Books Acquired Recently

This is the rare Books Acquired Recently post where none of the books are queer or Mennonite 😮

Laymon, Kiese. How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America: Essays. Rev. ed. New York: Scribner, 2020.

I love Laymon’s memoir Heavy, and thus have been meaning to get to this collection of essays, which was first published in 2013. When I saw that a revised version with new essays was out, I was like “it’s time,” and bought it immediately.

Londoño, Johana. Abstract Barrios: The Crises of Latinx Visibility in Cities. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2020.

I got a promotional email about this book and ordered it a few weeks ago because Duke University Press is having a 50% off sale until next week. By the time the book arrived I forgot that I was waiting for it, so… maybe I buy too many books, haha. But I was very excited when it came and I look forward to reading it.

Rosenthal, Amy Krouse. Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal: Not Exactly a Memoir. 2016. New York: Dutton, 2020.

I recently read Rosenthal’s Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life and loved it, so I decided to buy this follow-up to it. One of the reasons I enjoyed Encyclopedia is that it was written when Rosenthal was about the age I am now, so it was interesting to read someone else’s thoughts about the beginning of middle age. I’m interested to see what a memoir dealing with the beginning of one’s fifties looks like so that I can start preparing myself.

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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