Books Acquired Recently

Dick, Philip K. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? 1968. New York: Del Rey, 2017.

I have been wanting to read this book for a while. The only Dick I’ve read previously is The Man in the High Castle, which I love, so I’ve been meaning to explore more of his work. Today while I was grocery shopping I happened to be in the aisle where they have a book rack and I thought it would be interesting to see what kind of literature is currently viewed as popular enough to be worth stocking in such a venue. I was not expecting to find anything of interest, but there were two copies of the Blade Runner 2049 tie-in mass market paperback of Dick’s novel. The actual book title is in small print at the top of the cover, and “Blade Runner” is written in large red letters in the middle of the cover and on the spine, which also has the actual title in very small letters. So the book is a fascinating piece of marketing as well as, presumably, literature.

Wiebe, Rudy. Where the Truth Lies: Selected Essays. Edmonton: NeWest Press, 2016.

Although this book came out last year, I did not hear about it until Paul Tiessen mentioned it last weekend in his presentation at the Mennonite/s Writing VIII conference. I ordered it immediately and it came in the mail today. It spans his entire career, so should be a rich reading experience.

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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