Tag Archives: Casey Plett

Books Acquired Recently

Fitzpatrick, Cat, and Casey Plett, ed. Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers. New York: Topside Press, 2017.

I received a review copy of this book a few months ago and it is a fantastic selection of stories. I ordered a copy of the published book as a way of supporting Topside Press, who publish excellent, necessary trans literature. This is a book that should get taught in queer literature courses for the next few decades (I’ll be assigning it in mine next semester). You can order it here. At $22.95, it is a steal.

Herrera, Juan Felipe. Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2008.

Negrón, Luis. Mundo Cruel: Stories. 2010. Trans. Suzanne Jill Levine. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2013.

I ordered these two books from amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers after reading about them in Michael Dowdy’s article “Ten Must-Read Latino Books” from the September 2017 issue of The Writer’s Chronicle. I haven’t read either author before. I read Negrón’s collection a few nights ago and it is heartbreaking and beautiful. I will be teaching it in my queer literature course as well.

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Books Acquired Recently

Fitzpatrick, Cat, and Casey Plett, ed. Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers. New York: Topside Press, 2017.

Plett recently sent me a review copy of this anthology, which comes out in September. It is massive, nearly 500 pages in length. I love the work that Topside publishes and am very much looking forward to reading it.

Fox, Rose, and Daniel José Older, ed. Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History. Framingham, MA: Crossed Genres Publications, 2014.

Salih, Tayeb. Season of Migration to the North. 1969. Trans. Denys Johnson-Davies. New York: New York Review Books, 2009.

I bought these two books from amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers after reading about them in this interview with Sofia Samatar. I love Long Hidden‘s concept of gathering stories in an intersectional manner from various minority groups rather than just focusing on a specific group. This anthological practice is a rare one which I wish was more common.

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Casey Plett’s A Safe Girl to Love

I just had a review of Casey Plett’s short story collection A Safe Girl to Love published in Mennonite Life. It’s an excellent, important book that anyone interested in good literature should read. You can read the review here.

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Books Acquired Recently

Castillo, Ana. Give It To Me. New York: Feminist, 2014.

I read the first draft of this book when Castillo and I were colleagues at Westminster College for a semester and loved it. It is sexy, humorous, and scandalous. I bought it as soon as I found out it had been released.

This, Plett’s, and Samatar’s books were acquired from amazon.com’s network of independent sellers.

Hanh, Thich Nhat. You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment. Boston: Shambhala, 2010.

I have been struggling to stay in the present recently and was feeling the need for some guidance about how to do so. I came across this book in the “Eastern Religions” section of my local Barnes & Noble and decided to buy it in part because it sounded like what I was looking for and in part because I have had a number of friends recommend Hanh’s writing to me. I have read the first few chapters, which have been fantastic.

Larkin, Philip. Collected Poems. Ed. Anthony Thwaite. New York: Farrar, 2004.

I’ve been meaning to read Larkin for quite some time, and have not read any poetry for a while, so earlier this week when I was in the campus bookstore checking to see whether the books for my courses had come in and I saw that one of my colleagues has assigned this book for one of his courses I bought it.

Pashley, Jennifer. The Conjurer. Syracuse: Standing Stone, 2013.

I received this as a belated holiday gift. I really enjoyed Pashley’s other collection of stories, States, so I am eager to read this one.

Plett, Casey. A Safe Girl To Love. New York: Topside, 2014.

I was super-excited to buy this book, as I have read and enjoyed several of Plett’s short stories. I read through it in one sitting last night. It is excellent writing, though emotionally draining (which are not necessarily mutually exclusive characteristics).

Samatar, Sofia. A Stranger in Olondria: Being the Complete Memoirs of the Mystic, Jevick of Tyom. Easthampton: Small Beer, 2013.

I recently heard about this book via my alma mater Goshen College’s alumni magazine. Samatar is also a Goshen grad. Very little Mennonite literature (Goshen is a Mennonite school and Samatar was raised Mennonite) is written in the fantasy genre, so this is an important addition to the field.

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Books Acquired Recently

All of these books were bought with an eye toward my impending summer break, which begins in three weeks!

Ames, Greg. Buffalo Lockjaw. New York: Hyperion, 2009.

Greg Ames gave a reading from his novel-in-progress at Utica College this past week, and I enjoyed it to the point where I decided to buy a copy of his previous book. He has an engaging, DeLillo-esque writing voice that my students also found engaging.

Buell, Lawrence. The Dream of the Great American Novel. Cambridge: Belknap-Harvard, 2014.

This hefty tome received a good review in the New Yorker recently, and I decided to buy it because it looks like it could be helpful for my teaching of American literature. In looking through the table of contents, it is clear that Buell pays attention to ethnic minority writers; we shall see whether he does an equally good job of acknowledging queer writers as well.

Plett, Casey. Lizzy & Annie. Illus. Annie Mok. N.p.: Fireball, 2014.

This illustrated chapbook is a story from one of my favorite queer (and Mennonite!) writers, who also has a collection of short stories coming out from Topside Press this summer. Lizzy & Annie only cost $5.00, and you can buy it here (scroll down to the bottom right for purchasing information).

Wiebe, Rudy. First and Vital Candle. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1966.

I’ve thought about reading this, Wiebe’s second novel, on and off for the past decade or so, and since I’ve been thinking a lot about Mennonite literature lately I decided to finally take the plunge. (However, rather famously among Mennonite literary circles, the book does not actually contain any Mennonite characters, which is partly why it has taken me so long to get around to reading it.) I was able to find a copy of the first Eerdmans edition in fine condition from one of amazon.com’s independent booksellers; there are a few rips in the dust jacket, but the volume itself is in excellent shape.

The way this first American edition was marketed (it was published at the same time in Canada by a more prestigious secular publisher, McClelland and Stewart) is fascinating. The dust jacket includes several blurbs extolling the novel’s Christian aspects. Clyde S. Kilby writes that “[t]his novel stands very close to the top among evangelical novels of this century,” and Charles A. Huttar adds that “Mr. Wiebe is remarkable among Christian novelists for his craftsmanship.” I know that later in his career (which is still ongoing, as rumor has it that Wiebe will soon publish a sequel to his first [highly controversial] novel, Peace Shall Destroy Many), Wiebe would strongly object to being pigeonholed as a “Christian novelist” instead of simply a “novelist,” so I wonder what his reaction to these meant-to-be-laudatory words was.

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Books Acquired Recently

Binnie, Imogen. Nevada. New York: Topside, 2013.

As I mentioned in a recent post, I ordered this book from the publisher (Topside Press is a fantastic new venture dedicated to publishing transgender literature) after reading a glowing review of it by Casey Plett. I am excited to read it soon, perhaps this weekend.

Gregg, Melissa, and Gregory J. Seigworth, eds. The Affect Theory Reader. Durham: Duke UP, 2010.

I bought this book because I only have a vague idea of what affect theory is about. It sounds fascinating.

This and Grafton’s book were bought on amazon.com.

Grafton, Anthony. The Footnote: A Curious History. 1997. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1999.

I am totally addicted to footnotes, and have been since I was an undergraduate. I decided to break down and buy Grafton’s history of the form after recently reading some criticism on David Foster Wallace’s use of them. I prefer footnotes to endnotes, but MLA style calls for endnotes, so that’s what I normally use. But footnotes are much more user friendly.

Lehman, Joanne. Driving in the Fog. Georgetown: Finishing Line, 2013.

I heard about this chapbook of poems from a friend who knows Lehman and pre-ordered it from the publisher several months ago (Lehman is a Mennonite, which is why the book sounded interesting to me). Then I promptly forgot about it. It was thus a nice surprise to receive it in my mailbox yesterday!

Schott, Penelope Scambly. Lillie was a goddess, Lillie was a whore. Woodstock: Mayapple, 2013.

I received a review copy of this collection of poetry from Your Impossible Voice, a new online literary journal that I’ll be writing some reviews for. It is exciting to be a part of the early days of a new publishing venture! Schott’s book is about Lilith, Adam’s first wife, and one of my favorite mythological figures (her story didn’t make it into the Bible because she insisted that she be on top during sex). I am looking forward to reading it.

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Once Again I Bow at the Altar of Books

Regular readers of this blog know that the sizeable majority of my posts are of the “Books Acquired Recently” variety, but I really do try to keep my book-buying addiction to a minimum. Really. And then something like Casey Plett’s review of Imogen Binnie’s new novel shows up in my WordPress reader and I have to go buy the book right away. It’s really not my fault, at all.

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