Tag Archives: Puerto Rico

Books Acquired Recently

Díaz, Jaquira. Ordinary Girls: A Memoir. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2019.

I read an interview with Díaz in Poets & Writers a few months ago about this book and pre-ordered it immediately because I am looking for as many Puerto Rican memoirs as I can find since I am working on my own.

Machado, Carmen Maria. In the Dream House: A Memoir. Minneapolis: Gray Wolf Press, 2019.

I love Machado’s short story collection and have been eagerly anticipating this memoir ever since I heard about it a year ago. It just came out this week and my copy arrived yesterday. Twitter has been going crazy with praise for it (I just got a Twitter account! @shankcruz–follow me and I’ll follow you back), and I can’t wait to read it this weekend.

Muradyan, Luisa. American Radiance. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2018.

Muradyan gave a fantastic poetry reading at Utica College yesterday, and I bought her book and got it signed. I love how her work is infused with 1980s pop culture, kind of like an ’80s version of Frank O’Hara.

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Books Acquired Recently

Collins, Patricia Hill. Intersectionality as Critical Social Theory. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019.

As per usual with books from Duke University Press, I got a promotional email about this book and decided to order it immediately from them (they always give a 30% discount with the code SAVE30) because it is relevant for my research. They should really just have a subscription service for people like me!

Friend, Malcolm. Our Bruises Kept Singing Purple. Riverside, CA: Inlandia Books, 2018.

I read a friend’s review of this book recently, and as soon as I saw that it was by a fellow boricua I decided to buy it. I purchased it from amazon.com.

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Books Acquired Recently

Loveless, Natalie. How to Make Art at the End of the World: A Manifesto for Research-Creation. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019.

I received an advertisement about this book from the publisher and ordered it from them immediately because the concept of “research-creation,” a term that I had not encountered before, is similar to the hybrid writing I have been doing over the past several years.

Sánchez Korrol, Virginia E. From Colonia to Community: The History of Puerto Ricans in New York City. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994.

Sánchez Korrol, Virginia E., and Pedro Juan Hernández. Pioneros II: Puerto Ricans in New York City, 1948-1998. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2010.

I continue to explore my roots as a Nuyorican, and bought these two books to that end. I purchased them both from abebooks.com.

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Books Acquired Recently: Holiday Gift Edition

Happily, I received a number of books as gifts this holiday season!

Brown, Craig. Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017.

I have become fascinated with Princess Margaret as a result of watching The Crown and look forward to reading this oral history about her. Incidentally, it drives me nuts that FSG does not use the Oxford Comma in their company name.

Johnson, Davey, with Erik Sherman. Davey Johnson: My Wild Ride in Baseball and Beyond. Chicago: Triumph Books, 2018.

Johnson  managed the 1986 New York Mets and thus played a major role in my childhood. I read the book the day after I received it and enjoyed it, though it was not as introspective as I would have liked it to be.

Knecht, Rosalie. Who is Vera Kelly? Portland: Tin House Books, 2018.

I had not heard of Knecht, but began reading this novel as soon as I got it and enjoyed it. Her writing is beautiful and clear.

Miller, Linsey. Mask of Shadows. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks Fire, 2017.

I read a review of this book that intrigued me, but now I can’t remember why it intrigued me, so it will be a fun surprise when I get around to reading it!

Posey, Parker. You’re on an Airplane: A Self-Mythologizing Memoir. New York: Blue Rider Press, 2018.

I enjoy Posey’s work in Christopher Guest’s mocumentaries.

Sánchez González, Lisa. Boricua Literature: A Literary History of the Puerto Rican Diaspora. New York: New York University Press, 2001.

I still do not know nearly enough about Puerto Rican literature in either the U.S. or on the island, and am thus excited to read this book.

Schaberg, Christopher. The Textual Life of Airports: Reading the Culture of Flight. 2011. New York: Bloomsbury, 2013.

I fly frequently as part of my job and thus spend a depressing amount of time in airports. I look forward to reading this book about literary representations of that experience.

Shapiro, Bill, with Naomi Wax. What We Keep: 150 People Share the One Object That Brings Them Joy, Magic, and Meaning. Philadelphia: Running Press, 2018.

A friend recently posted about this book on Facebook and I wanted to buy it immediately because I am very interested in the issue of personal archiving and am teaching a course on it this coming semester. I bought it with a Barnes & Noble gift certificate that I received.

Wiebe, Joseph R. The Place of Imagination: Wendell Berry and the Poetics of Community, Affection, and Identity. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2017.

I read a review of this book and it sounded interesting because of its methodology of reading literature theologically. I can’t stand Wendell Berry, but I am hoping that I can pick up some writing tools from Wiebe’s approach.

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Books Acquired Recently

Hostetler, Ann. Safehold. Telford, PA: DreamSeeker Books, 2018.

Hostetler is best-known for her 2003 anthology of Mennonite poetry A Cappella, but she is also an accomplished poet herself. Safehold is her second collection. I ordered it as soon as it was released. For some reason amazon.com didn’t have it right away, so I acquired it from Barnes & Noble.

Newton, Esther. My Butch Career: A Memoir. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018.

Lately I have been reading a lot of memoir, especially queer memoir, an interest that has stemmed from my teaching of memoir in my writing classes over the past few years. Queer life writing is incredibly important during this repressive age. I was able to get an examination copy of this book from the publisher because I am looking for some memoirs to include the next time I teach my Queer Literature course.

Vilar, Irene. The Ladies’ Gallery: A Memoir of Family Secrets. Translated by Gregory Rabassa. 1996. New York: Vintage Books, 1998.

I found this book online while searching for more information about the Puerto Rican freedom fighter Lolita Lebrón. Vilar is Lebrón’s granddaughter and her book is about the women in her family. I purchased it from Powell’s.

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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

Agüeros, Jack. “Dominoes” and Other Stories from the Puerto Rican. Willimantic, CT: Curbstone Press, 1993.

—. Sonnets from the Puerto Rican. Brooklyn: Hanging Loose Press, 1996.

I recently finished reading Roberto Márquez’s anthology Puerto Rican Poetry: An Anthology from Aboriginal to Contemporary Times, and discovered through it a number of writers whose work I would like to read more of. I purchased Agüeros’s books and the Morales’s book as a start to this curriculum.

Butler, Isaac, and Dan Kois. The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of “Angels in America.” New York: Bloomsbury, 2018.

Tony Kushner’s Angels in America is my favorite play (though I must say that I hate the revised version that came out in 2013, which is clunky in comparison to the original), so I bought this oral history about the play’s history as soon as I heard about it.

Morales, Aurora Levins, and Rosario Morales. Getting Home Alive. Ithaca, NY: Firebrand Books, 1986.

This is a book of poetry by a mother (Rosario) and daughter (Aurora). When I received the book I happily discovered that it is signed by Aurora.

All four books were purchased from amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers.

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