel before, but did not become interested in it until I recently read Ann Cvetkovich’s discussion of it in An Archive of Feelings. I did not realize that Allison is a queer writer, and I look forward to investigating her work.

Foer, Jonathan Safran. Here I Am. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016.

I love Foer’s first two novels, Everything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, and have been awaiting his latest with baited breath. I am terrified that it will not live up to the lofty standards of his previous work, much like how I love Jonathan Franzen’s early work and cannot stand to read a word that he currently writes. We shall see.

Waters, Sarah. Affinity. 1999. New York: Riverhead, 2002.

I love Waters’s work and have read Affinity before, but did not have my own copy. I’m currently writing about another novel, Christina Penner’s Widows of Hamilton House, that also deals with spiritualism, and decided I wanted to read Waters’s novel again.

All three books were purchased from amazon.com. I feel increasingly guilty about my amazon shopping, but I do not live near any good bookstores (because the likes of Barnes & Noble killed them all off, sigh).

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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