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It's been a pilgrimage for Annie Dillard: from Tinker Creek to the Galapagos Islands, the high Arctic, the Pacific Northwest, the Amazon Jungle--and now, China. This informative narrative is full of fascinating people: Chinese people, mostly writers, who encounter American writers in various bizarre circumstances in both China and the U.S. There is a toasting scene at a Chinese banquet; a portrait of a bitter, flirtatious diplomat at a dance hall; a formal meeting with Chinese writers; a conversation with an American businessman in a hotel lobby; an evening with long-suffering Chinese intellectuals in their house; a scene in the Beijing foreigners' compound with an excited European journalist; and a scene of unwarranted hilarity at the Beijing Library. In the U.S., there is Allen Ginsberg having a bewildering conversation in Disneyland with a Chinese journalist; there is the lovely and controversial writer Zhang Jie suiting abrupt mood changes to a variety of actions; and there is the fiercely spirited Jiange Zilong singing in a Connecticut dining room, eyes closed. These are real stories told with a warm and lively humor, with a keen eye for paradox, and with fresh insight into the human drama.
Closing the Last Sardine Cannery in America
At one time, sardines were an inexpensive staple for many Americans. The 212 photographs in this elegant volume offer a striking document of this now vanished industry. Generations of workers in Maine have snipped, sliced, and packed the small, silvery fish into billions of cans on their way to Americans' lunch buckets and kitchen cabinets. On April 15, 2010, Stinson's Seafood, once the home of Beach Cliff Sardines, shut down the packing line that had made the name world famous. Begun in 1927, Stinson's empire eventually included sardine canneries spread along the Maine coast and a fleet of ships to supply them. With this closing, however, the end of the entire sardine industry in Maine had finally arrived. Photographer Markham Starr was privileged to spend several days at the Stinson factory in Prospect Harbor, one month before it was dismantled, emerging with a collection of remarkable images that transform the parts of the cannery into works of art and capture the resilience of the workers faced with the loss of jobs many had held for decades. This book includes a short essay, and shows the heartland of Maine at its finest.
The Politics and Poetics of Corporeality
For twenty-five years, Ann Cooper Albright has been exploring the intersection of cultural representation and somatic identity in dance. For Albright, dancing is a physical inquiry, a way of experiencing and participating in the world, and her writing reflects an interdisciplinary approach to seeing and thinking about dance. In her engagement as both a dancer and a scholar, Albright draws on her kinesthetic sensibilities as well as her intellectual knowledge to articulate how movement creates meaning. Throughout Engaging Bodies movement and ideas lean on one another to produce a critical theory anchored in the material reality of dancing bodies. This blend of cultural theory and personal circumstance will be useful and inspiring for emerging scholars and dancers looking for a model of writing about dance that thrives on the interconnectedness of watching and doing, gesture and thought.
"When history proves useless and consensus chimerical," Donald Revell has written, "the poet's necessity is invention, and this does a lot to explain our century's preference for revision over mimesis." For Revell, The disruptions of this century have destroyed old illusions of historical continuity: "The consolations of history are furtive,/ then fugitive, then forgotten." Invoking such contemporary events as the collapse of communism and the end of the Cold War, he seeks to integrate the political with the personal in a search for new paradigms of value and honor.
Essays on Fantastic Literature
In this wide-ranging series of essays, an award-winning science fiction critic explores how the related genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror evolve, merge, and finally "evaporate" into new and more dynamic forms. Beginning with a discussion of how literary readers "unlearned" how to read the fantastic during the heyday of realistic fiction, Gary K. Wolfe goes on to show how the fantastic reasserted itself in popular genre literature, and how these genres themselves grew increasingly unstable in terms of both narrative form and the worlds they portray. More detailed discussions of how specific contemporary writers have promoted this evolution are followed by a final essay examining how the competing discourses have led toward an emerging synthesis of critical approaches and vocabularies. The essays cover a vast range of authors and texts, and include substantial discussions of very current fiction published within the last few years.
Imagine a walking tour of stanzas and prose poems that give lyric voice to sight, public speech, and spectacle. In Exhibition Park, Roberto Tejada delivers a command performance in mixed genres that compel an array of literary styles. His poetry undertakes a wide range of subjects motivated by artworks from Latin America and the United States covering the colonial period to the present day.
In serial poems, short sketches, guidebook parodies, painterly triptychs, translations, and other word-based dioramas, Tejada coins wonder with historical styles--baroque, classic, and experimental. As likened to a world's fair, the resulting voices intone global stories, the dream life of art, and first-person atmospheres both premodern and postindustrial.
"Tejada's work is with dismantling borders and upsetting classifications... The result is a layered poetry that finds its form in dense stanzas composed of lines that frequently veer toward a kind of fractured prose..."--Alan Gilbert in Another Future: Poetry and Modern Art in a Postmodern Twilight
"You walk through his world as a voyeur, a traveler of mirrors, witnessing your own reflection in the masses of flesh, simultaneously aroused and disturbed at the same time. Tejada's work is an invitation, a window into another world, unabashedly erotic, and succinct."--Christine Lark Fox, Poetry Project Newsletter, about Mirrors for Gold
Rediscovering the Brother I Lost in Vietnam
Two days after Jill Hunting turned fifteen, she lost her only brother, a volunteer with International Voluntary Services and one of the first civilian casualties of the Vietnam War. News broadcasts and headlines announced to the world that Pete had been led into an ambush by friends. When Jill's mother told her that Pete's letters home had all been destroyed in a basement flood, the connection between Jill and her brother was lost forever--or so she thought. Decades later, 175 letters surfaced. Through them, and the sweethearts and many friends who had never forgotten Pete, Jill came to know him again.
Finding Pete is one of the great, untold true stories of an escalating war and a young man caught in its sights. This personalized account of a critical moment in U.S. history is the moving story of an altruistic youth who personifies what America lost in Vietnam. It is also a portrait of a family's struggle with loss, a mother's damaging grief, and, most of all, a sister's quest to solve a mystery and recover the connection with her brother. Includes a reader's guide.
Prehistoric Fiction from Charles Darwin to Jean M. Auel
The genre of prehistoric fiction contains a surprisingly large and diverse group of fictional works by American, British, and French writers from the late nineteenth century to the present that describe prehistoric humans. Nicholas Ruddick explains why prehistoric fiction could not come into being until after the acceptance of Charles Darwin's theories, and argues that many early prehistoric fiction works are still worth reading even though the science upon which they are based is now outdated. Exploring the history and evolution of the genre, Ruddick shows how prehistoric fiction can offer fascinating insights into the possible origins of human nature, sexuality, racial distinctions, language, religion, and art. The book includes discussions of well-known prehistoric fiction by H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, J.-H. Rosny Aine, Jack London, William Golding, Arthur C. Clarke, and Jean M. Auel and reminds us of some unjustly forgotten landmarks of prehistoric fiction. It also briefly covers such topics as the recent boom in prehistoric romance, notable prehistoric fiction for children and young adults, and the most entertaining movies featuring prehistoric humans. The book includes illustrations that trace the changing popular images of cave men and women over the past 150 years.