One of my colleagues is retiring after this semester, and she gave me some of her books dealing with African American literature because it is one of my research interests. I am happy to preserve some of her library by integrating it into my own. Several of the paperbacks are from the 1970s and have some seriously groovy covers.
I also just got three more desk copies for next semester in the mail, so it was a good day for books!
Chesnutt, Charles W. The Portable Charles W. Chesnutt. Ed. William L. Andrews. New York: Penguin, 2008.
I have another collection of Chesnutt’s short stories published by Mentor, but this volume also includes Chesnutt’s novel The Marrow of Tradition and some essays. And, of course, it is always good to acquire a Penguin paperback.
Fitzgerald, F. Scott. The Great Gatsby. 1925. New York: Scribner, 2004.
Sadly, the earlier Scribner paperback edition that I was assigned in high school and have myself assigned previously is now out of print. This one was necessary to acquire because it has different page numbers.
Flowers, Arthur. Another Good Loving Blues. 1993. New York: Ballantine, 1994.
This book is inscribed by the author.
Gilyard, Keith, ed. Spirit & Flame: An Anthology of Contemporary African American Poetry. Syracuse: Syracuse UP, 1997.
This one is also inscribed by the author.
Klosterman, Chuck. Downtown Owl. 2008. New York: Scribner, 2009.
I have taught some of Klosterman’s essays before, but next semester will be the first time I teach any of his fiction. I am excited to see what my students think of him. I think they will love this book, but their tastes often surprise me.
Lunsford, Andrea A., John J. Ruszkiewicz, and Keith Walters. Everything’s An Argument, with Readings. 6th ed. Boston: Bedford, 2013.
I’ll be using this book in my writing class for the first time in about a decade. I enjoyed it before, then tried other strategies and texts, and now have decided to go back to it and see how it has aged as a text and how I have aged as an instructor.
McKay, Claude. Banana Bottom. 1933. San Diego: Harvest, 1961.
This book has a price tag from the Strand on the front cover! It was on sale for $1.95–regularly $6.95.
Reed, Ishmael. The Last Days of Louisiana Red. 1974. New York: Bard, 1976.
I’ve enjoyed the bit of Reed’s fiction that I have read in the past, and look forward to reading this novel. The blurb on the front cover from the Village Voice calls it a “saucy underground classic.” Say no more!
Toomer, Jean. Cane. 1923. New York: Norton, 2003.
I have the Liveright edition of this novel, but it’s always nice to have a copy of one of Norton’s critical editions as well.
Washington, Mary Helen, ed. Black-Eyed Susans: Classic Stories by and About Black Women. New York: Anchor, 1975.
Morrison, Walker, Bambara, et al. A great period piece.
Yerby, Frank. The Vixens. New York: Dial, 1947.
This nearly seventy-year-old book is in excellent condition.
Youngblood, Shay. Soul Kiss. 1997. New York: Riverhead, 1998.
The least-exciting looking book of the bunch, but it was good enough to make it into paperback, so we’ll see.