Monthly Archives: January 2019

Books Acquired Recently

Bellatin, Mario. The Large Glass: Three Autobiographies. Trans. David Shook. Los Angeles: Phoneme Media, 2015.

I heard about Bellatin, whose work is mostly only available in Spanish, at MLA a few weeks ago and he sounded intriguing, so I decided to buy the one book of his I could find in English. I bought this and Muñoz’s book from amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers.

Gallop, Jane. Sexuality, Disability, and Aging: Queer Temporalities of the Phallus. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019.

I received an email advertising this book from the publisher and ordered it immediately because it sounds like it relates to some issues I am currently encountering in my personal life.

Muñoz, Manuel. Zigzagger: Stories. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2003.

As I have written in this space before, I have recently been researching the queer-Latinx intersection. I encountered a reference to Muñoz’s collection during this research and decided to buy it.

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Books Acquired Recently: Post-Holiday Edition

I’ve begun receiving books in the mail (all of the books in this post were ordered via amazon.com) that I have ordered as a result of my literary experiences over the winter break. I received Knecht’s other novel (Who is Vera Kelly?) as a gift and loved it, so decided to order her first book, and I heard about Awkward-Rich’s and Peters’s books last week at MLA.

Awkward-Rich, Cameron. Transit. Minneapolis: Button Poetry/Exploding Pinecone Press, 2015.

Knecht, Rosalie. Relief Map. Portland: Tin House Books, 2016.

Peters, Torrey. Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones. N.p.: CreateSpace, 2016.

Peters has her MFA from the University of Iowa and has published in a number of prestigious journals, but writes in her “About the Author” statement that “she’s trans, and has concluded that the publishing industry doesn’t serve trans women. So now, she just wants to give her work away for free to other trans girls.” This is a powerful political choice that makes the argument that literature has the power to change lives and that this possibility is more important than furthering one’s literary career via traditional venues. I read through Infect Your Friends and Loved Ones earlier today in one sitting and loved it; Peters is certainly not self-publishing due to a lack of writing skill. You can read more about her work at her website, http://www.torreypeters.com/.

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Books Acquired Recently: Desk Copy Edition

The new semester begins on Monday. Over the past few months I have received desk copies of the following books for my courses (note that not all of the books I will be teaching are represented here).

For Written Communication II:

Darms, Lisa, ed. The Riot Grrrl Collection. New York: Feminist Press, 2013.

Heti, Sheila, et al. Women in Clothes. New York: Blue Rider Press, 2014.

This book is always a hit with students and is one of my favorite books ever. Everyone should read it.

For Introduction to Literature:

Palahniuk, Chuck. Fight Club. 1996. New York: W.W. Norton, 2018.

Rivera, Gabby. Juliet Takes a Breath. Riverdale, NY: Riverdale Avenue Books, 2016.

Samatar, Sofia. Tender: Stories. Easthampton, MA: Small Beer Press, 2017.

Schakel, Peter, and Jack Ridl, eds. 250 Poems: A Portable Anthology. 3rd ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014.

I love poetry but it has taken me an embarrassingly long time to learn how to teach it effectively. Now that I do, I have made it a goal to assign a poetry anthology in all of my literature classes.

For American Writers After 1865:

Dove, Rita, ed. The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth Century American Poetry. 2011. New York: Penguin Books, 2013.

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. “The Yellow Wallpaper” and Other Stories. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 1997.

Morrison, Toni. Beloved. 1987. New York: Vintage Books, 2004.

 

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Queering Mennonite Literature: Archiving, Activism, and the Search for Community

I am excited to announce that my book Queering Mennonite Literature: Archives, Activism, and the Search for Community has just been released by Penn State University Press!

Though the terms “queer” and “Mennonite” rarely come into theoretical or cultural contact, over the last several decades writers and scholars in the United States and Canada have built a body of queer Mennonite literature that shifts these identities into conversation. I bring this growing genre into a critical focus, bridging the gaps between queer theory, literary criticism, and Mennonite literature.

My analysis focuses on recent Mennonite-authored literary texts that espouse queer theoretical principles, including work by Christina Penner, Wes Funk, Jan Guenther Braun, Jessica Penner, Stephen Beachy, Corey Redekop, Casey Plett, Miriam Suzanne, and Sofia Samatar. Their books argue for the existence of a “queer Mennonite” identity on the basis of shared values: a commitment to social justice, a rejection of binaries, the importance of creative approaches to conflict resolution, and the practice of mutual aid, especially in resisting oppression. The book encourages those engaging with both Mennonite studies and queer studies to explore the opportunity for conversation and overlap between the two fields.

By arguing for engagement between these two identities and highlighting the aspects of Mennonitism that are inherently “queer,” the book gives much-needed attention to an emerging subfield of Mennonite literature. It makes a new and important intervention into the fields of queer theory, literary studies, Mennonite studies, and religious studies.

You can find Queering Mennonite Literature on the Penn State University Press web site at this URL: http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-27-108245-5.html. You can get 30% off by using the code NR18. Please ask your local libraries, whether institutional or public, to order a copy.

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Books Acquired Recently: MLA Edition

I got back yesterday from the 2019 Modern Language Association (MLA) convention in Chicago. It was a fantastic time! The weather was unseasonably warm and sunny (it was 50 degrees on Saturday) and I was able to attend lots of excellent panels. I also felt that my presentation on Ana Castillo’s Give It to Me went well.

Of course the book fair is always one of the highlights of MLA. Here is a list of what I acquired. All of the books were either discounted or free (Cantero, Kern, and Yaszek).

Berlant, Lauren, and Kathleen Stewart. The Hundreds. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019.

This book is notable because it is the first book I have acquired with a 2019 copyright date and because I read it immediately after buying it and it is one of the best books about writing I have ever read. I cannot recommend it highly enough!

Cantero, Edgar. Meddling Kids. 2017. New York: Blumhouse Books, 2018.

GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies 25, no. 1 (2019).

I don’t normally list academic journals in these posts but I am making an exception here because GLQ‘s twenty-fifth anniversary issue just came out. Its contribution to the field of queer studies has been massive. This issue includes short essays by a number of the journal’s most illustrious contributors through the years.

Henríquez, Cristina. The Book of Unknown Americans. 2014. New York: Vintage Books, 2015.

Kern, Adam L., ed. and trans. The Penguin Book of Haiku. London: Penguin Books, 2018.

Latham, Rob, ed. Science Fiction Criticism: An Anthology of Essential Writings. London: Bloomsbury, 2017.

Lothian, Alexis. Old Futures: Speculative Fiction and Queer Possibility. New York: New York University Press, 2018.

McRuer, Robert. Crip Times: Disability, Globalization, and Resistance. New York: New York University Press, 2018.

Schalk, Sami. Bodyminds Reimagined: (Dis)ability, Race, and Gender in Black Women’s Speculative Fiction. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018.

I saw Schalk present, which is what convinced me to buy her book. She graciously signed it for me.

Yaszek, Lisa, ed. The Future is Female! 25 Classic Science Fiction Stories by Women, from Pulp Pioneers to Ursula K. LeGuin. New York: Library of America, 2018.

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Books Acquired Recently: Holiday Gift Edition

Happily, I received a number of books as gifts this holiday season!

Brown, Craig. Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017.

I have become fascinated with Princess Margaret as a result of watching The Crown and look forward to reading this oral history about her. Incidentally, it drives me nuts that FSG does not use the Oxford Comma in their company name.

Johnson, Davey, with Erik Sherman. Davey Johnson: My Wild Ride in Baseball and Beyond. Chicago: Triumph Books, 2018.

Johnson  managed the 1986 New York Mets and thus played a major role in my childhood. I read the book the day after I received it and enjoyed it, though it was not as introspective as I would have liked it to be.

Knecht, Rosalie. Who is Vera Kelly? Portland: Tin House Books, 2018.

I had not heard of Knecht, but began reading this novel as soon as I got it and enjoyed it. Her writing is beautiful and clear.

Miller, Linsey. Mask of Shadows. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks Fire, 2017.

I read a review of this book that intrigued me, but now I can’t remember why it intrigued me, so it will be a fun surprise when I get around to reading it!

Posey, Parker. You’re on an Airplane: A Self-Mythologizing Memoir. New York: Blue Rider Press, 2018.

I enjoy Posey’s work in Christopher Guest’s mocumentaries.

Sánchez González, Lisa. Boricua Literature: A Literary History of the Puerto Rican Diaspora. New York: New York University Press, 2001.

I still do not know nearly enough about Puerto Rican literature in either the U.S. or on the island, and am thus excited to read this book.

Schaberg, Christopher. The Textual Life of Airports: Reading the Culture of Flight. 2011. New York: Bloomsbury, 2013.

I fly frequently as part of my job and thus spend a depressing amount of time in airports. I look forward to reading this book about literary representations of that experience.

Shapiro, Bill, with Naomi Wax. What We Keep: 150 People Share the One Object That Brings Them Joy, Magic, and Meaning. Philadelphia: Running Press, 2018.

A friend recently posted about this book on Facebook and I wanted to buy it immediately because I am very interested in the issue of personal archiving and am teaching a course on it this coming semester. I bought it with a Barnes & Noble gift certificate that I received.

Wiebe, Joseph R. The Place of Imagination: Wendell Berry and the Poetics of Community, Affection, and Identity. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2017.

I read a review of this book and it sounded interesting because of its methodology of reading literature theologically. I can’t stand Wendell Berry, but I am hoping that I can pick up some writing tools from Wiebe’s approach.

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