Tag Archives: John Rechy

Books Acquired Recently: Half Queer, Half Mennonite Edition


As I have written here a number of times before, the “problem” with reading a lot of queer theory is that I am constantly encountering citations of other queer books that I want to acquire and read. I bought the three following books as a result of reading other queer writers. Cherry’s and Rechy’s books were specifically cited in my recent reading, and I discovered Brintnall, Marchal, and Moore’s book (which came out in November, but has a copyright date of 2018) while searching for some queer theology to read after a colleague suggested that I do so.

I purchased all three from amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers.

Brintnall, Kent L., Joseph A. Marchal, and Stephen D. Moore, ed. Sexual Disorientations: Queer Temporalities, Affects, Theologies. New York: Fordham University Press, 2018.

Fordham University’s main campus is in the Bronx, so it is interesting that they have their Press located in Manhattan. (They have a satellite campus in Manhattan, but the Press predates it.) The church I went to when I lived in the Bronx, North Bronx Mennonite, used to meet in a chapel on Fordham’s campus.

Cherry, Kittredge. Jesus in Love. Berkeley, CA: AndroGyne Press, 2006.

When my copy of this novel came in the mail I was happy to discover that it was autographed by the author.

Rechy, John. The Sexual Outlaw: A Documentary. New York: Grove Press, 1977.


One of my former college professors, Ervin Beck, sent me some Mennonite literature that was recently discarded by the College Mennonite Church (in Goshen, Indiana; I did an internship there nearly twenty years ago) library.

Miller, Levi. Ben’s Wayne. Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 1989.

Rich, Elaine Sommers. Pondered in Her Heart. Newton, KS: Wordsworth, 1998.

Rimland, Ingrid. The Wanderers: The Saga of Three Women Who Survived. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1977.

I did a report on this novel in Beck’s 2001 Mennonite literature course, so I am excited to encounter it again. It is a controversial text because it implies that the Nazis weren’t that bad because they were German (note that some Mennonites in North America still hold church services in German), which is unfortunately an attitude that a lot of Mennonites in the 1940s shared.


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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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The New Header Photograph

I decided to update the header photograph of my blog to celebrate my recent transition to Utica, New York. I never feel truly at home in a new place until all of my books are displayed on their shelves, so the new photograph symbolizes my new identity as a Utican. Also, the previous header photograph depicted a shelf from my poetry bookcase, and I felt it was time to go back to paying homage to my first love, fiction.

I chose a photograph of my P-R shelf because it includes representative texts from my favorite subject areas. There is Ishmael Reed’s Mumbo Jumbo, one of my favorite African American novels; Alice Randall’s incisive parody of Gone With the Wind, The Wind Done Gone; and a Latino text, Tomás Rivera’s The Earth Did Not Devour Them. There are several queer texts, including John Rechy’s City of Night and Pauline Réage’s Story of O. There is a germinal feminist novel, Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea. Alain Robbe-Grillet’s The Voyeur and two of Thomas Pynchon’s novels represent postmodern fiction while in close proximity with books by one of England’s first novelists, Samuel Richardson. Works by two of my favorite authors from the past, Chaim Potok and Philip Roth, are also present. This shelf would make a lovely autumn reading list for anyone.

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