Tales of separating cream on the back porch at Cottonwood Farm, raising a teddy bear of a puppy in addition to a menagerie of other animals, surviving an endless procession of Cub and Boy Scouts, appreciating a little boy’s need to take his toy tractor to church, blowing out eggs to make an Easter egg tree, shopping for bargains on the day before Christmas, camping in a converted Model T “house car,” and adjusting to the fact of one’s tenth decade of existence all merge to form a world composed of kindness and wisdom with just enough humor to keep it grounded. Recipes for such fare as Evelyn’s signature Hay Hand Rolls prove that the young woman who was daunted by her editor’s advice to “put in a recipe every week” became a talented cook. Each of the more than eighty columns in this warmhearted collection celebrates not a bygone era tinged with sentimentality but a continuing tradition of neighborliness, Midwest-nice and Midwest-sensible.
Anecdote, Network, Gossip, Performance is a study of the Shishuo xinyu, the most important anecdotal collection of medieval China—and arguably of the entire traditional era. In a set of interconnected essays, Jack W. Chen offers new readings of the Shishuo xinyu that draw upon social network analysis, performance studies, theories of ritual and mourning, and concepts of gossip and reputation to illuminate how the anecdotes of the collection imagine and represent a political and cultural elite. Whereas most accounts of the Shishuo have taken a historical approach, Chen argues that the work should be understood in literary terms.At its center, Anecdote, Network, Gossip, Performance is an extended meditation on the very nature of the anecdote form, both what the anecdote affords in terms of representing a social community and how it provides a space for the rehearsal of certain longstanding philosophical and cultural arguments. Although each of the chapters may be read separately as an essay in its own right, when taken together, they present a comprehensive account of the Shishuo in all of its literary complexity.
2023 Lambda Literary Award Finalist, Lesbian Memoir/Biography
Named the BEST LGBTQ+ MEMOIR of 2022 by Book Riot
Named a New York Public Library Best Book of 2022
Weatherford Award finalist, nonfiction
“Commands your attention from the first page to the last word.” —Morgan Jerkins
“I’m glad this memoir exists . . . and I’m especially glad it’s so good.” —Vauhini Vara, New York Magazine
When Neema Avashia tells people where she’s from, their response is nearly always a disbelieving “There are Indian people in West Virginia?” A queer Asian American teacher and writer, Avashia fits few Appalachian stereotypes. But the lessons she learned in childhood about race and class, gender and sexuality continue to inform the way she moves through the world today: how she loves, how she teaches, how she advocates, how she struggles.
Another Appalachia examines both the roots and the resonance of Avashia’s identity as a queer desi Appalachian woman, while encouraging readers to envision more complex versions of both Appalachia and the nation as a whole. With lyric and narrative explorations of foodways, religion, sports, standards of beauty, social media, gun culture, and more, Another Appalachia mixes nostalgia and humor, sadness and sweetness, personal reflection and universal questions.
Another Way the River Has collects Robin Cody’s finest nonfiction writings, many appearing for the first time in print. Cody’s prose rings with a sense of place. He is a native speaker who probes the streams and woods and salmon that run to the heart of what it means to live and love, to work and play, in Oregon.
His characters—from loggers to fishers to cowboys to the kids on his school bus—are smart and curious, often off-beat, always vivid. Cody brings the ear of a novelist and the eye of a reporter to the people and places that make the Northwest, and Northwest literature, distinctive.
“A rock, you know, will sink like a stone in water. But a flat rock, slung spinningly near the water surface and at an angel parallel to it, will go skipping across the water in defiance of gravity and common sense. How cool is that?! The first time a boy pulls this off ranks just short of first-time sex on the scale of things he will want to do over and over whenever he can and as long as he lives.”
-from “The Clackamas River”
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