Tag Archives: Mennonites

Books Acquired Recently

Castillo, Ana. Sapogonia: An Anti-Romance in 3/8 Meter. New York: Anchor Books, 1994.

I’ve read most of Castillo’s earlier work, but somehow this novel slipped my notice, perhaps because it is now out of print. I decided to read it as part of my research for the paper I am writing on her novel Give It to Me.

This and Groff’s book were bought from amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers.

Groff, Lauren. The Monsters of Templeton. New York: Hyperion, 2008.

I recently heard about the Mennonite writer Lauren Groff, and bought this book in order to investigate her work.

Miller, Todd. Storming the Wall: Climate Change, Migration, and Homeland Security. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2017.

Earlier this summer I went to to Arizona and Sonora on a learning tour about the border, and we met with Miller to talk about his writing on the relationships between border issues and climate change. This conversation made me decide to buy his book. I read it over the weekend and it is quite sobering. He says that our civilization is dying, and I think he’s right. The problem is that no one in government seems to realize it.

This and Wiebe’s book were bought from amazon.com.

Wiebe, Katie Funk. You Never Gave Me a Name: One Mennonite Woman’s Story. Telford, PA: DreamSeeker Books, 2009.

Wiebe is an important Mennonite writer in the older sense of the term (i.e., someone who wrote in service to the church, often for church periodicals, rather than someone who writes literature as art, a definition that is not meant to disparage the former kind of writing but simply to note that it is very different from what the term “Mennonite writer” means now), and I’ve known her name since I was a child because my mother had several of her books, but I’ve never actually read any of her work. I decided to purchase her autobiography to get a better sense of her life and her writing.

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Books Acquired Recently: Lauren Groff Edition

I recently heard about the author Lauren Groff, who is of Mennonite background even though she does not apparently identify as Mennonite. Well, we Mennonite literary critics name Mennonite writers as such whether they like it or not, so guess what, Lauren Groff, you’re a Mennonite writer! Don’t try to fight it! Join the dark side! We have baked goods.

Anyway, I bought her books from amazon.com because of the Mennonite connection.

Groff, Lauren. Arcadia. 2012. New York: Hachette Books, 2015.

—. Delicate Edible Birds and Other Stories. 2009. New York: Hachette Books, 2015.

Weirdly, this reprint is also a hardcover rather than a paperback.

—. Fates and Furies. New York: Riverhead Books, 2015.

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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

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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