Tag Archives: Samuel R. Delany

Books Acquired Recently

Navratilova, Martina, with George Vecsey. Martina. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985.

I became obsessed with tennis and Navratilova when I was nine years old, and my local public library had her autobiography, so I read it avidly. Lately I’ve been writing about books that have influenced me, and in hindsight I realized that this is the first queer book I ever read. I decided that it would be helpful to read it again because I am writing about it, and I found a used copy from one of amazon.com’s independent booksellers for around $5.00.

Strahan, Jonathan, ed. The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume Twelve. Oxford, UK: Solaris, 2018.

As I have written here numerous times before, I am a huge Samuel R. Delany fan. I just recently found out that he published a novella, The Hermit of Houston, in a journal in 2017. I googled it to see where it was available and found out that it is included in Strahan’s anthology. I bought the book from Powell’s because I am trying to shop less with amazon.

Zambreno, Kate. Book of Mutter. South Pasadena, CA: Semiotext(e), 2017.

—. Green Girl. New York: Harper Perennial, 2014.

I finished reading Zambreno’s hybrid memoir Heroines last week and loved it. As a result, I decided to buy her second memoir, Book of Mutter, and one of her novels.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature, Sports

Books Acquired Recently: Gay Nostalgia Edition

Delany, Samuel R. Letters from Amherst: Five Narrative Letters. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2019.

I am a Delany fanatic so I buy all of his books. I had pre-ordered this book from amazon.com and it came this week.

Vidal, Gore. Myra Breckinridge. 1968. New York: Vintage International, 2019.

I’ve only read one of Vidal’s novels (The City and the Pillar) and have been wanting to read more, but his historical novels do not interest me. I got a promotional email from the publisher that Myra Breckinridge is now back in print, so I ordered an examination copy.

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature

Books Acquired Recently: Desk Copy Edition

Over the past few months publishers have sent me a number of desk copies for my Fall 2019 courses.

For First-Year Composition:

Blanco, Richard. The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood. 2014. New York: Ecco, 2015.

Irby, Samantha. We Are Never Meeting in Real Life: Essays. New York: Vintage Books, 2017.

Knisley, Lucy. Relish: My Life in the Kitchen. New York: First Second, 2013.

Tea, Michelle. How to Grow Up: A Memoir. New York: Plume, 2015.

As is evident from Blanco’s, Irby’s, and Tea’s books, this is sneakily a queer memoir class as well.

For American Literature Before 1865:

Brown, Charles Brockden. Wieland and Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist. New York: Penguin Books, 1991.

This, Irving’s, and Wilson’s books are Penguin Classics, which I love.

Hollander, John, ed. American Poetry: The Nineteenth Century, Volume One; Philip Freneau to Walt Whitman. New York: Library of America, 1993.

Over the past year I’ve begun the practice of assigning a poetry anthology in all of my literature classes, which has been an excellent decision. We read one or two poems at the beginning of each class and then spend the rest of the class talking about the longer reading for the day.

Irving, Washington. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories. New York: Penguin Books, 2014.

Wilson, Harriet E. Our Nig, Or, Sketches from the Life of a Free Black. 1859. New York: Penguin Books, 2009.

For African American Literature:

Delany, Samuel R. Dark Reflections. 2007. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2016.

This is an excellent novel that was out of print for quite a while (an issue that many of Delany’s best novels have, unfortunately). I have been wanting to teach it since I first read it, and am glad that Dover has now made this possible.

Harper, Michael S., and Anthony Walton, eds. The Vintage Book of African American Poetry: 200 Years of Vision, Struggle, Power, Beauty, and Triumph from 50 Outstanding Poets. New York: Vintage Books, 2000.

Lorde, Audre. Zami: A New Spelling of My Name. Berkeley, CA: Crossing Press, 1982.

This is one of my favorite memoirs ever.

Morrison, Toni. Sula. 1973. New York: Vintage International, 2004.

Walker, Alice. Meridian. 1976. Orlando: Harvest, 2003.

I wrote a dissertation chapter on this novel many years ago, haha.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature

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.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature