Books Acquired Recently

The problem with reading a lot like I do is that my reading suggests other books to me, whether directly via citations or indirectly via discovering new authors that I like, and of course I have to buy them! Those in this latest batch all fit within my two primary fields of study, queer literature and Mennonite literature. All of the books were purchased from amazon.com. I realize that I need to work to shop less with amazon, but it is difficult because they have the best selection and often the best prices, especially when one includes shipping costs. People tend to forget how difficult it used to be to find non-mainstream books (which is basically all I read these days) in bookstores or libraries before online shopping. My life would be so completely different in a negative way if I had been born ten years earlier because of how the books I’ve been able to buy online have affected all aspects of my life, and I just would not have had access to most of them otherwise.

Allison, Dorothy. Trash: Stories. 1988. New York: Plume, 2002.

—. Two or Three Things I Know for Sure. 1995. New York: Penguin Books, 2017.

I recently read Allison’s book of essays Skin and absolutely loved it, so I decided that I need to read more of her work.

Brandt, Di. Glitter and Fall: Laozi’s “Dao De Jing” Transinhalations. Winnipeg: Turnstone Press, 2018.

Brandt is one of my favorite poets (she’s the one Mennonite in this post) and has not published a new book in nearly a decade, so I am very excited to read these translations of the Dao, which is a text that I also have some interest in.

Martínez, Ernesto Javier. On Making Sense: Queer Race Narratives of Intelligibility. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2013.

This book is right at the intersection of the queer/ethnic focus of my research.

Meneghetti, Monica. What the Mouth Wants: A Memoir of Food, Love and Belonging. Halfmoon Bay, BC: Dagger Editions, 2017.

I recently heard about this queer memoir and decided to buy it because food writing is another genre that I have also been exploring of late.

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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