Tag Archives: literature

Books Acquired Recently

Castillo, Ana. Black Dove: Mamá, Mi’jo, and Me. New York: Feminist Press, 2016.

I am currently writing about Castillo and bought this memoir-in-essays as part of my research. I read it in one sitting yesterday and it is fantastic. Everyone should read it.

Kauffman, Rebecca. Another Place You’ve Never Been. Berkeley, CA: Soft Skull Press, 2016.

—. The Gunners. Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint, 2018.

I just heard about Kauffman from a former professor of mine. She was raised Mennonite in Ohio and thus fits in with my primary research area, Mennonite literature. I look forward to reading her books.

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Books Acquired Recently

Castillo, Ana. Massacre of the Dreamers: Essays on Xicanisma. Updated edition. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2014.

I am working on an essay about Castillo, one of the most significant Latinx authors in the U.S. during the past several decades, and bought this and Trujillo’s book as part of my research for it. I purchased it from amazon.com.

Kasdorf, Julia Spicher, and Steven Rubin. Shale Play: Poems and Photographs from the Fracking Fields. University Park: Pennsylvania University Press, 2018.

Kasdorf is one of the most important Mennonite poets and has been a major influence on my thinking, so I bought this book from the publisher as soon as it was released and read it immediately. It is an excellent, heartbreaking book. Be grateful if, like I do, you live in a state that has banned fracking because it is a horrible, destructive practice.

Trujillo, Carla. Chicana Lesbians: The Girls Our Mothers Warned Us About. Berkeley, CA: Third Woman Press, 1991.

I’ve begun reading this anthology and am enjoying it thus far. I appreciate that it includes a number of genres. I’ve heard of some of the writers, but as with most older anthologies I encounter, I am more compelled by wondering about what happened to all of the other contributors who have fallen by the wayside, who had to be well enough known by someone to get included in the anthology but then moved onto other things. I purchased it from abebooks.com.

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Queer Mennonite Literature Special Issue

The issue of the Journal of Mennonite Writing that I guest-edited on Queer Mennonite Literature is now out, and you can access it free here. It includes work by nine writers across the genres of poetry, fiction, personal essay, photography, and academic essay. Check it out!

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Books Acquired Recently: Powell’s Edition

I recently visited Oregon for the first time, and as part of my trip made a pilgrimage to Powell’s City of Books. It is a majestic bookshop, the best I have ever been in. I had a limited amount of time there and thus did not have time to explore it fully, but still ended up buying four books, a t-shirt, and a magnet (“Fuck Your Wall”). I was specifically looking for Lorde’s and Hopkinson’s books, and the other two just grabbed me (Johnson’s because it is signed). I was impressed by how the store felt like a queer space–there were queer books displayed everywhere, not only in the LGBTQ section, which itself was impressive. The four books I acquired are all queer, and I only found one of them, Johnson’s, in this section. Lorde’s and Tolbert and Peterson’s were on endcaps; I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen queer literature highlighted so prominently before in a general bookstore.

Hopkinson, Nalo. Falling in Love with Hominids. San Francisco: Tachyon Publications, 2015.

Johnson, Chelsey. Stray City. New York: Custom House, 2018.

Lorde, Audre. The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde. 1997. New York: W.W. Norton, 2000.

Tolbert, TC, and Trace Peterson, eds. Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics. Callicoon, NY: Nightboat Books, 2013.

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Books Acquired Recently

Dueck, J. Alicia. Negotiating Sexual Identities: Lesbian, Gay, and Queer Perspectives on Being Mennonite. Zurich, Switzerland: LIT Verlag, 2012.

I recently came across a citation of this study in an article by Dueck (now Dueck-Read–she’s married her girlfriend since the book came out 🙂  ) herself. I am always hesitant about citing myself (and thus am a little suspicious of others who do so) because it feels prideful. However, I often do because there just aren’t other people writing about queer Mennonite literature, so there is nothing else to cite. So I am very glad that Dueck cited herself so that I could hear about her book since she is writing in the same vein. I am also incredibly frustrated that she has apparently been unable to find a North American venue for it. This kind of queer Mennonite work is so necessary here, and so inaccessible. I was able to find this copy of her book from a German bookseller via amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers and it took nearly two months to get here.

Tamblyn, Amber. Any Man. New York: HarperPerennial, 2018.

I recently received this novel as a gift. It apparently has a fascinating (and I’m assuming feminist) premise: it is about a woman who is a serial rapist of men. I’m looking forward to reading it on my upcoming vacation.

Winterson, Jeanette. The Gap of Time: “The Winter’s Tale” Retold. New York: Hogarth, 2015.

I found a new, remaindered copy of this hardcover for $5.97 at Walmart this evening, and bought it partly because I love Winterson’s writing and partly because I was shocked to find a book by a queer author there and wanted to encourage such diversity. The novel is part of Hogarth’s series of Shakespeare adaptations by contemporary authors. I’m not a big fan of Shakespeare, so didn’t buy it for $25.00 when it first came out, but had to buy it at the current price.

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Books Acquired Recently

Good, Merle. Surviving Failure (and a Few Successes). Lancaster, PA: Walnut Street Books, 2018.

Good is one of the first Mennonite writers from the United States (his novel Happy as the Grass was Green came out in 1971), and he and his wife Phyllis were the owners of Good Books, which published a number of important titles in the field of Mennonite studies. I bought his new memoir as soon as I heard about it because I am interested in reading about the unfortunate demise of Good Books in his own words.

I purchased this book and Haslip-Viera’s from amazon.com.

Haslip-Viera, Gabriel, ed. Taíno Revival: Critical Perspectives on Puerto Rican Identity and Cultural Politics. Princeton, NJ: Markus Wiener Publishers, 2001.

As I continue to explore my Puerto Rican heritage I have been searching for more information about the island’s pre-colonial history and its traces in Puerto Rican society today. This book is one of the very few I was able to find on the subject, so I bought it despite its age.

Underwood, Upton Uxbridge. Poets Ranked by Beard Weight: The Commemorative Edition. New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2011.

I received this book, a spoof that claims to be an Edwardian classic, from a friend. Of course I love beards, so it will be interesting to read.

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Books Acquired Recently: Dove & Hudson Edition

Yesterday I made a trip to Dove & Hudson Old Books in Albany, one of my favorite bookstores and the best I’ve found in the state of New York other than the Strand. I only bought four books because I’ve been spending a lot on books lately, but there were a number of others that I also considered.

Espada, Martín. Alabanza: New and Selected Poems 1982-2002. 2003. New York: W.W. Norton, 2004.

I love Espada’s work and was happy to find this copy of his selected poems for only $5.00.

Hall, Donald. Seasons at Eagle Pond. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1987.

I enjoy Hall’s poetry and the bits of his prose that I have read. I’ve been thinking a lot about memoir lately and am usually thinking about place, so this book about his family farm jumped out at me.

Lethem, Jonathan. You Don’t Love Me Yet. 2007. New York: Vintage, 2008.

I enjoy Lethem’s fiction, but haven’t read any of it for a while, and haven’t read any of his shorter books. The blurb on this one caught my attention.

Sackville-West, Vita. Family History. 1932. London: Virago Press, 1986.

I was looking for another book when I came across this one for only $3.50, and decided to buy it because I am a sucker for old paperbacks.

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