Tag Archives: Alice Walker

Books Acquired Recently: Desk Copy Edition

Over the past few months publishers have sent me a number of desk copies for my Fall 2019 courses.

For First-Year Composition:

Blanco, Richard. The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood. 2014. New York: Ecco, 2015.

Irby, Samantha. We Are Never Meeting in Real Life: Essays. New York: Vintage Books, 2017.

Knisley, Lucy. Relish: My Life in the Kitchen. New York: First Second, 2013.

Tea, Michelle. How to Grow Up: A Memoir. New York: Plume, 2015.

As is evident from Blanco’s, Irby’s, and Tea’s books, this is sneakily a queer memoir class as well.

For American Literature Before 1865:

Brown, Charles Brockden. Wieland and Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist. New York: Penguin Books, 1991.

This, Irving’s, and Wilson’s books are Penguin Classics, which I love.

Hollander, John, ed. American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century, Volume One; Philip Freneau to Walt Whitman. New York: Library of America, 1993.

Over the past year I’ve begun the practice of assigning a poetry anthology in all of my literature classes, which has been an excellent decision. We read one or two poems at the beginning of each class and then spend the rest of the class talking about the longer reading for the day.

Irving, Washington. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories. New York: Penguin Books, 2014.

Wilson, Harriet E. Our Nig, Or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black. 1859. New York: Penguin Books, 2009.

For African American Literature:

Delany, Samuel R. Dark Reflections. 2007. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2016.

This is an excellent novel that was out of print for quite a while (an issue that many of Delany’s best novels have, unfortunately). I have been wanting to teach it since I first read it, and am glad that Dover has now made this possible.

Harper, Michael S., and Anthony Walton, eds. The Vintage Book of African American Poetry: 200 Years of Vision, Struggle, Power, Beauty, and Triumph from 50 Outstanding Poets. New York: Vintage Books, 2000.

Lorde, Audre. Zami: A New Spelling of My Name. Berkeley, CA: Crossing Press, 1982.

This is one of my favorite memoirs ever.

Morrison, Toni. Sula. 1973. New York: Vintage International, 2004.

Walker, Alice. Meridian. 1976. Orlando: Harvest, 2003.

I wrote a dissertation chapter on this novel many years ago, haha.

 

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Books Acquired Recently: Holiday Edition

I’ve acquired a number of books over the past few weeks. Most of them (the ones without their provenance listed) have been gifts, though a few I’ve bought for gifts to myself to read over the semester break.

Ballard, J.G. Cocaine Nights. 1996. Washington, D.C.: Counterpoint, 1998.

Ballard is an author that I love to read in my spare time because of his fiction’s cynical view of society, which I tend to share. I’ve never attempted a systematic investigation of his oeuvre (which is rare for authors that I enjoy as much as I enjoy him), but I buy one of his books every once in a while when I come across them and am never disappointed.

This and the books by Cha, Rechy, Rhys, and Walker were acquired with a gift certificate that I received to DogStar Books in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Cha, Theresa Hak Kyung. Dictee. 1982. Berkeley: U of California P, 2001.

I remember reading about this book, which is classified as poetry, in a book about postmodern fiction at some point. It has all sorts of visual elements–photographs, facsimiles of handwriting, drawings–that I love in text-based books. My knowledge of Asian American literature is also lacking, so I am excited to read it.

Keogh, Theodora. Street Music. 1952. N.p.: Olympia, 2009.

I love Keogh’s fiction because of its subtle queer bent, but haven’t had the time to read any of her novels in a while, thus I was glad to receive this as a gift.

Kuper, Simon. Ajax, the Dutch, the War: The Strange Tale of Soccer During Europe’s Darkest Hour. New York: Nation, 2012.

Growing up in the 1990s as a soccer fan in the U.S. I always felt the lack of available books on soccer history (and especially European soccer history) keenly. I am happy that with the sport’s recent rise in popularity here this lacuna is being filled.

Kushner, Tony. Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes. Rev. ed. New York: TCG, 2013.

Angels in America is my favorite play, and I teach it often. I just recently discovered that a revised edition has been published, which, frankly, worries me (what if Kushner’s meddling with the play is along the lines of George Lucas’s with Star Wars?). However, it is an essential enough text that reading the new version at least once is a necessity.

This and Miller’s Eyes at the Window were acquired from amazon.com’s network of independent sellers.

Mass, AJ. Yes, It’s Hot in Here: Adventures in the Weird, Woolly World of Sports Mascots. New York: Rodale, 2014.

Mass used to be Mr. Met. I read an excerpt of this memoir when it came out a few months ago and enjoyed it, so decided to put it on my wish list.

Miller, Evie Yoder. Everyday Mercies. Milton: Big Girl, 2014.

I’ve been asked to review this novel for Mennonite Quarterly Review. I had heard of Miller, but have not read any of her fiction before. It is good to see more Mennonite writers from the U.S. working in the genre.

—. Eyes at the Window. Intercourse: Good, 2003.

I bought this book to read to get a sense of Miller’s work before I read Everyday Mercies.

Rechy, John. Bodies and Souls. New York: Carroll, 1983.

I have enjoyed the couple of Rechy’s novels that I have read, and he is a foundational queer Latino writer, so I was excited to buy this book when I found it in my browsing at DogStar.

Rhys, Jean. Jean Rhys: The Complete Novels. New York: Norton, 1985.

I have been wanting this volume since 2005 when I saw a graduate school classmate’s copy during a discussion of Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea. I have looked for it in used bookstores since then and was thrilled to finally find a copy. I have grown a fondness for twentieth century female British-ish writers (Muriel Spark, Doris Lessing, etc.) over the past year or so, and look forward to reading Rhys’s corpus as a furthering of this interest.

Walker, Alice. In Love & Trouble: Stories of Black Women. San Diego: Harcourt, 1973.

I wrote about this excellent book in my dissertation, but did not actually own a copy. I’ve been looking for it in used bookstores recently and was happy to find a copy in very good condition for only $4.00.

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Books Acquired Recently: Retiring Colleague Edition

One of my colleagues is retiring after this semester, and she gave me some of her books dealing with African American literature because it is one of my research interests. I am happy to preserve some of her library by integrating it into my own. Several of the paperbacks are from the 1970s and have some seriously groovy covers.

I also just got three more desk copies for next semester in the mail, so it was a good day for books!

Chesnutt, Charles W. The Portable Charles W. Chesnutt. Ed. William L. Andrews. New York: Penguin, 2008.

I have another collection of Chesnutt’s short stories published by Mentor, but this volume also includes Chesnutt’s novel The Marrow of Tradition and some essays. And, of course, it is always good to acquire a Penguin paperback.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. 1925. New York: Scribner, 2004.

Sadly, the earlier Scribner paperback edition that I was assigned in high school and have myself assigned previously is now out of print. This one was necessary to acquire because it has different page numbers.

Flowers, Arthur. Another Good Loving Blues. 1993. New York: Ballantine, 1994.

This book is inscribed by the author.

Gilyard, Keith, ed. Spirit & Flame: An Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry. Syracuse: Syracuse UP, 1997.

This one is also inscribed by the author.

Klosterman, Chuck. Downtown Owl. 2008. New York: Scribner, 2009.

I have taught some of Klosterman’s essays before, but next semester will be the first time I teach any of his fiction. I am excited to see what my students think of him. I think they will love this book, but their tastes often surprise me.

Lunsford, Andrea A., John J. Ruszkiewicz, and Keith Walters. Everything’s An Argument, with Readings. 6th ed. Boston: Bedford, 2013.

I’ll be using this book in my writing class for the first time in about a decade. I enjoyed it before, then tried other strategies and texts, and now have decided to go back to it and see how it has aged as a text and how I have aged as an instructor.

McKay, Claude. Banana Bottom. 1933. San Diego: Harvest, 1961.

This book has a price tag from the Strand on the front cover! It was on sale for $1.95–regularly $6.95.

Reed, Ishmael. The Last Days of Louisiana Red. 1974. New York: Bard, 1976.

I’ve enjoyed the bit of Reed’s fiction that I have read in the past, and look forward to reading this novel. The blurb on the front cover from the Village Voice calls it a “saucy underground classic.” Say no more!

Toomer, Jean. Cane. 1923. New York: Norton, 2003.

I have the Liveright edition of this novel, but it’s always nice to have a copy of one of Norton’s critical editions as well.

Washington, Mary Helen, ed. Black-Eyed Susans: Classic Stories by and About Black Women. New York: Anchor, 1975.

Morrison, Walker, Bambara, et al. A great period piece.

Yerby, Frank. The Vixens. New York: Dial, 1947.

This nearly seventy-year-old book is in excellent condition.

Youngblood, Shay. Soul Kiss. 1997. New York: Riverhead, 1998.

The least-exciting looking book of the bunch, but it was good enough to make it into paperback, so we’ll see.

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Books Acquired Recently: Desk Copies Edition

Today I received all of my desk copies for the upcoming semester. I’ll be teaching semester one of the first-year composition course, American Literature to 1865, and American Literature Post-1945. It should be a fun semester toggling back and forth between the two American literature extremes! It will make a fascinating contrast.

I already have copies of most of these books, just not the editions that are currently in print, hence the necessity of acquiring the ones listed below.

Bottini, Joseph P., and James L. Davis. Utica: Then & Now. Charleston: Arcadia, 2007.

Cooper, James Fenimore. The Last of the Mohicans. 1826. New York: Penguin, 1986.

DeLillo, Don. Falling Man. 2007. New York: Scribner, 2008.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. Young Goodman Brown and Other Short Stories. New York: Dover, 1992.

Irving, Washington. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories. New York: Penguin, 1999.

McClatchy, J.D., ed. The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry. 2nd ed. New York: Vintage, 2003.

Nelson, G. Lynn. Writing and Being: Embracing Your Life Through Creative Journaling. Novato: New World, 2004.

Poe, Edgar Allen. The Complete Short Stories of Edgar Allan Poe (Volume I of II). N.P.: Digireads.com, 2012.

Roth, Philip. Goodbye, Columbus: And Five Short Stories. 1959. New York: Vintage, 1993.

Walker, Alice. The Color Purple. 1982. Orlando: Harvest, 2003.

Whitman, Walt. Leaves of Grass. 1855. New York: Penguin, 1986.

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Books Acquired Recently

Everett, Percival. Percival Everett by Virgil Russell. Minneapolis: Graywolf, 2013.

I’ve only read one of Everett’s previous novels, Erasure, and loved it. I decided that acquiring his latest book would be a good way to begin reading the rest of his corpus. I am especially excited about its metafictional elements–any novel with a character named after the author is alright with me.

Bought on amazon.com.

Walker, Alice. Meridian. 1976. Orlando: Harcourt, 2003.

I received a desk copy of this book in the mail today. It’s one of the novels that I’m assigning in my African American Literature After 1960 course this May. I wrote a dissertation chapter on it, but have never taught it before. It’s an excellent fictionalization of the tension between the Civil Rights and Black Power strands of the 1960s black liberation movement.

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Books Acquired Recently

Acker, Kathy. Pussy, King of the Pirates. New York: Grove, 1996.

I really enjoy Acker’s work because of its combination of postmodern form and explicit sexuality. I was wanting to read more of her fiction this summer and saw that Hume’s book has a section on Pussy, King of the Pirates, so I decided to acquire it and read it before beginning Hume.

Hume, Kathryn. Aggressive Fictions: Reading the Contemporary American Novel. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 2012.

I bought this book because, aside from sounding fascinating in general (it discusses numerous writers/texts that I like: Acker, Philip Roth, Alice Walker, Chuck Palahniuk, American Psycho…) it has a section on Samuel R. Delany’s novel Hogg, which is generally ignored by critics. It always surprises me a) how often people write about Delany (they just tend not to write about his sex books), and b) how many literary critics have not heard of him at all, as he is a major voice in numerous fields. These two facts seem to contradict one another, but my guess is that most literary critics who have heard of Delany feel compelled to write about him as I do. He is becoming more and more canonical, and deserves to be so.

Both books bought on amazon.com.

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