Tag Archives: Samuel R. Delany

Books Acquired Recently

Delany, Samuel R. Voyage, Orestes! [A Surviving Novel Fragment]. Whitmore Lake, MI: Bamberger Books, 2019.

This fragment of  Delany’s legendary long-lost novel just came out. As I’ve written here a number of times before, I am obsessed with his work, so I purchased it immediately from amazon.com.

Gatchalian, C.E. Double Melancholy: Art, Beauty, and the Making of a Brown Queer Man. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2019.

I have been reading lots of queer memoirs lately as research for my own writing. This book looks to be similar to my own project, a mix of memoir and scholarship, thus I am hopeful that it will be a helpful model. I purchased it directly from the publisher.

Green, Karen. Bough Down. Los Angeles: Siglio Press, 2013.

I bought this book because it is by David Foster Wallace’s widow. It is another hybrid memoir with lots of illustrations. The book itself is beautiful. I purchased it and Greenwell’s book online from Powell’s because I am trying to shop less at amazon. I didn’t realize until writing this entry that both authors’ names begin with Green, an interesting synchronicity.

Greenwell, Garth. Mitko. Oxford, OH: Miami University Press, 2011.

I saw Greenwell speak at AWP last month. I had not heard of him before but was enthralled by his speech and decided to seek out his work.

Rivers, Karen. A Possibility of Whales. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Young Readers, 2018.

I got this book as a reward for being one of Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian‘s Patreon supporters. I have not encountered Rivers’s work before but look forward to reading it.

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Books Acquired Recently

Brautigan, Richard. Revenge of the Lawn, The Abortion, So the Wind Won’t Blow It All Away: (Three Books in the Manner of Their First Editions). Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1995.

I received this omnibus edition of three of Brautigan’s books as a Valentine’s Day present. The only book by Brautigan that I’ve read is Trout Fishing in America, and that was about 17 years ago, so it will be good to have a fresh dive into his work.

Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master’s Guide. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2014.

Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2014.

Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2014.

Some friends and I have recently started playing Dungeons & Dragons (yes, dear reader, it was possible for me to get even more nerdy). After completing our first adventure, we decided that we want to continue playing, so I decided to buy the box set of playing manuals. I purchased these, Williams’s, and Womack’s books from amazon.com.

Williams, David. When the English Fall. 2017. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books, 2018.

This is a novel about how the Amish fare after an apocalyptic natural event. It sounds like a similar premise as Leigh Brackett’s science fiction classic The Long Tomorrow, which assumes that Mennonites will come to prominence after the fall of current American society because they are used to living simply without modern technology. Williams’s biographical statement says he is a Presbyterian, but in his author photo he is wearing an Amish-style beard, so I wonder if he is ex-Amish or has Amish ancestry.

Womack, Ytasha L. Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture. Chicago: Lawrence Hill Books, 2013.

My current research project is about two African American speculative fiction writers, Samuel R. Delany and Sofia Samatar, so I thought I should do some reading about Afrofuturism, which I know a little about, but not much.

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Books Acquired Recently: Ithaca Book Sale Edition

Today I attended the Friends of the Tompkins County Public Library Book Sale in Ithaca, New York, for the first time. It is a huge semi-annual used book sale with ridiculously low prices (most of the books I bought–both hard- and softcover–were $0.25, and the mass market paperbacks [Amis, Knowles, and Zelazny] were $0.10, so eleven books for $2.30 plus tax). It was quite well attended by both adults and children, so much so that at times it was difficult to maneuver through the aisles, kind of like the Strand used to be before they renovated it about ten years ago.

My esoteric tastes combined with my already sizable library mean that used bookstores/used book sales are generally hit-or-miss experiences, so I was pleasantly surprised about how many books I found to buy. Some I bought because of the price, and some (the queer ones and some of the poetry) I would have happily paid much more for. I was also somewhat depressed thinking about all of the former owners of these books, wondering what happened to them to cause them to get rid of these books, and how a lot of them are probably dead. I also thought about what it would be like to be an author and to find one of your books for sale for such a low price. Both lines of thought are terrifying if you think about them too much.

Allison, Dorothy. Skin: Talking About Sex, Class & Literature. Ithaca, NY: Firebrand Books, 1994.

I’ve encountered intriguing references to this collection of personal essays before, and was excited to find a copy of it.

Amis, Kingsley. One Fat Englishman. 1963. Harmondsworth, UK: Penguin Books, 1966.

How could I not buy a Penguin paperback with this title?

Berg, Stephen, and Robert Mezey, eds. Naked Poetry: Recent American Poetry in Open Forms. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1969.

As I have written here before, I am obsessed with poetry anthologies. I have the sequel to this seminal (my gendered word choice is intentional: Denise Levertov and Sylvia Plath are the only women included) anthology, The New Naked Poetry, and was happy to find a first edition of its predecessor, albeit without a dust jacket.

Forest, Katherine V. Curious Wine. 1983. Tallahassee, FL: Naiad Press, 1993.

I was very happy to discover that the book sale had an entire section of lesbian fiction (though not a corresponding gay fiction section) marked as such. There was an entire shelf of Naiad Press (R.I.P.) editions and I was tempted to buy the whole thing but thought it was important to leave them for others who might also be interested because I know I wouldn’t have time to read them all before the next book sale in May. So maybe I’ll buy them then if they are still around. But I decided to pick up Forest’s classic that, as its back cover says, had over 100,00 copies in print at the time this tenth anniversary edition was published.

Goodwin, Doris Kearns. Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997.

I enjoy Goodwin’s interviews in Ken Burns’s Baseball documentary and thus decided to buy her memoir about the Dodgers leaving Brooklyn. In the documentary she identifies herself as now being a Red Sox fan, a switch which is a) justifiable because when a team abandons their city is perfectly acceptable for their fans to abandon them, and b) one that has paid dividends over the past 15 years. I wonder how she felt when the Dodgers and Red Sox met in the World Series two years ago, and how she feels about their matchup again this year?

Inés de la Cruz, Sor Juana. Selected Works. Trans. Edith Grossman. New York: W.W. Norton, 2014.

This book is in basically new condition, a complete steal!

Knowles, John. A Separate Peace. 1959. New York: Dell, 1961.

I thought to myself, “I’ve enjoyed the previous Knowles novels I’ve read, so of course I’ll pick up this pulp paperback (original price $0.50) that is in lovely condition.” Then I got home and realized I was thinking of John Fowles! So we’ll see what I think of Knowles.

Millet, Catherine. The Sexual Life of Catherine M. Trans. Adriana Hunter. New York: Grove Press, 2002.

I remember reading a review of this book when it first came out in English, and have encountered references to it here and there in the years since, so I was happy to find a copy of the hardcover in very good condition.

Schulman, Sarah. People in Trouble. 1990. New York: Plume, 1991.

Another find from the lesbian fiction section.

Strand, Mark, ed. The Contemporary American Poets: American Poetry Since 1940. New York: Meridian Books, 1969.

See my comments about being obsessed with poetry anthologies above. It’s always fascinating to see which poets have lasted and which ones have not.

Zelazny, Roger. Lord of Light. 1967. New York: Avon Books, 1969.

I’ve been wanting to broaden my reading of speculative fiction and found a copy of this Hugo Award-winning book in excellent condition. One of my favorite authors, Samuel R. Delany, speaks highly of Zelazny, so I am excited to encounter his work for the first time.

 

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Books Acquired Recently

Addiss, Stephen. The Art of Haiku: Its History Through Poems and Paintings by Japanese Masters. Boston: Shambhala, 2012.

Yesterday I went to a poetry reading in Ithaca, New York, and stopped at two bookstores during the trip. I bought this book at The Bookery, a delightful, labyrinthine used bookshop.

Barnhart, Danielle, and Iris Mahan, ed. Women of Resistance: Poems for a New Feminism. New York: OR Books, 2018.

I also stopped at Buffalo Street Books in Ithaca, where I bought this new anthology and Brownstein’s memoir, which I’ve been meaning to pick up for a while since I love Portlandia. I kept seeing more and more books that I wanted to buy. It’s a dangerous place!

Brownstein, Carrie. Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir. 2015. New York: Riverhead Books, 2016.

Carlson, Paula J., and Peter S. Hawkins, ed. Listening for God: Contemporary Literature and the Life of Faith. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 1994.

My mother just retired and is working on downsizing. She just brought me some books from her library that I either had sentimental attachments to from childhood (Lewis’s, Moore’s, and Waybill’s) or thought sounded interesting. This one falls into the latter category. It’s a collection of fiction by a variety of authors dealing with finding God in the world.

Delany, Samuel R. The Atheist in the Attic Plus…. Oakland: PM Press, 2018.

I just recently discovered PM Press, a publisher of radical literature. Happily, they just published my favorite author’s latest book! It includes a novella and some essays. I bought it immediately from their website.

Lewis, C.S. A Grief Observed. 1961. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1994.

Moore, Joy Hofacker. Ted Studebaker: A Man Who Loved Peace. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1987.

Why do you get a Herald Press children’s book written about you? Because you died while doing mission work, of course!

Waybill, Marjorie Ann. Chinese Eyes. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1974.

The inscription in this book says that my parents gave it to me for Christmas when I was three.

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Books Acquired Recently

Burkholder, J. Lawrence. Recollections of a Sectarian Realist: A Mennonite Life in the Twentieth Century. Ed. Myrna Burkholder. Elkhart, IN: Institute of Mennonite Studies, 2016.

I did a paper on Burkholder, who was a rebel Mennonite theologian at Harvard (he got his Ph.D. at Princeton) before becoming president of the Mennonite-owned Goshen College, when I was an undergraduate. Burkholder was kind enough to meet me for lunch to discuss it. At the time, I thought his ideas were much too liberal, but now I appreciate his thought a lot more. I decided to buy this memoir after reading a fascinating review of it in Mennonite Quarterly Review. I purchased it online from the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary bookstore. The rest of the books were bought from amazon.com.

Cantú, Francisco. The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border. New York: Riverhead Books, 2018.

I bought this and Luiselli’s book as background reading for a writing retreat on the Arizona/Sonora border that I’ll be on next month.

Delany, Samuel R. Heavenly Breakfast: An Essay on the Winter of Love. 1979. Whitmore Lake, MI: Bamberger Books, 1997.

I have the original 1979 Bantam edition of this book, but decided to buy the newer (though still over twenty years old! I can’t believe 1997 was that long ago already.) edition because I’ll be writing an essay on it later this summer and using the newer edition (which is still available new on amazon even though I think the publisher is out of business) will be more accessible for readers.

Luiselli, Valeria. Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in Forty Questions. Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 2017.

Pérez, Hiram. A Taste for Brown Bodies: Gay Modernity and Cosmopolitan Desire. New York: New York University Press, 2015.

I would like to do more work on queer Latinx literature and bought this book because it relates to that intersection.

Rivera, Gabby. America: The Life and Times of America Chavez. Vol. 1. New York: Marvel, 2017.

I loved Rivera’s novel Juliet Takes a Breath and have been meaning to read this comic by her for a while. The book contains the first six issues of the eponymous comic. I must say that this volume is of lesser production quality than other Marvel omnibuses I have bought. The cover is quite flimsy.

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Books Acquired Recently

Del Rio, Vanessa, and Dian Hanson. Vanessa Del Rio: Fifty Years of Slightly Slutty Behavior. Cologne, Germany: Taschen, 2016.

I have come across a number of references to Vanessa Del Rio’s acting over the years. If I recall correctly, I first saw some of her work in an exhibit at the Museum of Sex in New York City. One of my favorite queer authors, Samuel R. Delany, writes fondly of her in Times Square Red, Times Square Blue.  Recently, I was reading Juana María Rodríguez’s Sexual Futures, Queer Gestures, and Other Latina Longings, and she cites Vanessa Del Rio, which is Del Rio’s autobiography, quite favorably, so I decided to buy it. I love Taschen’s high-quality books of photography, and have enjoyed several of Hanson’s books that they have published about sexuality, so I anticipate that Vanessa Del Rio will be an enjoyable, educational read.

Peterson, Zoey Leigh. Next Year for Sure. New York: Scribner, 2017.

I read a review of this novel about polyamory on Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian and it sounded quite fascinating, so I decided to buy it. I’m not sure that I’ve ever read a novel that investigates being poly as a central theme before, so it is exciting to come across this book!

Wiebe, Rudy. A Voice in the Land: Essays By and About Rudy Wiebe. Ed. W.J. Keith. Edmonton: NeWest Press, 1981.

Rudy Wiebe is the most prominent North American Mennonite writer. His influence on the field of Mennonite literature cannot be understated. In my research about his work I’ve often seen A Voice in the Land cited, but have never actually read it. I finally decided to do so.

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

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Book Acquired Recently: In Search of Silence: The Journals of Samuel R. Delany

Delany, Samuel R. In Search of Silence: The Journals of Samuel R. Delany: Volume 1, 1957-1969. Ed. Kenneth R. James. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2017.

This mammoth tome (660 pages) arrived in the mail today. Delany is one of my favorite writers, and his work has had an immeasurable effect on my thinking. I am especially fond of his personal writing and am thus excited to read these excerpts from his journals. The book is part of a proposed series of selections from his journals throughout his life; at the current pace it will take at least five volumes to complete the set. My only hesitancy about it is that it is edited by someone other than Delany (who is normally very meticulous about the presentation of his work), and I am not sure what this portends. I hope that it does not mean that Delany is not well enough to do the task himself.

I bought the book from amazon.com. It is the first book in my collection with a 2017 copyright date.

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