Many arts organizations today find themselves in financial difficulties because of economic constraints inherent in the industry. While other companies can improve productivity through the use of new technologies or better systems, these approaches are not available in the arts. Hamlet requires the same number of performers today as it did in Shakespeare’s time. The New York Philharmonic requires the same number of musicians now as it did when Tchaikovsky conducted it over one hundred years ago. Costs go up, but the size of theaters and the price resistance of patrons limit what can be earned from ticket sales. Therefore, the performing arts industry faces a severe gap between earnings and expenses. Typical approaches to closing the gap—raising ticket prices or cutting artistic or marketing expenses—don’t work. What, then, does it take to create and maintain a healthy arts organization? Michael M. Kaiser has revived four major arts organizations: the Kansas City Ballet, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, and London’s Royal Opera House. In The Art of the Turnaround he shares with readers his ten basic rules for bringing financially distressed arts organizations back to life and keeping them strong. These rules cover the requirements for successful leadership, the pitfalls of cost cutting, the necessity of extending the programming calendar, the centrality of effective marketing and fund raising, and the importance of focusing on the present with a positive public message. In chapters organized chronologically, Kaiser brings his ten rules vividly to life in discussions of the four arts organizations he is credited with saving. The book concludes with a chapter on his experiences at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, an arts organization that needed an artistic turnaround when he became the president in 2001 and that today exemplifies in practice many of the ten rules he discusses throughout his book.
After twenty years in New York City, a prize-winning writer takes a "long look back" at his hometown of Mobile, Alabama.
In Back Home: Journeys through Mobile, Roy Hoffman tells stories—through essays, feature articles, and memoir—of one of the South's oldest and most colorful port cities. Many of the pieces here grew out of Hoffman's work as Writer-in-Residence for his hometown newspaper, the Mobile Register, a position he took after working in New York City for twenty years as a journalist, fiction writer, book critic, teacher, and speech writer. Other pieces were first published in the New York Times, Southern Living, Preservation, and other publications. Together, this collection comprises a long, second look at the Mobile of Hoffman's childhood and the city it has since become.
Like a photo album, Back Home presents close-up portraits of everyday places and ordinary people. There are meditations on downtown Mobile, where Hoffman's grandparents arrived as immigrants a century ago; the waterfront where longshoremen labor and shrimpers work their nets; the back roads leading to obscure but intriguing destinations. Hoffman records local people telling their own tales of race relations, sports, agriculture, and Mardi Gras celebrations. Fishermen, baseball players, bakers, authors, political figures--a strikingly diverse population walks across the stage of Back Home.
Throughout, Hoffman is concerned with stories and their enduring nature. As he writes, "When buildings are leveled, when land is developed, when money is spent, when our loved ones pass on, when we take our places a little farther back every year on the historical time-line, what we have still are stories."
“Think of a man walking in the desert,” writes Griffin, “looking for the path to its summit, looking for the observatory that may, at last, shed light on what’s below.”
In this luminous and moving book of essays, award-winning author Shaun Griffin weaves together a poetic meditation on living meaningfully in this world. Anchored in the American West but reaching well beyond, he recounts his discoveries as a poet and devoted reader of poetry, a teacher of the disadvantaged, a friend of poets and artists, and a responsible member of the human family.
Always grounded in place, be it Nevada, South Africa, North Dakota, Spain, Zimbabwe, or Mexico, Griffin confronts the world with an openness that allows him to learn and grow from the people he meets. This is a meditation on how all of us can confront our own influences to achieve wholeness in our lives. Along with Griffin, readers will reflect on how they might respond to a homeless man walking through central Nevada, viewing the open desert as Thoreau might have viewed Walden, seeing the US-Mexico border as a region of lost identity, reconciling how poets who live west of the Hudson River find anonymity to be their laurel, and experiencing how writing poetry in prison becomes lifesaving.
Whether poets or places in the West or beyond, experiences with other cultures, or an acute awareness that poetry is the refuge of redress—all have influenced Griffin’s writing and thinking as a poet and activist in the Great Basin. The mindfulness of Because the Light Will Not Forgive Me demonstrates that even though the light does not forgive, it still reveals.
In 1993, Alan Rabinowitz, called "the Indiana Jones" of wildlife science by The New York Times, arrived for the first time in the country of Myanmar, known until 1989 as Burma, uncertain of what to expect. Working under the auspices of the Wildlife Conservation Society, his goal was to establish a wildlife research and conservation program and to survey the country's wildlife. He succeeded beyond all expectations, not only discovering a species of primitive deer completely new to science but also playing a vital role in the creation of Hkakabo Razi National Park, now one of Southeast Asia's largest protected areas.Beyond the Last Village takes the reader on a journey of exploration, danger, and discovery in this remote corner of the planet at the southeast edge of the Himalayas where tropical rain forest and snow-covered mountains meet. As we travel through this "lost world" -- a mysterious and forbidding region isolated by ancient geologic forces -- we meet the Rawang, a former slave group, the Taron, a solitary enclave of the world's only pygmies of Asian ancestry, and Myanmar Tibetans living in the furthest reaches of the mountains. We enter the territories of strange, majestic-looking beasts that few people have ever heard of and fewer have ever seen -- golden takin, red goral, blue sheep, black barking deer. The survival of these ancient species is now threatened, not by natural forces but by hunters with snares and crossbows, trading body parts for basic household necessities.The powerful landscape and unique people the author befriends help him come to grips with the traumas and difficulties of his past and emerge a man ready to embrace the world anew. Interwoven with his scientific expedition in Myanmar, and helping to inform his understanding of the people he met and the situations he encountered, is this more personal journey of discovery.
This collection of essays honors beloved Alaska historian Terrence Cole upon his retirement. Contributors include former students and colleagues whose personal and professional lives he has touched deeply. The pieces range from appreciative reflections on Cole’s contributions in teaching, research, and service, to topics he encouraged his students to pursue, plus pieces he inspired directly or indirectly. It is an eclectic collection that spans the humanities and social sciences, each capturing aspects of the human experience in Alaska’s vast and variable landscape. Together the essays offer readers complementary perspectives that will delight Cole’s many fans—and gain him new ones.
In the mid-1970s, Nancy L. Abrams, a young photojournalist from the Midwest, plunges into life as a small-town reporter in West Virginia. She befriends the hippies on the commune one mountaintop over, rents a cabin in beautiful Salt Lick Valley, and falls in love with a local boy, wrestling to balance the demands of a job and a personal life. She learns how to survive in Appalachia—how to heat with coal and wood, how to chop kindling, plant a garden, and preserve produce.
The Climb from Salt Lick is the remarkable memoir of an outsider coming into adulthood. It is the story of a unique place and its people from the perspective of a woman who documents its burdens and its beauty, using words and pictures to tell the rich stories of those around her.
Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s Watchmen has been widely hailed as a landmark in the development of the graphic novel. It was not only aesthetically groundbreaking but also anticipated future developments in politics, literature, and intellectual property.
Demonstrating a keen eye for historical detail, Considering Watchmen gives readers a new appreciation of just how radical Moore and Gibbons’s blend of gritty realism and formal experimentation was back in 1986. The book also considers Watchmen’s place in the history of the comics industry, reading the graphic novel’s playful critique of superhero marketing alongside Alan Moore’s public statements about the rights to the franchise. Andrew Hoberek examines how Moore and Gibbons engaged with the emerging discourses of neoconservatism and neoliberal capitalism, ideologies that have only become more prominent in subsequent years.
Watchmen’s influences on the superhero comic and graphic novel are undeniable, but Hoberek reveals how it has also had profound effects on literature as a whole. He suggests that Watchmen not only proved that superhero comics could rise to the status of literature—it also helped to inspire a generation of writers who are redefining the boundaries of the literary, from Jonathan Lethem to Junot Díaz. Hoberek delivers insight and analysis worthy of satisfying serious readers of the genre while shedding new light on Watchmen as both an artistic accomplishment and a book of ideas.
Dialogues in Paradise
Can Xue Northwestern University Press, 1989 Library of Congress PL2912.A5174D5313 1989 | Dewey Decimal 895.1352
The thirteen stories of Dialogues in Paradise are eloquent in a way the West associates with both the modern and the ancient: the dark oracles of Aeschylus and Sophocles, the paranoid mystery of Kafka, the moving stream of Woolf. The work of Can Xue (a pseudonym of Changsa writer Deng Xiao-hua) renews our consciousness of the long tradition of the irrational in our literature, where dreams and reality constitute one territory, its borders open, the passage back and forth barely discernible. She fuses lyrical purity with the darkest visions of the grotesque and the result is a unique literary experience.
From Cape Wrath to Finisterre is a travelogue and an homage to Celtic lands and waters, from their northern to their south western landfalls. Cape Wrath points towards the Arctic Circle at Scotland's furthest northerly limit. "Perhaps I was looking for a homeland, perhaps not, or at any rate a place where it would be worth trying to live for a while as well as one can for as long as it lasts." Finisterre, the furthest point in Galicia in northern Spain, was so named for being "The End of the Earth," Larsson's contemplative musings on life as seen from the cockpit and deck of his yacht enliven this journey from Denmark around Scotland, through the Irish Sea and onwards to Brittany and Spain. "Yes, I admit to rootlessness and impermanence," he admits. "But restlessness, on the other hand, is a scourge. It and its modern variant, stress, the futility of running round in circles, are to be avoided at all costs. It is far from certain, of course, that this way of life would suit everybody, but if it instils in someone the desire to experiment with alternatives. I shall be happy."
This study offers a critical examination of the work of Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez, Mexican-American brothers whose graphic novels are highly influential. The Hernandez brothers started in the alt-comics scene, where their ‘Love and Rockets’ series quickly gained prominence. They have since published in more mainstream venues but have maintained an outsider status based on their own background and the content of their work. Enrique García argues that the Hernandez brothers have worked to create a new American graphic storytelling that, while still in touch with mainstream genres, provides a transgressive alternative from an aesthetic, gender, and ethnic perspective. The brothers were able to experiment with and modify these genres by taking advantage of the editorial freedom of independent publishing. This freedom also allowed them to explore issues of ethnic and gender identity in transgressive ways. Their depictions of latinidad and sexuality push against the edicts of mainstream Anglophone culture, but they also defy many Latino perceptions of life, politics, and self-representation. The book concludes with an in-depth interview with Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez that touches on and goes beyond the themes explored in the book.
In 1983, zoologist Alan Rabinowitz ventured into the rain forest of Belize, determined to study the little-known jaguar in its natural habitat and to establish the world's first jaguar preserve. Within two years, he had succeeded. In Jaguar he provides the only first-hand account of a scientist's experience with jaguars in the wild. Originally published in 1986, this edition includes a new preface and epilogue by the author that bring the story up to date with recent events in the region and around the world.
Juan A. Suarez University of Illinois Press, 2006 Library of Congress PN1998.3.J33S83 2007 | Dewey Decimal 791.430233092
The first major English-language study of Jarmusch
At a time when gimmicky, action-driven blockbusters ruled Hollywood, Jim Jarmusch spearheaded a boom in independent cinema by making low-budget films focused on intimacy, character, and new takes on classical narratives. His minimal form, peculiar pacing, wry humor, and blank affect have since been adopted by directors including Sophia Coppola, Hal Harley, Richard Linklater, and Wong Kar-Wai. Juan A. Suárez's Jim Jarmusch analyzes the director's work from three mutually implicated perspectives: in relation to independent filmmaking from the 1980s to the present; as a form of cultural production that appropriates existing icons, genres, and motifs; and as an instance of postmodern politics.
A volume in the series Contemporary Film Directors, edited by James R. Naremore
What does it mean to be instantly transformed into the most hated person in your community? After meeting Fidel Castro at a Havana reception in 1994, Cuban-born Magda Montiel Davis, founder of one of the largest immigration law firms in South Florida, soon found out. The reception—attended by hundreds of other Cuban émigrés—was videotaped for historical archives. In a seconds-long clip, Fidel pecks the traditional protocol kiss on Montiel Davis’s cheek as she thanks him for the social benefits conferred upon the Cuban people. The video, however, was mysteriously sold to U.S. reporters and aired incessantly throughout South Florida. Soon the encounter was an international cause célèbre.
Life as she knew it was over for Montiel Davis and her family, including a father who worked with the CIA to topple Fidel, a nohablo-inglés mother who lived with the family, her five children, and her Jewish Brooklyn-born attorney husband. Kissing Fidel shares the sometimes dismal, sometimes comical realities of an ordinary citizen being thrown into a world of death threats, mob attacks, and terrorism.
Dubbed the Indiana Jones of wildlife science by The New York Times, Alan Rabinowitz has devoted—and risked—his life to protect nature’s great endangered mammals. He has journeyed to the remote corners of the earth in search of wild things, weathering treacherous terrain, plane crashes, and hostile governments. Life in the Valley of Death recounts his most ambitious and dangerous adventure yet: the creation of the world’s largest tiger preserve.
The tale is set in the lush Hukaung Valley of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. An escape route for refugees fleeing the Japanese army during World War II, this rugged stretch of land claimed the lives of thousands of children, women, and soldiers. Today it is home to one of the largest tiger populations outside of India—a population threatened by rampant poaching and the recent encroachment of gold prospectors.
To save the remaining tigers, Rabinowitz must navigate not only an unforgiving landscape, but the tangled web of politics in Myanmar. Faced with a military dictatorship, an insurgent army, tribes once infamous for taking the heads of their enemies, and villagers living on less than one U.S. dollar per day, the scientist and adventurer most comfortable with animals is thrust into a diplomatic minefield. As he works to balance the interests of disparate factions and endangered wildlife, his own life is threatened by an incurable disease.
The resulting story is one of destruction and loss, but also renewal. In forests reviled as the valley of death, Rabinowitz finds new life for himself, for communities haunted by poverty and violence, and for the tigers he vowed to protect.
Sight is central to the medium of photography. But what happens when the subjects of photographic portraits cannot look back at the photographer or even see their own image? An in-depth pictorial study of blind schoolchildren in Mexico, Look at me draws attention to (and distinctions between) the activity of sight and the consciousness of form.
Combining aspects of his earlier, acclaimed street work with an innovative approach to portraiture, Chicago-based photographer Jed Fielding has concentrated closely on these children’s features and gestures, probing the enigmatic boundaries between surface and interior, innocence and knowing, beauty and grotesque. Design, composition, and the play of light and shadow are central elements in these photographs, but the images are much more than formal experiments; they confront disability in a way that affirms life. Fielding’s sightless subjects project a vitality that seems to extend beyond the limits of self-consciousness. In collaborative, joyful participation with the children, he has made pictures that reveal essential gestures of absorption and the basic expressions of our creatureliness.
Fielding’s work achieves what only great art, and particularly great portraiture can: it launches and then complicates a process of identification across the barriers that separate us from each other. Look at me contains more than sixty arresting images from which we often want to look away, but into which we are nevertheless drawn by their deep humanity and palpable tenderness. This is a monograph of uncommon significance by an important American photographer.
My Father’s Closet
Karen A. McClintock The Ohio State University Press, 2017 Library of Congress BF109.M363A3 2017 | Dewey Decimal 977.1570420922
Thirty years after her father’s death, Karen McClintock sets out to find the gay father she never really knew. As we follow the unraveling family secret, we find ourselves drawn into her story as they stumble into infidelity, grieve heartbreaking losses, and remain loyal in love.
Set in Columbus, Ohio, My Father’s Closet tells the story of how just before the war, McClintock’s parents fell in love and married, while overseas in Germany the man whom she believes became her father’s lover was concealing his Jewish and gay identities in order to escape to America. A set of her father’s journals, letters her parents sent to each other during the Second World War, and a mysterious painting all lead her toward the truth about her gay father. McClintock weaves a complex secret into the fabric of lives we truly care about. And in the process, she leads us out of her father’s closet.
This gripping memoir captures the longing children feel for a distant or hidden parent and taps into the complexity of human connection and abandonment. The characters are resilient and vibrant. The hidden lovers, the nosey neighbors, and surprise lovers all show up. In the end, this extraordinary family finds ways to connect and freedom to love. Anyone who grew up with a family secret will appreciate the dynamics afoot in this fast-paced and compelling story.
Can Xue draws the reader into a world of the grotesque and the surreal, of uncertain spaces and indeterminate identities, of sexual menace and psychological disorientation. These novellas are about life in post-Mao China, but not the China of social realism or of Western fantasy. At the forefront of China's new literary trends, these two novellas--"Yellow Mud Street" and "Old Floating Cloud"--explore Chinese reality through images of the absurd, sudden and illogical juxtapositions, and the limitless transformations induced by a unique imagination.
From Walt Whitman forward, a century and a half of radical experimentation and bold speech by gay and lesbian poets has deeply influenced the American poetic voice. In Our Deep Gossip, Christopher Hennessy interviews eight gay men who are celebrated American poets and writers: Edward Field, John Ashbery, Richard Howard, Aaron Shurin, Dennis Cooper, Cyrus Cassells, Wayne Koestenbaum, and Kazim Ali. The interviews showcase the complex ways art and life intertwine, as the poets speak about their early lives, the friends and communities that shaped their work, the histories of gay writers before them, how sex and desire connect with artistic production, what coming out means to a writer, and much more.
While the conversations here cover almost every conceivable topic of interest to readers of poetry and poets themselves, the book is an especially important, poignant, far-reaching, and enduring document of what it means to be a gay artist in twentieth- and early twenty-first-century America.
Clara Jean Mosley Hall has inhabited various cultural worlds in her life: Native American, African American, Deaf, and hearing. The hearing daughter of a Deaf Nanticoke Indian, who grew up in Dover, Delaware’s black community in the 1950s and 60s, Hall describes the intersections of these identities in Paris in America. By sharing her father’s experiences and relating her own struggles and successes, Hall honors her father’s legacy of hard work and perseverance and reveals the complexities of her own unique background.
Hall was abandoned by her Deaf African-American mother at a young age and forged a close bond with her father, James Paris Mosley, who communicated with her in American Sign Language. Although his family was American Indian, they—like many other Nanticoke Indians of that region—had assimilated over time into Dover’s black community. Hall vividly recounts the social and cultural elements that shaped her, from Jim Crow to the forced integration of public schools, to JFK and Motown. As a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) in a time when no accessibility or interpreting services were available, she was her father’s sole means of communication with the hearing world, a heavy responsibility for a child. After her turbulent teenage years, and with the encouragement of her future husband, she attended college and discovered that her skills as a fluent ASL user were a valuable asset in the field of education.
Hall went on to become a college professor, mentor, philanthropist, and advocate for Deaf students from diverse backgrounds. Her memoir is a celebration of her family, her faith, her journey, and her heritage.
On November 16, 1965, Beth Taylor’s idyllic childhood was shattered at age twelve by the suicide of her older brother Geoff. Raised in an “intentional community” north of Philadelphia—a mix of farm village, hippie commune, and suburb—she and her siblings were instilled with nonconformist values and respect for the Quaker tradition. With the loss of her beloved brother, Taylor began her complicated journey to understand family, loss, and faith.
Written after years of contemplation, The Plain Language of Love and Loss reflects on the meaning of death and loss for three generations of Taylor’s family and their friends. Her compelling portrait of Geoff reveals a boy whose understanding of who he was came under increasing attack. He was harassed by schoolmates for being a “commie pinko coward” and he tried to appease fellow Boy Scouts after he abstained from a support-the-troops rally. Touching on the timely issues of bullying, child rearing, and nonconformity, Taylor offers a rare look at growing up Quaker in the tumultuous 1960s.
Taylor tells how each stage of her life exposed clues to the subtle damage wrought by tragedy, even while it revealed varieties of solace found in friendships, marriage, and parenting. As she struggles to understand the complexities of religious heritage, patriotism, and pacifism, she weaves the story of her own family together with the larger history of Quakers in the Northeast, showing the importance of family values and the impact of religious education.
Beth Taylor says that she learned many things from her childhood, in particular that history is alive—and shapes how we judge ourselves and choose to live our lives. She comes to see that grief can be a mask, a lover, and a teacher.
The Queer Limit of Black Memory: Black Lesbian Literature and Irresolution identifies a new archive of Black women’s literature that has heretofore been on the margins of literary scholarship and African diaspora cultural criticism. It argues that Black lesbian texts celebrate both the strategies of resistance used by queer Black subjects and the spaces for grieving the loss of queer Black subjects that dominant histories of the African diasporas often forget. Matt Richardson has gathered an understudied archive of texts by LaShonda Barnett, S. Diane Adamz-Bogus, Dionne Brand, Sharon Bridgforth, Laurinda D. Brown, Jewelle Gomez, Jackie Kay, and Cherry Muhanji in order to relocate the queerness of Black diasporic vernacular traditions, including drag or gender performance, blues, jazz, and West African spiritual and religious practices.
Richardson argues that the vernacular includes queer epistemologies, or methods for accessing and exploring the realities of Black queer experience that other alternative archives and spaces of commemoration do not explore. The Queer Limit of Black Memory brings together several theorists whose work is vital within Black studies—Fred Moten, Saidiya Hartman, Hortense Spillers, Frantz Fanon, and Orlando Patterson—in service of queer readings of Black subjectivity.
Riding on Comets: A Memoir
Cat Pleska West Virginia University Press, 2015 Library of Congress F245.42.P55A3 2015 | Dewey Decimal 975.4043
Riding on Comets is the true story of an only child growing up in a working-class family during the 1950s and ‘60s.
As the family storyteller, Cat Pleska whispers and shouts about her life growing up around savvy, strong women and hard-working, hard-drinking men. Unlike many family stories set within Appalachia, this story provides an uncommon glimpse into this region: not coal, but an aluminum plant; not hollers, but small-town America; not hillbillies, but a hard-working family with traditional values.
From the dinner table, to the back porch, to the sprawling countryside, Cat Pleska reveals the sometimes tender, sometimes frightening education of a child who listens at the knees of these giants. She mimics and learns every nuance, every rhythm—how they laugh, smoke, cuss, fight, love, and tell stories—as she unwittingly prepares to carry their tales forward, their words and actions forever etched in her mind. And finally, she discovers a life story of her own.
In the summer of 1991 Michael Burke, an experienced river guide, embarks on a three-week journey down a series of remote rivers in British Columbia. Leaving behind his pregnant wife, he embraces the perils of a voyage with a companion he barely knows in a raft that may not weather the trip. He attempts to reconcile the shifting fates of his life—his transition from river guide to husband, father, and academic. At the same time, he hopes to explore his connection to a distant relative, Sid Barrington, who was a champion “swiftwater pilot of the North” in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
As Burke contemplates what he and Sid may have had in common, he meditates on the changing meaning of rivers, and the impossibility of fully recovering the past. In clear and graceful prose, Burke blends Sid’s colorful history with his own uncommon journey. He also reflects upon the quick currents of time and the fierce passion he shares with Sid for the life of river running in Alaska and the west. Unlike most river-running books that often describe waterways in the lower forty-eight states, The Same River Twice introduces readers to rough, austere, and unfamiliar rivers in the northern wilderness. Burke has an intimate understanding of these remote, free-flowing rivers. He effectively captures the thrill of moving water, the spirit of rivers and river canyons, and the life of river guides. This insightful memoir brings readers into a confluence of rivers, where past and present merge, revealing the power of wilderness and the truth about changing course.
Linda Hussa University of Utah Press, 2002 Library of Congress F845.D84 2002 | Dewey Decimal 978.10082091734
In the lightly-populated northwestern corner of Nevada, a former geologist and rural schoolteacher, a published poet and ranch owner, and an artist and environmentalist make for an intriguing—perhaps even unlikely—trio of friends. In this evocative collection of personal essays, each offers her voice as a testament to the joys and struggles of creating a home and connecting to the land and the people who live there.
Stories of ranch hands and Ladies’ Clubs, raising chickens and raising children, pulling up roots and planting dreams tumble together in a mélange of lives lived well and thoughtfully. Sharing Fencelines is as much about art as it is about activism, as much about personal growth as it is about growing community. What these women offer us is the sweet taste of what is possible, and the blended harmony of their voices echoes across the mountains and washes and deserts, resonating in our own hearts, our own homes.
Carolyn Dufurrena’s "The Flying Heart Museum" pays homage to a layered landscape of unique individuals—not the least of which are her students, searching for themselves in the Nevada wilderness: "You know how your spirit betrays you when you’re not thinking to protect yourself. Jose has been dreaming, doodling away, and his pencil has discovered this flying heart, as big as the Puritan meetinghouse....He has drawn the log cabin around the heart, and labeled it. At recess I ask him, gently, 'So, Jose, what’s in there, in your Flying Heart Museum?'"
In "Shared Fencelines," Linda Hussa reveals the mystery of horses, the gift of water, and the serendipity of love: "My first hurt came from a horse when I tried to shinny up the feathered leg of our old gelding as I’d seen my brother and sister do. Twelve hundred pounds of him stepped on my bare foot. Mom carried her shrieking two-year-old to the house...she cut off the dangling nail saying Popeye didn’t mean to, he just didn’t notice my little foot. Then she cradled my face in her cool hands and said she hoped I would forgive him and we could be friends again."
"Fire Hall" by Sophie Sheppard paints a picture of a families and communities forged against the backdrop of a rugged, rural life: "Here, when there is a funeral, the whole town comes. First to arrive are the older women, vestiges of the Lake City Ladies Club that was disbanded a few years ago because most of the younger women have jobs and no longer stay at home. At the potluck funeral dinner everyone will file in together: the women unfamiliar in dresses ordered from catalogs, the mens' hatless foreheads glowing pale in contrast to the tan of their freshly shaven jaws, the younger people that I won’t recognize."
Farideh Goldin was born to her fifteen-year-old mother in 1953 and into a Jewish community living in an increasingly hostile Islamic state—prerevolutionary Iran. This memoir is Goldin’s passionate and painful account of her childhood in a poor Jewish household and her emigration to the United States in 1975. As she recalls trips to the market and the mikvah, and as she evokes ritual celebrations like weddings, Goldin chronicles her childhood, her extended family, and the lives of the women in her community in Shiraz, a southern Iranian city. Her memoir details her parents’ "courtship" (her father selected her mother from a group of adolescent girls), her mother’s lonely life as a child-bride, and Goldin’s childhood home which was presided over by her paternal grandmother. Goldin’s memoir conveys not just the personal trauma of growing up in a family fraught with discord but also the tragic human costs of religious dogmatism. In Goldin’s experience, Jewish fundamentalism was intensified by an Islamic context. Although the Muslims were antagonistic to Jews, their views on women’s roles and their treatment of women influenced the attitude and practices of some Iranian Jews. In this brave and dispassionate portrayal of a little-known corner of Jewish life, Farideh Goldin confronts profound sadness yet captures the joys of a child’s wonder as she savors the scenes and textures and scents of Jewish Iran. Readers share her youthful adventures and dangers, coming to understand how such experiences shape her choice.
Dennis Cooper is one of the most inventive and prolific artists of our time. Working in a variety of forms and media since he first exploded onto the scene in the early 1970s, he has been a punk poet, a queercore novelist, a transgressive blogger, an indie filmmaker—each successive incarnation more ingenious and surprising than the last. Cooper’s unflinching determination to probe the obscure, often violent recesses of the human psyche have seen him compared with literary outlaws like Rimbaud, Genet, and the Marquis de Sade.
In this, the first book-length study of Cooper’s life and work, Diarmuid Hester shows that such comparisons hardly scratch the surface. A lively retrospective appraisal of Cooper’s fifty-year career, Wrong tracks the emergence of Cooper’s singular style alongside his participation in a number of American subcultural movements like New York School poetry, punk rock, and radical queercore music and zines. Using extensive archival research, close readings of texts, and new interviews with Cooper and his contemporaries, Hester weaves a complex and often thrilling biographical narrative that attests to Cooper’s status as a leading figure of the American post–War avant-garde.