Books Acquired Recently

Acheson, Katherine O. Writing Essays About Literature: A Brief Guide for University and College Students. Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2011.

I attended the annual Northeast Modern Language Association (NeMLA) conference in Pittsburgh this past weekend, and of course left with a number of books. I got Acheson’s, Barrie’s, and Dale’s books free as examination copies. I think this writing guide will be helpful the next time I teach Introduction to English Studies.

Barrie, J.M. Peter Pan. 1911. Ed. Anne Hiebert Alton. Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2011.

Although I feel like I know the story because of its ubiquity in popular discourse, I have never actually read Peter Pan or seen the Disney version of it. I recently taught Sassafras Lowrey’s novel Lost Boi, a queer retelling of Barrie’s book, and then came across this edition at the conference. I decided to get it because I think reading it will help me to teach Lowrey’s book in the future.

Dale, Alan. A Marriage Below Zero. 1889. Ed. Richard A. Kaye. Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2018.

I had not previously heard of this book, but according to the blurb it is “the first novel in English to explicitly explore the subject of male homosexuality.” I am thus keen to read it.

Gumbs, Alexis Pauline. M Archive: After the End of the World. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018.

I am fascinated by both archives and apocalyptic literature, so when I saw an advertisement for this collection of poetry I ordered a copy from the publisher immediately.

Hearn, Ed, with Gene Frenette. Conquering Life’s Curves: Baseball, Battles & Beyond. Grand Island, NE: Cross Training Publishing, 1996.

I am obsessed with the 1986 Mets, and recently found out that Hearn, one of their more obscure members, had written a memoir. I liked Hearn as a player and was sad when the team traded him in 1987, though of course it ended up being an excellent trade for them. I bought the book from one of amazon.com’s network of independent retailers, and it turns out that it’s autographed!

Mbue, Imbolo. Behold the Dreamers. 2016. New York: Random House, 2017.

NeMLA handed out free copies of this novel because Mbue will be the featured speaker at NeMLA next year. I had not previously heard of it, but it looks fascinating.

O’Nan, Stewart. Last Night at the Lobster. 2007. New York: Penguin Books, 2008.

I won this signed copy of O’Nan’s novel for answering a trivia question (“What is the name of one of NeMLA’s journals?”) at the NeMLA closing brunch. As with Mbue’s, I’d never heard of his work before, but the book has an intriguing blurb.

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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