Publications

American Terror: The Feeling of Thinking in Edwards, Poe, and Melville

Stanford University Press, March 2015

Studies in Medieval and Renaissance History

co-ed. with Peter E. Medine.

3rd Series, vol. 10. AMS Press, 2013

Zoologies: On Animals and the Human Spirit

Milkweed, 2014

Held as Earth

(Finishing Line, 2014).  Chapbook, poems.

Office at Night: A Novella

(by Kate Bernheimer and Laird Hunt, joint commission of Coffee House Press and The Walker Art Center, 2014)

The Available World

“[Ander Monson’s] poems celebrate defiant excess. In this land of scarcity, right-living involves using up what you have, where you have it; otherwise someone might wreck, steal, or use it and you might not get any. A carpe diem for obscure, doomed youth.”—Stephen Burt

The Colors of Nature

The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity, and the Natural World is an anthology that doesn’t operate merely as a collection of essays and poems by writers of color and their reflections about the natural world. Rather, the anthology is a sophisticated argument expertly structured around the following question: “Why is there so little ‘nature writing’ by people of color?”—Oliver de la Paz

What You See in the Dark

“You’ll understand one day, her mother had said at the bus station. When you find a man of your own, you’ll know why you’ll run toward him.”

A penetrating look at people searching for meaning and authenticity in lives played out under watchful eyes, this thoroughly original work is intense and fascinating in its juxtapositions of tenderness and menace, violence and regret, and its atmosphere recreation of a place on a brink of change.

Grounds of Literary Criricism

Between the foundationalist stance that seeks to eliminate disputes by finding the right answers and the relativist postion that regards disagreements as pointless quarrels that can never be resolved, Suresh Raval advocates a refreshing new perspective: a rehabilitation of controversy that recognizes the essentially contestable nature of critical concepts.

Proposing an antifoundationalist exploration of the problems of literary criticism and theory, Raval argues that critical debates, though never leading to a conclusive, stable point of consensus, are far more productive then relativists admit. Drawing on the work of the later Wittgenstein, contemporary post-analytic philosophers, and American pragmatists, Raval addresses the arguments of major contemporary critics in constructing his spohisticated and innovatve approach to literary theorry. Grounds of Literary Criticism explores the complex relation between theory and practice as well as the entanglements of both with contexts of cultural change and theoretical debates.

Zines in Third Space

Zines in Third Space: Radical Cooperation and Borderlands RhetoricZines in Third Space develops third-space theory with a practical engagement in the subcultural space of zines as alternative media produced specifically by feminists and queers of color. Adela C. Licona explores how borderlands rhetorics function in feminist and queer of-color zines to challenge dominant knowledges as well as normativitizing mis/representations, Licona characterizes these as zines as thrid-space sites of borderlands rhetorics revealing dissident performances, disruptive rhetorical acts, and coalitions that effect new cultural, political, economic, and sexual configurations.

Approaches to Teaching Faulkner's As I Lay Dying

As I Lay Dying is considered by many both the most enigmatic and the most accessible of Faulkner's major works. This volume of essays, with contributions by Cedric Gael Bryant, Barbara Ladd, John T. Matthews, Homer B. Pettey, and others provides "an aid that should help both new teachers and veterans to teach [As I Lay Dying] more fully and effectively."—Gail L. Mortimer

Geography of the Heart

With grace and affection, Johnson recounts the history of “how I fell in love, how I came to be with someone else, and how he came to death and how I helped, how in the end love enables us to continue beyond death.” At the same time, Johnson interweaves two stories: his own upbringing as the youngest of a Kentucky whiskey maker’s nine children, and that of his lover Larry Rose, the only child of German Jews, survivors of the Holocaust. Johnson’s writing has been described by Barbara Kingsolver as “having the dead-on truthful ring of a report from the trenches.” This memoir affirms and embraces the mysterious workings of joy and grief, love and loss, in our lives.

SCISSORS, PAPER, ROCK

“SCISSORS, PAPER, ROCK is a book of insight and honest love; it has the lyricism of family legend, and the dead-on truthful ring of a report from the trenches. Fenton Johnson has made something wonderful here.”

  • Barbara Kingsolver, author of Pigs in Heaven

 

“The emotional power of SCISSORS, PAPER, ROCK resides on a plot of land in Kentucky…, [It] chronicles the courtships, the births, the deaths and the agonizing disappointments of two generations of the Hardins of Strang Knob…When we first meet Tom Hardin, the patriarch of his dwindling family, he is an old widower fighting terminal cancer and puttering away the last months of his life in his workshop. Unknown to Tom, his thirty-six-year-old son, Raphael, who has come to visit from his adopted home of San Francisco, is fighting battles of his own: not just AIDS, but anger, alienation, and an agonizing wistfulness…SCISSORS, PAPER, ROCK is a seductive rumination on the ways that memory can torment or soothe and sometimes do both at the same time.”

  • San Francisco Chronicle
The Fallen Sky

“Christopher Cokinos goes from pole to pole in his search for the bits of cosmos that fall onto the Earth, and the remarkable people who collect and study them. He is a natural philosopher and gifted writer who sprinkles his own kind of stardust on every page. If you have ever wished upon a falling star, this is your chance to know just what is falling, where it comes from, what it tells us about our place in the universe – and what things in life are worth wishing for.”

  • Chet Raymo, former Boston Globe science columnist and bestselling author of The Dork of Cork and Walking Zero

“I was thoroughly captivated by this book about meteorites and the obsessive dreamers, the author included, who hunt them. I especially admire the way Cokinos knits together the earth and the sky, the mystery of the cosmos and the riddle of human desire. Who knew fragments of metal could be so moving or lodge so deeply in the soul?”

  • Jonathan Rosen, author of The Life of the Skies: Birding at the End of Nature
Crossing the River

THE IDEA PULSED WITH ROMANCE, BUT THE ACT WAS RASH, RECKLESS – AND IRREVOCABLE.

Carrying her Confederate heritage like a flag, Martha Bragg Pickett was as stubborn as her red hair. And hungry for life. On a dare she crossed the river, leaving the safe, abstaining, Baptist, Southern side and venturing over to the dangerous, rowdy, Catholic Northern side. And when that proved less than thrilling, she marched her young self right into the (men only) Miracle Inn, which got a rise out of Bernie Miracle, who thought he’d seen everything. But even Martha was shocked to find herself living on the wrong side of the river twenty years later, with a grown son, a tired marriage to Bernie, a handsome Yankee contractor newly arrived in town – and a well-remembered itch for life that hadn’t been scratched since she made her first big, brave mistake.

Keeping Faith

WINNER OF A LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD AND A KENTUCKY LITERARY AWARD

In a resonant account of his spiritual quest, Fenton Johnson examines what it means for a skeptic to have and to keep faith. Exploring Western and Eastern monastic traditions, Johnson lives as a member of the community at the Trappist Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky and the branches of the San Francisco Zen Center. Ultimately his encounter with Buddhism brings him to a new understanding and embrace of Christianity. Weaving together meditations on Johnson’s spiritual journey with history and insights from contemporary monks, Keeping Faith offers a blueprint for a new way of practicing faith.

Hope is the Thing with Feathers

A prizewinning poet and nature writer weaves together natural history, biology, sociology, and personal narrative to tell the story of the lives, habitats, and deaths of six extinct bird species.

 

“This story – of the ghost species still haunting this continent – is full of power and mystery.”

  • Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature

“I was mesmerized by this fine book and felt in reading these lost natural histories as if I had both been given a gift and had one taken away.”

  • Rick Bass, author of The Lives of Rocks

“Lovingly persistent detective work brings back flashes of color, bits of song, and curious lore. This book deserves a wide and devoted readership.”

  • Sheila Nickerson, author of Disappearance: A Map
Forty Fairtales ed. Kate

Props? Already on the ready. The slipper, the spindle, the seashell, the sword. The coach, the comb, the cauldron, the cape. The apple, the bread, and the porridge. And look, even simpler things in the dusty shadows, from earier iterations of these tales. The feather, the stone, the bucket of water; the knife, the bone, the bucket of blood. —from the foreword by Gregory Maguire

Contributors to this anthology include Kim Addonizio, Neil Gaiman, Hiromi ItōIlya Kaminsky, Jonathan Keats, Lydia Millet, Sabrina Orah Mark, Francine Prose, Stacey Richter, John Updike, and Joy Williams,

Ground|Water The Art, Design and Science of a Dry River

Ground|Water is an ode to a dry river, the kind of river most familiar to those who dwell in Southern Arizona. It is also an experiment in making something beautiful from something that has been desecrated. And it is a strong message about community and responsibility.

Horse, Flower, Bird

In Kate Bernheimer’s familiar and spare, yet wondrous world, an exotic dancer builds her own cage, a wife tends a secret basement menagerie, a fishmonger’s daughter befriends a tulip bulb, and sisters explore cycles of love and violence by reenacting scenes from Star Wars. Enthralling, subtle, and poetic, this collection evokes the age-old pleasures of classic fairy tales and makes them new.

Horse, Flower, Bird includes 8 black and white illustrations.

“Once upon a time, there was a lovely petal-winged book that had legs so small they poked into the tiniest capillaries of your heart, a mane that smelled like sea air and nostalgia, and a young girl’s eyes that promised penance prior to murder. . . . [A] kind gift from the vast imagination of Kate Bernheimer. Horse, Flower, Bird is a collection of eight stories–jewels that politely but firmly ask to be held up into the light, examined, perhaps coddled, maybe caged, and then, of course, set free.” —New Delta Review

(From Coffee House Press)

Rope

Alison Hawthorne Deming ’s fourth collection of poems follows the paths of imagination into meditations on salt, love, Hurricane Katrina, Greek myth, and the search for extraterrestrial life, all linked by the poet’s faith in art as an instrument for creating meaning, beauty, and continuity—virtues diminished by the velocity and violence of our historical moment. The final long poem “The Flight,” inspired by the works of A. R. Ammons, is a twenty-first century epic poised on the verge of our discovering life beyond Earth.

Genius Loci

From a poet and essayist whose writing about nature has won her comparisons with Gary Snyder and Terry Tempest Williams comes a new collection that offers further evidence of her ability to trace the intersections of the human and nonhuman worlds. The title poem is a lyrical excavation of the city of Prague, where layers of history, culture and nature have accumulated to form “a genius loci”—a guardian spirit.

From Penguin.Com

 

 

Vanishing Point

In contemporary America, land of tell-all memoirs and endless reality television, what kind of person denies the opportunity to present himself in his own voice, to lead with “I”? How many layers of a life can be peeled back before the self vanishes?

In this provocative, witty series of meditations, Ander Monson faces down the idea of the memoir, grappling with the lure of self-interest and self-presentation. While setting out to describe the experience of serving as head juror at the trial of Michael Antwone Jordan, he can’t help veering off into an examination of his own transgressions, inadvertent and otherwise. He filters his private experience of the public funeral ceremony for Gerald R. Ford through the music of New Order. He considers his attraction to chemically concocted Doritos and his disappointment in the plain, natural corn chip, and finds that the manufactured form, at least in snacks, is ultimately a more rewarding experience than the “truth.” So why is America so crazy about accurately confessional memoirs?

With Vanishing Point, Monson delivers on the promise shown in Neck Deep, which introduced his winning voice and ability to redefine the essay and “puts most memoirs to shame” (Time Out Chicago).

 

(From Graywolfpress.org)

History Lesson for Girls

In her follow-up to the critically acclaimed novel The Anxiety of Everyday Objects, Aurelie Sheehan presents a moving coming-of-age story set in the disturbingly reckless and often hilariously tacky 1970s. In 1975, Alison Glass, age thirteen, moves to Connecticut with her bohemian parents and her horse, Jazz. Shy, observant, and in a back brace for scoliosis, Alison finds strength in an unlikely friendship with Kate Hamilton, the charismatic but troubled daughter of an egomaniacal New Age guru and his substance-loving wife. Seeking refuge from the chaos in their lives, the girls escape into the world of their horses. Rich in humor and heartbreak,
History Lesson for Girls is an elegy to a friendship that meant everything.

 

(from Bookish.com)

Jack Kerouac is Pregnant: Stories

Excerpt from “Jack Kerouac Is Pregnant”

How to Be a Passenger on a Motorcycle

The motorcycle owner gets on the bike. He’s stomped on the clutch or whatever that thing is, the choke maybe. He dons his big helmet, puts on his big black gloves, lifts his leg over the hulking machine. He situates himself on the seat, revs, adjusts the mirror, and looks at you, standing on the sidewalk like an orphan. You take the cue. You tentatively put on your helmet, a white one unlike his black one, and you’ve already put your hair in a braid so it doesn’t get too knotty, and you’re wearing your white pants and you hope they don’t get too dirty. You do a little jump up on the hot leather seat and you are behind him, legs spread, almost prepared. You look down to locate the perches for your feet. You find them as the bike lunges forward, and you are sent back into a fearsome space. You hold onto his jacket and press your face sideways into his back. You know how he feels about the motorcycle. He has told you about the freedom and the adventure.

But you are the passenger. You aren’t supposed to lean too much, you are to lean with his body, you are not to make any sudden movements. You therefore tend to look sideways, and the landscape passes by you in a blur. You begin to wonder about your life, about your landlord, about your boss, about the police, about credit cards. You remember a car you once owned and the feeling you had when you drove it seventy miles per hour down a back road. When you remember this, when you remember Pat Benatar on the radio, when you remember the anger, the love, the fear, the pleasure of that ride, you smile slightly to yourself, behind the back of the motorcycle driver.

The Anxiety of Everyday Objects

Excerpt from Chapter One

All good secretaries will eventually find truth in the hearts of men.

Winona Bartlett, Win to her friends, might not have been the world’s best secretary, but her nature was such that serving, subservience, and coffee service came easily, and, in fact, she felt there was an inherent good in doing things well, and this determination more than equaled her actual interest in the long-term prospects at Grecko Mauster Crill. She practiced her secretarial role as a Zen meditation; what role she was more suited to remained a mystery, though she was now nearly thirty. She held on to the notion that one day she might make a living by creative, individualistic endeavor. It was her belief that if she in fact made the pretty God’s eye with purple and orange yarn and winsomely presented her creation, the judge would be charmed, and she would get a gold star.

Or so it seemed to have been promised to our heroine, who at this moment was standing on an elevator, soaring up to the Chrysler Building’s 58th floor.

That’s not to say she wasn’t smart in the world--Winona had done fine in school and by the time she landed at the law firm, she had revised her résumé at least twenty times, honing it and adding to it carefully, as if it were a house of cards. But some of her greatest moments of glory weren’t in there. For instance, in college, when the DJ invited her to co-emcee the dance with him and she wore a swirling ’50s dress and red lipstick and said sassy and amplified things to throngs of bisexual castabouts. You could say she considered it a triumph when she cast surly, unpleasant Ronald in her “Avant-Garde Film History and Techniques” final project, a Super-8 film about a woman who is “afraid to be revealed” and ultimately disappears when she throws her diary into a river. Or perhaps you might consider her interview techniques a plus. When she bluffed her way into the film program, for example, or when she put on a long floral dress and matching green pumps from Shoe Town and told the lawyers, I am a good secretary, and then asked for twice as much money as she’d ever made as a waitress or as the assistant to the assistant at the bookstore.

If you are wondering if she is pretty, this is the story. When she was in eighth grade she’d speculated on this subject, twice in particular: once, upon being surrounded and interrogated by a group of girls in her new school, she said yes, she thought she was pretty. Later that same year, in a more casual moment with a friend and a camp counselor, she revealed that actually she thought she was, well, pretty pretty. She didn’t stand out as a bombshell--maybe a Miss Money Penny. Her hair was cut in a bob, and she sometimes flipped a section over to the other side in a happy and unruly flop. She wore a little makeup, eye pencil and a touch of lipstick, and today, her Queen Elizabeth perfume (some scents said stay away, some said come closer). Even in her well-matched outfit and pantyhose, she looked slightly out of place in the business world. She was no East Village leather mama, no strange-fruit lipstick or ball-and-chain fashion statements on Winona. But she was willowy, and she moved like a gazelle, and there was about her, you couldn’t miss it, a betraying twinge of bohemia.

It was reassuring to be on the elevator with the goers and getters of the universe, to catch a glimpse of her reflection in the gleaming enclosure, a worker bee like all the others. Still, Winona stood rather rigidly in her new, like-everyone-else trench coat--waist, toes, underarms itchy with Monday-morning alarm.

Mestiz@ Scripts, Digital Migrations, and the Territories of Writing

Conventional scholarship on written communication positions the Western alphabet as a precondition for literacy. Thus, pictographic, non-verbal writing practices of Mesoamerica remain obscured by representations of lettered speech. This book examines how contemporary Mestiz@ scripts challenge alphabetic dominance, thereby undermining the colonized territories of "writing." Strategic weavings of Aztec and European inscription systems not only promote historically-grounded accounts of how recorded information is expressed across cultures, but also speak to emerging studies on "visual/multimodal" education. Baca argues that Mestiz@ literacies advance "new" ways of reading and writing, applicable to diverse classrooms of the twenty-first century.

Rhetorics of the Americas: 3114 BCE to 2012 CE

This is the first work to begin to fill a gap: an understanding of discourse aimed to persuade within the Pre-Columbian Americas. The contributors in this collection offer glimpses of what those Indigenous rhetorics might have looked like and how their influences remain. The reader is invited to recognize “the invention of the Americas,” providing other ways to contemplate material life prior to contemporary capitalism, telling us about the global from long ago to current global capitalism. This book is the drop that will ripple, creating new lines of inquiry into language use within the Americas and the legacies of genocide, conquest, and cultural survival.

Game Work: Language, Power, and Computer Game Culture

As the popularity of computer games has exploded over the past decade, both scholars and game industry professionals have recognized the necessity of treating games less as frivolous entertainment and more as artifacts of culture worthy of political, social, economic, rhetorical, and aesthetic analysis. Ken McAllister notes in his introduction to Game Work that, even though games are essentially impractical, they are nevertheless important mediating agents for the broad exercise of socio-political power.

In considering how the languages, images, gestures, and sounds of video games influence those who play them, McAllister highlights the ways in which ideology is coded into games. Computer games, he argues, have transformative effects on the consciousness of players, like poetry, fiction, journalism, and film, but the implications of these transformations are not always clear. Games can work to maintain the status quo or celebrate liberation or tolerate enslavement, and they can conjure feelings of hope or despair, assent or dissent, clarity or confusion. Overall, by making and managing meanings, computer games—and the work they involve and the industry they spring from—are also negotiating power.

This book sets out a method for "recollecting" some of the diverse and copious influences on computer games and the industry they have spawned. Specifically written for use in computer game theory classes, advanced media studies, and communications courses, Game Work will also be welcome by computer gamers and designers.

Fluency in Play: Computer Game Design for Less Commonly Taught Language Pedagogy

Fluency in Play was written to provide K-16 teachers with an introduction to designing and building computer games for the foreign language classroom. At the heart of the book is the fact that computer games make excellent teaching tools. They combine two of the fundamental processes of new language acquisition—play and exploration—with the power and pleasures of fun. Computer games are also dynamic, scalable, and ductile; they can be drawn out and shaped to fit an infinite number of classroom sizes, subjects, and settings. Computer games are thus ideal for foreign language instruction, especially when that instruction involves less commonly taught languages, which are notorious for being difficult to learn quickly and efficiently at the intermediate and advanced levels of proficiency.

Fluency in Play is meant as both an introduction and a prompt, that is, as an overview of the process of educational computer game design and a provocation to language teachers excited about the pedagogical possibilities of that process. It is not hard to envision the interesting, ground-breaking, and useful strategic language games that a little elbow grease could produce, and we hope that Fluency in Play will serve as a guiding and animating force for teachers interested in that kind of production.

The Computer Culture Reader

The Computer Culture Reader brings together a multi-disciplinary group of scholars to probe the underlying structures and overarching implications of the ways in which people and computers collaborate in the production of meaning. The contributors navigate the heady and sometimes terrifying atmosphere surrounding the digital revolution in an attempt to take its measure through examinations of community and modes of communication, representation, information-production, learning, work, and play. The authors address questions of art, reality, literacy, history, heroism, commerce, crime, and death, as well as specific technologies ranging from corporate web portals and computer games to social networking applications and virtual museums. In all, the essayists work around and through the notion that the desire to communicate is at the heart of the digital age, and that the opportunity for private and public expression has taken a commanding hold on the modern imagination. The contributors argue, ultimately, that the reference ï¬eld for the technological and cultural changes at the root of the digital revolution extends well beyond any specific locality, nationality, discourse, or discipline. Consequently, this volume advocates for an adaptable perspective that delivers new insights about the robust and fragile relationships between computers and people.

AZ 100 Indie Films: A State of Arizona Centennial Celebration

A catalog of the 100 films selected by the Arizona Media Arts Center to celebrate the 2012 Centennial of Arizona statehood. Includes copious film and filmmaker information, a guide to film themes for teachers and scholars, and a still from each film. Black & White with Color cover. 200 pages.

Language at Play: Digital Games in Second and Foreign Language Teaching and Learning

The potential of digital games to inform, enhance, and transform second and foreign language (L2) learning is enormous, but harnessing their potential for application in the L2 classroom presents complex challenges. In Language at Play: Digital Games in Second and Foreign Language Teaching and Learning, Sykes and Reinhardt combine research from a variety of perspectives in applied linguistics, educational gaming, and games studies, and structure their discussion of five major concepts central to these areas: goal, interaction, feedback, motivation and context.  While theoretically grounded, the volume's audience is primarily practicing L2 professionals with classroom experience.

 
Jewelry Box

The sixty-eight short works in this collection (some only a paragraph, others a few pages) straddle memoir and fiction, exploring the nuances of sexuality, motherhood, love, and ambition. Like Lydia Davis, Aurelie Sheehan's stories are potent miniatures that blossom out from seemingly insignificant encounters and objects. Jewelry Box is a collection of intimate renderings of the life that surrounds us, just under the surface.

Aurelie Sheehan is author of two novels, History Lesson for Girls and The Anxiety of Everyday Objects, and the story collection Jack Kerouac Is Pregnant.

Gaming Matters: Art, Science, and Magic and the Computer Game Medium

In Gaming Matters, Judd Ethan Ruggill and Ken S. McAllister offer a playful and provocative look at the computer game medium, arguing that games are:

  • Idiosyncratic, and thus difficult to apprehend using the traditional tools of media study
  • Irreconcilable, or complex to such a degree that developers, players, and scholars have contradictory ways of describing them
  • Boring, and therefore obligated to constantly make demands
  • on players' attention
  • Anachronistic, or built on age-old tropes and forms of play
  • while ironically bound to the most advanced technologies
  • Duplicitous, or dependent on truth-telling rhetoric even when they are about fictions, fantasies, or lies
  • Work, or are often better understood as labor rather than play
  • Alchemical, despite seeming all-too mechanical or predictable
  • Video games are now inarguably a major site of worldwide cultural production.

In its assessments, Gaming Matters neither flatters game enthusiasts nor emboldens the medium's detractors. Instead, it provides a new set of lenses through which games can be examined, and in the process makes a significant contribution to the foundation of both computer game and new media studies.

 
The Making of Barack Obama: The Politics of Persuasion

 “From the inspiring slogans and speeches of his campaign to the eloquent successes and failures of his presidency, Barack Obama has been extravagantly praised and sarcastically criticized for the distinctive power of his rhetoric. The essays in this collection persuasively analyze that rhetoric in all its specific tactics and general strategies, in its idealist yearnings and its pragmatic compromises, in its ambitious strivings and its political obstacles.”

President’s Professor of Rhetoric, Loyola Marymount University

“By confronting topics often avoided in politically correct discourse—including religious iden­tity, racial belonging and the cultural politics of difference—The Making of Barack Obama doesn’t hesitate to engage divisive and difficult issues; producing some of the most challenging, insightful and provocative perspectives to date.”

—Rhea Lathan, Assistant Professor of English, Florida State University

“. . . a robust look at the deft rhetorical strategies deployed by the first African American President. Moving beyond sentimental, hypercritical or otherwise dismissive readings of his oratory, these essays explore how Obama’s speeches have addressed substantive issues, such as globalization, the American dream, political gridlock, and the legacy of racism and religious bigotry. This book will appeal to rhetorical scholars and laypersons alike.”

—David G. Holmes, Professor of English, Pepperdine University

“In The Making of Barack Obama, Matthew Abraham, Erec Smith and their contributors have reached the analytical depth Obama’s own rhetoric warrants. They treat Barack Obama’s rhetoric with both the respect and suspicion it deserves; we learn a great deal about linkages between persuasion and identity in contemporary U,S and global politics.”

—Seth Kahn, Associate Professor of English, West Chester University of Pennsylvania

xo Orpheus Fifty New Myths Edited by Kate Bernheimer

Fifty leading writers retell myths from around the world in this dazzling follow-up to the bestselling My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me.

Icarus flies once more. Aztec jaguar gods again stalk the earth. An American soldier designs a new kind of Trojan horse—his cremains in a bullet. Here, in beguiling guise, are your favorite mythological figures alongside characters from Indian, Punjabi, Inuit, and other traditions.
 
Aimee Bender retells the myth of the Titans.
 
Madeline Miller retells the myth of Galatea.
 
Kevin Wilson retells the myth of Phaeton, from Ovid’s Metamorphoses.
 
Emma Straub and Peter Straub retell the myth of Persephone.
 
Heidi Julavits retells the myth of Orpheus and Euridice.
 
Ron Currie, Jr. retells the myth of Dedalus.
 
Maile Meloy retells the myth of Demeter.
 
Zachary Mason retells the myth of Narcissus.
 
Joy Williams retells the myth of Argos, Odysseus’ dog.
 
If “xo” signals a goodbye, then xo Orpheus is a goodbye to an old way of mythmaking. Featuring talkative goats, a cat lady, a bird woman, a beer-drinking ogre, a squid who falls in love with the sun, and a girl who gives birth to cubs, here are extravagantly imagined, bracingly contemporary stories, heralding a new beginning for one of the world’s oldest literary traditions.

Faith Healer of Olive Avenue

Manuel Muñoz's dazzling second collection finds the author returning, once again, to the small towns of California's Central Valley. Set in a neighborhood with characters whose lives often intersect with each other, The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue offers ten stories about a wide range of lives: a mother coping with a mortally injured son after his motorcycle accident; a single father returning from San Francisco and attempting a reconciliation with an estranged sister; a young woman trying to provide safe haven to her cousin fleeing a vicious boyfriend; and a teenager who sees himself in the trials of the town's most-gossiped-about resident. How these characters cross paths reveal a neighborhood shaped by misunderstandings and long-held secrets, and show how a community can be both embracing and unforgiving, revealing a truth about the nature of home: you always live with its history.

Stories from The Faith Healer of Olive Avenue were previously published in EpochGlimmer Train (marking Manuel's third appearance in this literary journal), Rush Hour, and Swink. His work has appeared in many other journals, including The Massachusetts ReviewThe Colorado ReviewBoston Review, and Puerto del Sol, and has also been broadcast on National Public Radio's Selected Shorts.

Born and raised in Dinuba, California, Muñoz graduated from Harvard University and received his MFA in creative writing from Cornell University. He lives in New York City, where he works in the managing editorial department of Grand Central Publishing (the former Warner Books).

Zigzagger

Manuel Muñoz’s stories move beyond traditional themes of Chicano literature to explore conflicts of family, memory, longing, and loss. In the lonely rural towns of California’s Central Valley, his characters struggle to maintain hope and independence in the face of isolation. In the title story, a teenager learns the consequences of succumbing to the lure of a stranger; in another, a young farmworker attempts to hide his supervision of a huddle of children from the police. Bighearted and exquisitely detailed, Zigzagger is an auspicious debut by a young author of uncommon maturity and narrative powers.

Bodies of the Holocene

In this brooding and daring collection of lyric prose set on the lush prairie of eastern Kansas, writer and naturalist Christopher Cokinos explores the dangers of falling too much in love with the outer world as a way of escaping a deeply fraught marriage. In landscapes both broken and bountiful, he considers the sustainable environment and the sustainable psyche while uncovering secrets and fears in order to find a hopeful, balanced self. Moving to the mountains of the West, Cokinos muses on the role of art itself in making a life worth living, discovering that art can move us as much as lovers and the land. This book grounds the whole of the self in nature, in time, and in bodies both sexual and contemplative.

Out of Bounds

Academic freedom is a key element of the academic enterprise in the U.S. However, it does not seem to exist when scholars seek to advocate on behalf of Palestinian self-determination.

This unique work examines how the knowledge-power nexus is shaping the discourse around the Israel-Palestine conflict and restricting academic freedom. Beginning with a discussion of American Zionism, the work proceeds to explain why scholars working on the question of Palestine are often denied standard academic freedom. This is supported by prominent cases, such as Norman G. Finkelstein's denial of tenure, the Middle East Studies Department at Columbia University, and Mearsheimer and Walt's book, The Israel Lobby. The work of Edward Said and Noam Chomsky are also discussed and the book concludes with recommendations for protecting intellectual freedom to those seeking to critically pursue the question of Palestine.

This scholarly study will appeal to a broad audience of faculty, students, and readers who seek to understand the importance of academic freedom and the thorny debates surrounding the Israel-Palestine conflict.

The Courier’s Archive & Hymnal

“My phone’s gleam throws a little bastard net around the keyhole.

I want one thing handed over to me. An injured gull placed in newspaper on the tabletop.”

The Courier’s Archive & Hymnal navigates a purgatory made nearly pastoral by a necrotic vision of consumptive rivers, ghost mazes, corpsethieves, and stalkerish moons. With an exacting, halted diction, Joshua Marie Wilkinson swerves us deeper toward the source of this dark archive, stirring our courier to contemplate Basho, Beckett, Kafka, Matta-Clark in hope of materializing a “name for no becoming, stammering through wind.” The result is a hypnotizing meditation of mood, mind, perdition, and image. In other words, book three of Wilkinson's No Volta pentology picks up exactly where its predecessors Selenography and Swamp Isthmus leave off. That is to say, beyond the good myths, to a decidedly singular poetic territory “recasting the future freshly black.”

Swamp Isthmus

Swamp Isthmus takes the stripped, lyric voice of Selenography, the first book of Wilkinson’s No Volta pentalogy, and confronts a pre-apocalyptic vision of American urban life. Here, the city and forest are one, as are the river and sewer. The ghost and the body are one, and the buildings and the trees, the sidewalks and the switchbacks all fuse. The poems in Swamp Isthmus create the flipside of the pastoral—the urban returns to the rural, their fates inseparable. In this broken, scattered world that still finds a way to be playful and imploring, there is no respite in the trees and streams and no turning back on nostalgia for either nature or the city. Though the second installment of the larger pentalogySwamp Isthmus stands alone, archiving and organizing, rehearsing words to hold in the mouth for just that moment.

How a Mother Weaned Her Girl from Fairy Tales: and Other Stories

Elegant and brutal, the stories in Kate Bernheimer's latest collection occupy a heightened landscape, where the familiar cedes to the grotesque and nonsense just as often devolves into terror. These are fairy tales out of time, renewing classic stories we think we know, like one of Bernheimer's girls, whose hands of steel turn to flowers, leaving her beautiful but alone.

Kate Bernheimer is the author of the short story collection Horse, Flower, Bird and the editor of My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales and the journal Fairy Tale Review.

 

Intellectual Resistance and the Struggle for Palestine

"Drawing on the magisterial writings of Edward Said and Franz Fanon, Matthew Abraham has written a brilliant and balanced critique of academic Zionism and a robust defense of Palestinian resistance to Israeli ethnic cleansing." - James Petras, Bartle Professor Emeritus, Binghamton University, USA

 

Intellectual Resistance and the Struggle for Palestine looks at the Question of Palestine as a site of controversy, a place of physical and intellectual repression as well as physical and intellectual resistance. By examining the intellectual example of the late Edward Said, who emerged out of the tradition of the New York Intellectuals, in his advocacy for Palestinian self-determination, Abraham explores Said's resistance as a Palestinian intellectual to the discourse of Zionism within the United States. In addition to Said's intellectual resistance, Intellectual Resistance and the Struggle for Palestine looks at the most extreme forms of Palestinian physical resistance against Israeli occupation (suicide bombing), arguing that it constitutes a form of biopolitical intervention to advance communal memory and goals, although it is most frequently dismissed in the West as a nihilistic act with no connection to politics. By bringing together intellectual interventions with the most violent form of resistance on the ground, Abraham posits that the Question of Palestine is an issue that cannot be ignored as it intrudes into daily life, domestic debates, and foreign policy considerations.

Quartet for the End of Time
Inspired by and structured around the chamber piece of the same title by the French composer Olivier Messiaen, Quartet for the End of Time is a mesmerizing story of four lives irrevocably linked in a single act of betrayal. The novel takes us on an unforgettable journey beginning during the 1930s Bonus Army riots, when World War I veteran Arthur Sinclair is falsely accused of conspiracy and then disappears. His absence will haunt his son, Douglas, as well as Alden and Sutton Kelly, the children of a powerful U.S. congressman, as they experience—each in different ways—the dynamic political social changes that took place leading up to and during World War II.

From the New Deal projects through which Douglas, newly fatherless, makes his living to Sutton’s work as a journalist, to Alden’s life as a code breaker and a spy, each character is haunted by the past and is searching for love, hope, and redemption in a world torn apart by chaos and war. Through the lives of these characters, as well as those of their lovers, friends, and enemies, the novel transports us from the Siberian Expedition of World War I to the underground world of a Soviet spy in the 1920s and 1930s, to the occultist circle of P. D. Ouspensky and London during the Blitz, to the German prison camp where Messiaen originally composed and performed his famous Quartet for the End of Time.

At every turn, this rich and ambitious novel tells some of the less well-known stories of twentieth-century history with epic scope and astonishing power, revealing at every turn the ways in which history and memory tend to follow us, and in which absence has a palpable presence.

 

The Cambridge Companion to the Modern Gothic

This Companion explores the many ways in which the Gothic has dispersed in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, and in particular how it has come to offer a focus for the tensions inherent in modernity.  Fourteen essays by world-class experts show how the gothic in numerous forms - including literature, film, television, and cyberspace -- helps audiences both to distance themselves from and to deal with some of the key underlying problems of modern life.  Topics discussed include the norms and shifting boundaries of sex and gender, the explosion f different forms of media and technology, the mixture of cultures across the western world, the problem of identity for the modern individual, what people continue to see as evil, and the very nature of modernity.  Also including a chronology and guide to further reading, this volume offers a comprehensive account of the importance of Gothic to modern life and thought.

Not All Okies Are White

The book details the lives of five women from rural, agricultural towns in Arizona who managed to become self-educated activists despite heavy oppression.  Selected as a "2000 Best Southwest Book".  See PBS Arizona Eight interview here.

Hemingway and the Black Renaissance ed. Charles Scruggs and Edward Holcomb

Noted scholars [Holcomb and Scruggs] provide a solid framework for the study of the connections between Hemingway's writing and the literary works of black writers. The collection's unity relies on defining the "Black Renaissance" as encompassing not only the Harlem Renaissance but also the subsequent advances in black literature sustained through and beyond the war years, the Black Arts period, and "into the present transnational phase."—Choice Review

Occupying Our Space

Occupying Our Space sheds a new light on the contributions of Mexican American women journalists and writers during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, marked as the zenith of Mexican journalism.

College of Social and Behavioral Sciences