The Body of Brooklyn
David Lazar University of Iowa Press, 2003 Library of Congress F128.9.J5L39 2003 | Dewey Decimal 974.723004924009
Even before the controversy that surrounded the publication of A Million Little Pieces, the question of truth has been at the heart of memoir. From Elie Wiesel to Benjamin Wilkomirski to David Sedaris, the veracity of writers' claims has been suspect. In this fascinating and timely collection of essays, leading writers meditate on the subject of truth in literary nonfiction. As David Lazar writes in his introduction, "How do we verify? Do we care to? (Do we dare to eat the apple of knowledge and say it's true? Or is it a peach?) Do we choose to? Is it a subcategory of faith? How do you respond when someone says, 'This is really true'? Why do they choose to say it then?"
The past and the truth are slippery things, and the art of non-fiction writing requires the writer to shape as well as explore. In personal essays, meditations on the nature of memory, considerations of the genres of memoir, prose poetry, essay, fiction, and film, the contributors to this provocative collection attempt to find answers to the question of what truth in nonfiction means.
John D'Agata, Mark Doty, Su Friedrich, Joanna Frueh, Ray González, Vivian Gornick, Barbara Hammer, Kathryn Harrison, Marianne Hirsch, Wayne Koestenbaum, Leonard Kriegel, David Lazar, Alphonso Lingis, Paul Lisicky, Nancy Mairs, Nancy K. Miller, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Phyllis Rose, Oliver Sacks, David Shields, and Leo Spitzer.
Divergent Trajectories: Interviews with Innovative Fiction Writers by Flore Chevaillier examines the aesthetic, political, philosophical, and cultural dimensions of contemporary fiction through a series of interviews with some of today’s most cutting-edge fiction writers. New relationships between literature, media culture, and hypertexts have added to modes of experimentation and reshaped the boundaries between literary and pop culture media; visual arts and literature; critical theory and fiction writing; and print and digital texts. This collection of interviews undertakes such experimentations through an intimate glance, allowing readers to learn about each writer’s journey, as well as their aesthetic, political, and personal choices.
Including interviews with R. M. Berry, Debra Di Blasi, Percival Everett, Thalia Field, Renee Gladman, Bhanu Kapil, Lance Olsen, Michael Martone, Carole Maso, Joseph McElroy, Christina Milletti, Alan Singer, and Steve Tomasula, Divergent Trajectories provides a framework that allows innovative authors to discuss in some depth their works, backgrounds, formal research, thematic preferences, genre treatment, aesthetic philosophies, dominant linguistic expressions, cultural trends, and the literary canon. Through an examination of these concepts, writers ask what “traditional” and “innovative” writing is, and most of all, what fiction is today.
In Olivia Maciel's Filigree of Light, one enters a lyric of solitude and light, water and wind. Maciel is a poet who has the power to reveal and surprise, bringing one close to things. She approaches the unknown, searching with riddles and reverie.
2017 EISNER AWARD NOMINEE for Best Academic/Scholarly Work
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, writer-artist Frank Miller turned Daredevil from a tepid-selling comic into an industry-wide success story, doubling its sales within three years. Lawyer by day and costumed vigilante by night, the character of Daredevil was the perfect vehicle for the explorations of heroic ideals and violence that would come to define Miller’s work.
Frank Miller’s Daredevil and the Ends of Heroism is both a rigorous study of Miller’s artistic influences and innovations and a reflection on how his visionary work on Daredevil impacted generations of comics publishers, creators, and fans. Paul Young explores the accomplishments of Miller the writer, who fused hardboiled crime stories with superhero comics, while reimagining Kingpin (a classic Spider-Man nemesis), recuperating the half-baked villain Bullseye, and inventing a completely new kind of Daredevil villain in Elektra. Yet, he also offers a vivid appreciation of the indelible panels drawn by Miller the artist, taking a fresh look at his distinctive page layouts and lines.
A childhood fan of Miller’s Daredevil, Young takes readers on a personal journey as he seeks to reconcile his love for the comic with his distaste for the fascistic overtones of Miller’s controversial later work. What he finds will resonate not only with Daredevil fans, but with anyone who has contemplated what it means to be a hero in a heartless world.
Other titles in the Comics Culture series include Twelve-Cent Archie, Wonder Woman: Bondage and Feminism in the Marston/Peter Comics, 1941-1948, and Considering Watchmen: Poetics, Property, Politics.
“A must read for all who continue to grapple with the twin legacy of hatred and hope from September 11. . . “*
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.
"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.
Mike Kelley, Paul McCarthy, and Raymond Pettibon—these Southern California artists formed a “bad boy” trifecta. Early purveyors of abject art, the trio produced work ranging from sculptures of feces to copulating stuffed animals, and gained notoriety from being perverse. Showing how their work rethinks transgressive art practices in the wake of the 1960s, Pay for Your Pleasures argues that their collaborations as well as their individual enterprises make them among the most compelling artists in the Los Angeles area in recent years.
Cary Levine focuses on Kelley’s, McCarthy’s, and Pettibon’s work from the 1970s through the 1990s, plotting the circuitous routes they took in their artistic development. Drawing on extensive interviews with each artist, he identifies the diverse forces that had a crucial bearing on their development—such as McCarthy’s experiences at the University of Utah, Kelley’s interest in the Detroit-based White Panther movement, Pettibon’s study of economics, and how all three participated in burgeoning subcultural music scenes. Levine discovers a common political strategy underlying their art that critiques both nostalgia for the 1960s counterculture and Reagan-era conservatism. He shows how this strategy led each artist to create strange and unseemly images that test the limits of not only art but also gender roles, sex, acceptable behavior, poor taste, and even the gag reflex that separates pleasure from disgust. As a result, their work places viewers in uncomfortable situations that challenge them to reassess their own values.
The first substantial analysis of Kelley, McCarthy, and Pettibon, Pay for Your Pleasures shines new light on three artists whose work continues to resonate in the world of art and politics.
Can literature make it possible to represent histories that are otherwise ineffable? Making use of the Deleuzian concept of “the powers of the false,” Doro Wiese offers readings of three novels that deal with the Shoah, with colonialism, and with racialized identities. She argues that Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything Is Illuminated, Richard Flanagan’s Gould’s Book of Fish, and Richard Powers’s The Time of Our Singing are novels in which a space for unvoiced, silent, or silenced difference is created. Seen through the lens of Deleuze and his collaborators’ philosophy, literature is a means for mediating knowledge and affects about historical events. Going beyond any simple dichotomy between true and untrue accounts of what “really” happened in the past, literature’s powers of the false incite readers to long for a narrative space in which painful or shameful stories can be included.
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.
In her fourth book of poems, Mexican-born Olivia Maciel lyrically evokes another America. She writes with the critical and contemplative eye of a poet, revealing mystery and beauty in places dark and light, near and far. The richly allusive language of Sombra en plata / Shadow in Silver is a terrain at times steep, fevered, and sensual: a harmony of words scented of earth and sky. Her poems are catalysts for transformation, challenging the reader with a vision of a world where myth and the quotidian are intimately intertwined. Exploring complex and unpredictable landscapes, Maciel is both a guide and fellow traveler on a fascinating journey through memories and emotions. Maciel eloquently draws from both collective and personal histories, and this new bilingual compilation will be a pleasure to turn to again and again.