Books Acquired Recently

Delany, Samuel R. Shoat Rumblin: His Sensations and Ideas. N.p.: Samuel R. Delany, 2020.

I just found out about this weighty (539 pages) self-published novel that came out last year, and bought it right away. Delany has had so many difficulties with keeping his books in print throughout his career that it makes sense to publish himself because he already has a large, devoted readership to draw on as a market.

Koestenbaum, Wayne. Figure It Out: Essays. New York: Soft Skull Press, 2020.

I love Koestenbaum’s work and am excited to read this recent collection.

Rekdal, Paisley. Appropriate: A Provocation. New York: W.W. Norton, 2021.

I recently attended a Zoom reading where Rekdal read from this new book on cultural appropriation. This is an issue I have written about and continue to find important, so I look forward to reading her book.

Shapland, Jenn. My Autobiography of Carson McCullers: A Memoir. 2020. Portland: Tin House, 2021.

I enjoy McCullers’s fiction, and I am also interested in writing that blends memoir and literary history/criticism. I’m therefore looking forward to reading Shapland’s lauded volume on her experiences with McCullers’s work.

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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