Books Acquired Recently: 2012 Edition

Mann, Jeff. Purgatory: A Novel of the Civil War. Maple Shade, NJ: Bear Bones Books, 2012.

I recently heard about this piece of gay erotica from a friend who thought she was acquiring another book–the cover and first few pages were of the book she thought she was getting–but found a piece of Purgatory bound inside the cover instead. A weird printing error that is certainly “queer”! I liked her story so much I decided to buy Mann’s book itself and check it out.

Stuckey, Priscilla. Kissed by a Fox and Other Stories of Friendship in Nature. Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint Press, 2012.

I recently read an interview with Stuckey, a Mennonite writer, about her nature writing. It intrigued me enough that I decided to buy her first book to see what her work is like. The copy I got is inscribed by her, which is always a nice surprise.

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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