During the late 1990s, eminent basketball journalist Alexander Wolff traveled the globe to determine how a game invented by a Canadian clergyman became an international phenomenon. Big Game, Small World presents Wolff’s dispatches from sixteen countries spread across five continents and multiple US states. In them, he asks: What can the game tell us about the world? And what can the world tell us about the game? Whether traveling to Bhutan to challenge its king to a pickup game, exploring the women’s game in Brazil, or covering the Afrobasket tournament in Luanda, Angola, during a civil war, Wolff shows how basketball has the power to define an individual, a culture, and even a country.
This updated twentieth anniversary edition features a new preface in which Wolff outlines the contemporary rise of athlete-activists while discussing the increasing dominance within the NBA of marquee international players like Luka Dončić and Giannis Antetokounmpo. A loving celebration of basketball, Big Game, Small World is one of the most insightful books ever written about the game.
A brilliant approach to the queerness of one of Taiwan’s greatest auteurs
A critical figure in queer Sinophone cinema—and the first director ever commissioned to create a film for the permanent collection of the Louvre—Tsai Ming-liang is a major force in Taiwan cinema and global moving image art. Cruisy, Sleepy, Melancholy offers a fascinating, systematic method for analyzing the queerness of Tsai’s films.
Nicholas de Villiers argues that Tsai expands and revises the notion of queerness by engaging with the sexuality of characters who are migrants, tourists, diasporic, or otherwise displaced. Through their lack of fixed identities, these characters offer a clear challenge to the binary division between heterosexuality and homosexuality, as well as the Orientalist binary division of Asia versus the West. Ultimately, de Villiers explores how Tsai’s films help us understand queerness in terms of spatial, temporal, and sexual disorientation.
Conceiving of Tsai’s cinema as an intertextual network, Cruisy, Sleepy, Melancholy makes an important addition to scholarly work on Tsai in English. It draws on extensive interviews with the director, while also offering a complete reappraisal of Tsai’s body of work. Contributing to queer film theory and the aesthetics of displacement, Cruisy, Sleepy, Melancholy reveals striking connections between sexuality, space, and cinema.
Regina Rheda is a contemporary award-winning Brazilian writer whose original voice and style have won her many admirers. First World Third Class and Other Tales of the Global Mix presents some of her finest and most representative work to an English-speaking readership. Stories from the Copan Building consists of eight tales set in a famous residential building in São Paulo. The stories, like the apartment complex, are a microcosm of modern-day urban Brazil. They are witty, consistently caustic, and never predictable.
Also in this volume is the poignant and often hilarious novel First World Third Class. It depicts young middle-class professionals and artists who, as opportunities in Brazil diminished, opted to leave their country, even if it meant taking menial jobs abroad. At the center of the narrative is Rita, a thirty-year-old aspiring filmmaker who migrates to England, and then Italy. She looks for work and love in all the wrong places, moving from city to city and from bed to bed.
The last three stories in this collection also happen to be among the author's most recent. "The Enchanted Princess" is an ironic title for a postfeminist tale of a South American woman being wooed to marry an old-world gentleman who promises to take care of her every need. "The Sanctuary" concerns the living conditions of immigrant workers and farm animals. Equally piquant in nature, "The Front" deals with ecology, labor environments, and gender politics.
International terrorism expert Roland Jacquard’s In the Name of Osama bin Laden presents a dramatic portrait of the world's most wanted terrorist and his extensive brotherhood--the network of people who operate “in his name.” Published originally in France the very week of September 11, as events in the United States shook the world, the book has become an international bestseller.
Jacquard details how bin Laden became an international emblem of fundamentalist, pan-Islamic, anti-U.S. fervor and the leader of a brotherhood so passionate that devotees who have never met him will act autonomously in his name. The author explains the global character of bin Laden’s organization, elaborating the extent of his sphere of influence in Europe and Asia. Jacquard reveals the construction of bin Laden’s networks—including a profile of his inner circle—and their collaboration with overlapping webs of banking, drug trafficking, religious, and terrorist organizations. He considers the brotherhood’s access to biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons and warns that, with or without bin Laden, this global terrorist force will remain a threat.
Now in English, this edition has been substantially updated in light of recent world events and expanded to include previously unpublished materials, featuring a new introduction and afterword. New documents include an April 2001 interview by the author with bin Laden; a September 24 proclamation by bin Laden to Muslims in Pakistan; and a key page from Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri’s book justifying eternal jihad, which was smuggled out of Afghanistan in October 2001.
Prior praise for Martín Espada:
"Political poetry at its finest…with his soaring lyrics, Espada broadens our appreciation not only of poetry but of resistance itself."
"(Espada) writes beautiful poems about terrible realities."
---San Francisco Chronicle
A volume in the Poets on Poetry series, which collects critical works by contemporary poets, gathering together the articles, interviews, and book reviews by which they have articulated the poetics of a new generation.
This collection of essays on poetry and politics comes from the man the New York Times predicted would become "the Latino poet of his generation" and whom Sandra Cisneros called "the Pablo Neruda of North American authors."
Martín Espada defends what Walt Whitman called, "the rights of them the others are down upon." He invokes the spirit of poet-advocates such as Whitman and Edgar Lee Masters to explore his own history as a poet and tenant lawyer in Boston's Latino community. He celebrates the poets of Puerto Rico, imprisoned for espousing the cause of independence, and the poets of the Bronx, writing bilingual poems in the voices of the dead.
Espada writes of forgotten places and reminds us of the poet's responsibility to remember, as Pablo Neruda remembers the anonymous builders of Machu Picchu or Sterling Brown remembers the slave uprising of Nat Turner. He argues that poets should embrace the role of Shelley's "unacknowledged legislator" in their work as writers and in their lives as citizens. He challenges the conventional wisdom that poetry and politics are mutually exclusive, and rejects the poetics of self-marginalization, in keeping with Adrian Mitchell's dictum that, "most people ignore most poetry because most poetry ignores most people."
Martín Espada has published seventeen books as a poet, editor, and translator. The Republic of Poetry, a collection of poems, received a Paterson Award for Sustained Literary Achievement and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Imagine the Angels of Bread won an American Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has received numerous fellowships and awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the National Hispanic Cultural Center Literary Award. Espada is a Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
It happens every summer: packs of beer-bellied men with gloves and aluminum bats, putting their middle-aged bodies to the test on the softball diamond. For some, this yearly ritual is driven by a simple desire to enjoy a good ballgame; for others, it’s a way to forge friendships—and rivalries. But for one short, wild-haired, bespectacled professor, playing softball in New York’s Central Park means a whole lot more. It's one last chance to heal the nagging wounds of Little League trauma before the rust of decline and the relentless responsibilities of fatherhood set in.
Professor Baseball is the coming-of-middle-age story of New York University professor and Little League benchwarmer Edwin Amenta. As rookie manager of the Performing Arts Softball League’s doormat Sharkeys, he reverses softball’s usual brawn-over-brains formula. He coaxes his skeptical teammates to follow his sabermetric and sociological approach, based equally on Bill James and Max Weber, which in the heady days of early success he dubs “Eddy Ball.” But Amenta soon learns that his teammates’ attachments to favorite positions and time-honored (if ineffective) strategies are hard to break—especially when the team begins losing. And though he rejects the baseball-as-life metaphor, life keeps intruding on his softball season. Amenta here comes to grips with the humiliation of assisted reproduction, suffers mysterious ailments, and finds himself lingering at the sponsor’s bar, while his partner, a beautiful but baseball-challenged professor, second-guesses his book in the making. Can he turn his team—and his life—around?
Packed with colorful personalities, dramatic games, and the bustle of New York life, Professor Baseball will charm anyone who has ever root, root, rooted for the underdog.
For 15 years, Steven Schrader worked as a firefighter and an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in Atlanta, Georgia. There, he faced the day-to-day stress created by having to deal with nonstop human catastrophe, one moment administering to terribly hurt accident victims, the next talking down a suicidal person from a rooftop. Added to these difficulties were his own personal struggles, not the least being the bias he experienced because of his severe hearing loss. Silent Alarm presents his no-frills, stunning account of survival in a profession with a notoriously high burn-out rate, and the good that he did as a topnotch EMT.
Schrader makes palpable the constant tension of being the first summoned to life-or-death situations, and he also outlines the grim reality of being an EMT in dangerous parts of the community. “Always wear a bulletproof vest; keep a weapon (out of sight of the supervisors, of course); never, never stand in front of a door when knocking,” are just a few of his rules for the street.
Despite these cautions, time and again he and his partners plunged into danger to save children, elderly citizens, indigents, criminals, and any other persons they found at risk. His hearing loss occasionally hindered him, and sometimes saved him, but, mostly, as it should, it became part of the background to the astonishing compassion in the stories he tells.
From Scott and Shackleton to sled dogs and penguins, stories of Antarctica seize our imagination. In December 2002, environmental historian Tom Griffiths set sail with the Australian Antarctic Division to deliver the new team of winterers. In this beautifully written book, Griffiths reflects on the history of human experiences in Antarctica, taking the reader on a journey of discovery, exploration, and adventure in an unforgettable land.
He weaves together meditations on shipboard life during his three-week voyage with fascinating forays into the history and nature of Antarctica. He brings alive the great age of sail in the initiation of travelers to the great winds of the “roaring forties.” No continent is more ruled by wind, and Griffiths explains why Antarctica is a barometer of global climatic health. He charts the race to the South Pole, from its inception as part of the drive to map Earth’s magnetism, to the reasons for Robert Scott’s tragic death. He also offers vivid descriptions of life in Antarctica, such as the experience of a polar night, the importance of food for morale, and coping with solitude.
A charming narrative and an informative history, Slicing the Silence is an intimate portrait of the last true wilderness.
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