Tag Archives: Mennonites

Book Acquired Recently: Shelter Management by Abigail Carl-Klassen

Carl-Klassen, Abigail. Shelter Management. Chicago: Dancing Girl Press & Studio, 2017.

I received this chapbook of poems in the mail a few days ago. Carl-Klassen is a member of the second generation of Mennonite writers and a good friend, so I pre-ordered the book as soon as I could and it finally arrived. I’ve already read through it and it is excellent. Anyone interested in social justice will enjoy it. You can order it here.

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Books Acquired Recently: 2012 Edition

Mann, Jeff. Purgatory: A Novel of the Civil War. Maple Shade, NJ: Bear Bones Books, 2012.

I recently heard about this piece of gay erotica from a friend who thought she was acquiring another book–the cover and first few pages were of the book she thought she was getting–but found a piece of Purgatory bound inside the cover instead. A weird printing error that is certainly “queer”! I liked her story so much I decided to buy Mann’s book itself and check it out.

Stuckey, Priscilla. Kissed by a Fox and Other Stories of Friendship in Nature. Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint Press, 2012.

I recently read an interview with Stuckey, a Mennonite writer, about her nature writing. It intrigued me enough that I decided to buy her first book to see what her work is like. The copy I got is inscribed by her, which is always a nice surprise.

Both books were acquired from amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers.

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Books Acquired Recently: Cincinnati Edition

This weekend I went to the Cincinnati Mennonite Arts Weekend for the first time. It was so much fun! Of course I bought some books. I also visited the Half Price Books near my hotel, where I purchased Roberts’, Brown’s, and Sohl’s texts.

Brown, Rita Mae. Poems. Freedom, CA: Crossing Press, 1987.

I love Brown’s classic lesbian novel Rubyfruit Jungle, but am unfamiliar with her poetry. I got this copy of her early poems in excellent shape for only $5.48.

Lachman, Becca J.R. Other Acreage. Boston: Gold Wake Press, 2015.

Lachman was one of the featured speakers at the event, and I was able to have my copy of her book signed, something that is still always exciting!

Roberts, JR. Black Lesbians: An Annotated Bibliography. Tallahassee, FL: Naiad Press, 1981.

I bought this book simply for archiving purposes because I love old books. It’s in great shape and I got it for only $2.98. It is an excellent example of the hugely important preservation and recovery work undertaken by feminists and queers in the 1970s and early 1980s that got published by tiny independent presses because large publishers assumed (often incorrectly) that there was not a market for it.

Samatar, Del, and Sofia Samatar. Monster Portraits. Brookline, MA: Rose Metal Press, 2018.

I am friends with Sofia Samatar and hanging out with her was one of the highlights of my weekend. Her new book, which includes artwork by her brother that she then responds to in prose, is officially coming out later this month, but she had some copies with her for sale.

Sohl, Jerry. Night Slaves. Greenwich, CT: Gold Medal Books, 1965.

Half Price Books had a rack at the front of the store full of old pulp fiction paperbacks. I bought this one for $3.00 because it sounds kinky: the villain keeps the inhabitants of a planet hypnotized and the hero has to try to stop him.

Wideman, Johnny. This Will Lead to Dancing. Stouffville, ON: Theatre of the Beat, 2014.

—. To Aid Digestion: A Collection of Short Stories and Poems. Stouffville, ON: Theatre of the Beat, 2017.

I had never heard of Theatre of the Beat, a Mennonite acting troupe, but they gave an amazing, moving performance of This Will Lead to Dancing on Saturday afternoon. Their work is focused on queer issues, and is thus immediately relevant to my scholarship on queer Mennonite literature.

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Books Acquired Recently: Half Queer, Half Mennonite Edition

Queer

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.

Mennonite

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: All Queer Edition

Bannon, Ann. I am a Woman. 1959. Eastford, CT: Martino Fine Books, 2016.

I am teaching this novel in my Queer Literature course next semester. When I went to put the book order in for it, I discovered to my dismay that the Cleis Press edition is no longer in print. However, happily Martino has an enlarged facsimile of the 1959 Fawcett first edition in print (the Martino volume is trade paperback size rather mass market paperback size) for a reasonable price.

I purchased this book and Torres’s novel from amazon.com.

Castiglia, Christopher, and Christopher Reed. If Memory Serves: Gay Men, AIDS, and the Promise of the Queer Past. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012.

I have had this book on my amazon.com wishlist for a while and recently saw that it was on sale, so I decided that now was the time to buy it.

I purchased this book and Cheng’s book from amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers.

Cheng, Patrick S. Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer Theology. New York: Seabury Books, 2011.

My recent explorations of queer Mennonite literature have been purely from a literary perspective, influenced by both queer theory and Mennonite Studies. But I thought it would be helpful to read some about how non-Mennonite scholars think about queerness theologically. When I was looking for texts about queer theology on amazon.com, I saw that Cheng’s had a thorough, positive review from a Mennonite reviewer (Jeremy Garber), so I decided that it was the book for me!

Torres, Tereska. Women’s Barracks. Trans. George Cummings. 1950. New York: Feminist Press, 2012.

I have known about this book, which is considered a lesbian pulp classic, for a while, and decided that it would be contextually helpful to read it now in preparation for teaching some lesbian pulp next semester.

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Books Acquired Recently

A bunch of books arrived all at once this past week, so now I have plenty of reading material for the upcoming Winter Break!

Laing, Olivia. The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone. New York: Picador, 2016.

I read a review of this book when it came out and it sounded interesting both because I love cities and because I am an introvert and enjoy being alone. I finally got around to buying it.

I purchased Laing’s, Nicholson’s, and Oyeyemi’s books from amazon.com.

Nicholson, Hope. Love Beyond Body, Space & Time: An Indigenous LGBT Sci-Fi Anthology. Winnipeg: Bedside Press, 2016.

Oyeyemi, Helen. What is Not Yours is Not Yours: Stories. 2016. New York: Riverhead Books, 2017.

I recently read about these two books in an article by Casey from Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian and decided to buy them immediately because of my love of queer literature and my desire to encounter as many queer authors as possible. The fact that the title of Nicholson’s book does not use the Oxford Comma is driving me nuts.

Rice-González, Charles. Chulito. New York: Magnus Books, 2011.

I encountered this and Rivera’s novel (both which were bought from amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers) in a paper title while I was perusing the program for the 2018 MLA convention. I had never heard of either one, but am always happy to encounter queer Latinx narratives, so I bought them both right away.

Rich, Adrienne. Adrienne Rich’s Poetry and Prose. Edited by Barbara Charlesworth Gelpi and Albert Gelpi. New York: W.W. Norton, 1993.

I saw an ad for a new edition of this book in the September issue of PMLA. I requested an exam copy from the publisher, but they accidentally sent me the older edition. I did not have a copy of the 1993 edition, so I have been reading it and enjoying it thus far.

Rivera, Gabby. Juliet Takes a Breath. Riverdale, NY: Riverdale Avenue Books, 2016.

Schroeder, Karl. Lockstep. 2014. New York: Tor, 2015.

A friend of mine recently told me about Schroeder, who is a Canadian Mennonite speculative fiction writer. I decided to buy one of his books because I am interested in writing more scholarship about Mennonite speculative fiction, a field that has recently been growing explosively.

Taylor, Valerie. The Girls in 3B. 1959. New York: Feminist Press, 2012.

I received a desk copy of this pulp fiction classic from the publisher because I am planning to include it in my queer literature class next semester. I read it a few days ago and quite enjoyed it.

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Book Acquired Recently: J. Denny Weaver’s Education with the Grain of the Universe

Weaver, J. Denny, ed. Education with the Grain of the Universe: A Peaceable Vision for the Future of Mennonite Schools, Colleges, and Universities. Telford, PA: Cascadia Publishing House, 2017.

I have an essay in this book about the Canadian Mennonite writer Greg Bechtel’s “Smut Stories” from his book Boundary Problems. My author’s copy came in the mail a few days ago. The book is fascinating because it is a collection of essays by mostly youngish Mennonite Studies scholars from a number of disciplines, including literature, theology, history, and the sciences.  You can purchase a copy here.

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