Books Acquired Recently

Keillor, Garrison. Liberty: A Novel of Lake Wobegon. New York: Viking, 2008.

I enjoy Keillor’s fiction and almost bought this book when it first came out. There have been a number of times in the intervening years when I wished I had bought it, and then yesterday I was browsing in the public library in Old Forge, New York, and they had a book sale of discarded volumes. Liberty was among them, and I purchased it for $1.00. So I was able to both get it for much cheaper than I would have in 2008 and support a good cause as well.

Lorde, Audre. The Cancer Journals. 1980. San Francisco: Aunt Lute Books, 1997.

I love Lorde’s autobiography Zami: A New Spelling of My Name, and have been wanting to read more of her nonfiction. The Cancer Journals recently came up in another book that I was reading and I decided it was time to acquire it. I purchased it from amazon.com.

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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