Tag Archives: Utica

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature

Books Acquired Recently

Ahmed, Sara. The Promise of Happiness. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2010.

I love Ahmed’s 2017 book Living a Feminist Life but haven’t explored any of her earlier books. There is some intriguing discussion of The Promise of Happiness in a book I am currently reading, Mari Ruti’s The Ethics of Opting Out, so I decided to buy it and read it for myself.

Keltner, Levis. Into That Good Night. New York: Arcade Publishing, 2018.

Keltner gave a reading sponsored by Utica College earlier this week that was intriguing enough that I decided to buy his novel.

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature

Books Acquired Recently

I’ve picked up books here and there over the past week and a half, the way it goes when leading a literary life.

Broder, Melissa. Last Sext. Portland, OR: Tin House Books, 2016.

I recently read Broder’s amazing novel The Pisces. The About the Author statement mentioned that Broder has published four poetry collections. When I came across Last Sext, her most recent collection, while browsing the poetry section at the Barnes & Noble in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, last weekend, I decided to buy it to see whether her poetry is as good as her fiction. I finished the book yesterday and will say that it is worth reading even though it is not nearly as transcendent as the novel.

Dentz, Shira. Black Seeds on a White Dish. Exeter, UK: Shearsman Books, 2010.

Dentz gave an enjoyable poetry reading at Utica College two Wednesdays ago. I bought this, her first collection, there.

Elliot, Stephen. The Adderall Diaries: A Memoir. Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2009.

One of my colleagues gave me her extra copy of this book because I am working on a memoir-ish project and she thought it would be helpful.

Washuta, Elissa. My Body is a Book of Rules. Pasadena, CA: Red Hen Press, 2014.

This is another memoir recommended to me by my above-mentioned colleague. It looked interesting enough that I decided to purchase my own copy. I got it online from Powell’s Books in Portland.

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature

Books Acquired Recently

Alvarado, Leticia. Abject Performances: Aesthetic Strategies in Latino Cultural Production. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018.

I am beginning to work more with Latinx literature in my scholarship, and thus have been working to build my library of criticism and theory in the field. This book looks relevant to that task, so I bought it directly from the publisher.

Hughes, Langston. I Wonder as I Wander: An Autobiographical Journey. 1956. New York: Hill and Wang, 1964.

A colleague gave me this and the Hughes and Bontemps anthology because she was de-accessioning some books and knows that I am interested in African American literature. I was very happy to receive them, partly because I love preserving old books and partly because, in the case of I Wonder as I Wander I’ve been meaning to read it for a long time and in the case of the anthology I am obsessed with poetry anthologies. The autobiography is stamped “The African-Caribbean Bookstore, 2319 E. 71st Street, Chicago, IL, 60649, (312) 288-0880” (which is apparently no longer in existence according to a quick Google search) and the anthology is inscribed “P.S. Kipp, Feb. 1963.”

Hughes, Langston, and Arna Bontemps, eds. The Poetry of the Negro, 1746-1949: A Definitive Anthology. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1949.

This anthology, which is in excellent condition, was ahead of its time in that it includes poetry from all over the world rather than just from the U.S. Unfortunately, only one poet from Africa is included, which indicates just how unexplored African literature was at the time, but there are numerous poets from Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Kitano, Christine. Birds of Paradise. Spokane, WA: Lynx House Press, 2011.

Kitano gave a poetry reading at Utica College last week, and I decided to buy her first collection because she said it has a lot of poems about ghosts, and it was the third time in less than a week that ghosts had come up for me, which felt significant because of the rule of threes. I had dinner with her and her husband after the reading and she seems like quite a nice person.

Morales, Ed. Latinx: The New Force in American Politics and Culture. London: Verso, 2018.

I received a promotional email about this book several weeks ago and ordered an exam copy immediately. It came in the mail at the end of last week and I hope to begin reading it later today.

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature

Books Acquired Recently: More Queer Books Edition

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

I read about this essay collection on Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian and decided to buy it immediately because I have been looking for new queer life writing that might be suitable to use for teaching. I bought this and McGuire’s book from amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers.

McGuire, Seanan. Every Heart a Doorway. New York: Tor, 2016.

I am teaching a queer literature course this semester and mentioned that I did not know of any books about asexual characters to include in the course, though I am sure that they exist. A student did some research online and found out about this book, which supposedly does include a major asexual character, so I bought it immediately. I had not heard of McGuire before, but apparently they are a highly lauded science fiction writer. Once again, speculative fiction and queer fiction go hand in hand!

Richardson, Suzanne. Oh Niagara! Utica, NY: Suzanne Richardson, 2018.

I bought this zine by a colleague of mine at the Tramontane Cafe in Utica. It was produced to commemorate the Tram’s tenth anniversary earlier this month.

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature

Books Acquired Recently

I have had a flurry of book acquiring this past week. I had several people recommend books to me that I ordered and received, and then yesterday I visited the excellent bookshop Dove & Hudson Old Books in Albany for the first time (unfortunately the store does not have a website), where I bought a few more.

Anker, Elizabeth S., and Rita Felski, ed. Critique and Postcritique. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2017.

I ordered an exam copy of this essay collection from the publisher because, as its blurb claims, it “outlines the state of contemporary literary criticism,” a field that is obviously important to me as an English professor. I certainly feel like there is much less attention actually paid to literature these days in literary criticism than there should be, thus I look forward to seeing what the contributors have to say on the subject.

Hall, Donald. Old and New Poems. New York: Ticknor & Fields, 1990.

I enjoy Hall’s prose and generally enjoy the poems of his that I have come across in various anthologies, though I dislike the devotion to form in his early work. My first encounter with his writing was when he gave a reading on campus my first year of college before I knew who he was or was interested in poetry. I enjoyed the reading, but did not think it remarkable at the time. Ever since I got into poetry about two years later I have regretted not buying one of his books and getting it signed. I bought this collection of selected poems from Dove & Hudson for $4.50, a steal.

Harrison, Kathryn. The Kiss: A Memoir. New York: Random House, 1997.

A colleague recommended this memoir to me. I recall reading a review of it in either Newsweek or Time when it first came out (my mother would switch between the two publications, so it was whichever one she was subscribing to at the time) and being scandalized that it involved incest. I read it earlier this week in one sitting. It is a beautifully-written book. I purchased it from amazon.com’s network of independent booksellers.

Highsmith, Patricia. Carol. 1952. New York: W.W. Norton, 2015.

This book, also known as The Price of Salt, is a lesbian pulp classic that I have been meaning to read for quite a while. I found a like-new copy at Dove & Hudson for only $4.00!

Proust, Marcel. Remembrance of Things Past. 1913-1927. Trans. C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin. 3 vols. New York: Random House, 1981.

I first saw this boxed set of Proust on a neighbor’s shelf in 2004 and the image has stuck with me because of the beauty of the set and how serious it looks. Each volume is about 1100 pages long, bound in black cloth. Though I love the genre of the novel and thus should read Remembrance of Things Past, one of the genre’s most significant texts, I was never sure whether I would because it is a big commitment to spend time reading 3300 pages of something that is not in my field of study, American literature. But when I saw this set in good condition sitting on the shelf at Dove & Hudson for only $25.00 (I probably would have been willing to pay twice that much, in part because I believe in supporting independent bookstores) I had to have it, which means that I will be reading Proust this summer. If I get through fifty pages a day it will take me about two months.

Quiñonez, Ernesto. Bodega Dreams. New York: Vintage, 2000.

I had this novel recommended to me by Ben Garcia, who gave a poetry reading at Utica College this past Wednesday. It takes place in New York City, my favorite locale for literature. I bought it on amazon.com.

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature

Books Acquired Recently

Lin-Greenberg, Karin. Faulty Predictions. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2014.

Lin-Greenberg gave a reading of her short stories at Utica College this afternoon, and I enjoyed it enough that I decided to buy her collection. She seems like a good person and her stories do a great job picking out quirky moments in regular people’s lives, so I look forward to reading the book.

Tarrant, Shira. The Pornography Industry: What Everyone Needs to Know. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

I read a review of this book in the New Yorker a few weeks ago and decided to buy it because it gives an overview of the rapidly-changing pornography industry, which is one of my research interests. It vexes me that even though pornography is a part of so many people’s lives (e.g., the old joke that surveys show that 90% of men look at porn and that 10% of men are liars!) and is a major economic industry very few people take it seriously as an object of public discourse. This needs to change, and I’m glad that such a prestigious publisher as Oxford University Press realizes that fact. I bought the book from one of amazon.com’s independent booksellers.

Leave a comment

Filed under Literature