I recently visited Oregon for the first time, and as part of my trip made a pilgrimage to Powell’s City of Books. It is a majestic bookshop, the best I have ever been in. I had a limited amount of time there and thus did not have time to explore it fully, but still ended up buying four books, a t-shirt, and a magnet (“Fuck Your Wall”). I was specifically looking for Lorde’s and Hopkinson’s books, and the other two just grabbed me (Johnson’s because it is signed). I was impressed by how the store felt like a queer space–there were queer books displayed everywhere, not only in the LGBTQ section, which itself was impressive. The four books I acquired are all queer, and I only found one of them, Johnson’s, in this section. Lorde’s and Tolbert and Peterson’s were on endcaps; I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen queer literature highlighted so prominently before in a general bookstore.
Hopkinson, Nalo. Falling in Love with Hominids. San Francisco: Tachyon Publications, 2015.
Johnson, Chelsey. Stray City. New York: Custom House, 2018.
Lorde, Audre. The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde. 1997. New York: W.W. Norton, 2000.
Tolbert, TC, and Trace Peterson, eds. Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics. Callicoon, NY: Nightboat Books, 2013.
Dueck, J. Alicia. Negotiating Sexual Identities: Lesbian, Gay, and Queer Perspectives on Being Mennonite. Zurich, Switzerland: LIT Verlag, 2012.
I recently came across a citation of this study in an article by Dueck (now Dueck-Read–she’s married her girlfriend since the book came out 🙂 ) herself. I am always hesitant about citing myself (and thus am a little suspicious of others who do so) because it feels prideful. However, I often do because there just aren’t other people writing about queer Mennonite literature, so there is nothing else to cite. So I am very glad that Dueck cited herself so that I could hear about her book since she is writing in the same vein. I am also incredibly frustrated that she has apparently been unable to find a North American venue for it. This kind of queer Mennonite work is so necessary here, and so inaccessible. I was able to find this copy of her book from a German bookseller via amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers and it took nearly two months to get here.
Tamblyn, Amber. Any Man. New York: HarperPerennial, 2018.
I recently received this novel as a gift. It apparently has a fascinating (and I’m assuming feminist) premise: it is about a woman who is a serial rapist of men. I’m looking forward to reading it on my upcoming vacation.
Winterson, Jeanette. The Gap of Time: “The Winter’s Tale” Retold. New York: Hogarth, 2015.
I found a new, remaindered copy of this hardcover for $5.97 at Walmart this evening, and bought it partly because I love Winterson’s writing and partly because I was shocked to find a book by a queer author there and wanted to encourage such diversity. The novel is part of Hogarth’s series of Shakespeare adaptations by contemporary authors. I’m not a big fan of Shakespeare, so didn’t buy it for $25.00 when it first came out, but had to buy it at the current price.
Good, Merle. Surviving Failure (and a Few Successes). Lancaster, PA: Walnut Street Books, 2018.
Good is one of the first Mennonite writers from the United States (his novel Happy as the Grass was Green came out in 1971), and he and his wife Phyllis were the owners of Good Books, which published a number of important titles in the field of Mennonite studies. I bought his new memoir as soon as I heard about it because I am interested in reading about the unfortunate demise of Good Books in his own words.
I purchased this book and Haslip-Viera’s from amazon.com.
Haslip-Viera, Gabriel, ed. Taíno Revival: Critical Perspectives on Puerto Rican Identity and Cultural Politics. Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener Publishers, 2001.
As I continue to explore my Puerto Rican heritage I have been searching for more information about the island’s pre-colonial history and its traces in Puerto Rican society today. This book is one of the very few I was able to find on the subject, so I bought it despite its age.
Underwood, Upton Uxbridge. Poets Ranked by Beard Weight: The Commemorative Edition. New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2011.
I received this book, a spoof that claims to be an Edwardian classic, from a friend. Of course I love beards, so it will be interesting to read.