New Books Network

Conor Picken and Matthew Dischinger, “Southern Comforts: Drinking and the US South” (LSU Press, 2020)
In this this interview, Carrie Tippen talks with Conor Picken and Matthew Dischinger about their edited collection, Southern Comforts: Drinking and the US South from Louisiana State University Press’s Southern Literary Studies Series. This collection of seventeen essays focuses on the mythologies and representations of alcohol production, distribution, and consumption... Read More
C. Baker and P. Phongpaichit, “From the Fifty Jātaka: Selections from the Thai Paññāsa Jātaka” (Silkworm Books, 2019)
The Jātaka tales, or stories of the Buddha’s previous lives as a bodhisatta, are included in the Pāli Canon and have for centuries been a rich source of inspiration in Theravada Buddhism. In addition to these classical Jātaka, a number of other non-canonical Jātaka tales emerged in Southeast Asia and... Read More
Margaret Hillenbrand, “Negative Exposures: Knowing What Not to Know in Contemporary China” (Duke UP, 2020)
The fact that secrecy and the concealment of information is important in today’s China is hardly a secret in itself, yet the ways that this secrecy is structured and sustained in such a vast society is not especially well understood. A lot more must be at play than simply the... Read More
Great Books: Amir Eshel on Paul Celan’s Poetry
Paul Celan’s poetry marks the end of European modernism: he is the last poet of the era where the poetic “I” could center a subjective vision of the world through language. Celan bears witness to the Holocaust as the irredeemable rupture in European civilization, but he does so in German,... Read More
Great Books: Julie Carlson on Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein”
Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin Shelley wrote Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus when she was nineteen years old, on a bet. The novel spawned two centuries of creatures that turn against their makers. It examines the limits of scientific innovation, whether the quest for knowledge must be tempered by morality, and why... Read More
Elizabeth A. Wheeler, “HandiLand: The Crippest Place on Earth” (U Michigan Press, 2019)
Throughout her new book, HandiLand: The Crippest Place on Earth (University of Michigan Press 2019), Elizabeth A. Wheeler uses a fictional place called HandiLand as a yardstick for measuring how far American society has progressed toward social justice and how much remains to be done. In a rich array of... Read More
Nicholas R. Jones, “Staging Habla de Negros: Radical Performance of the African Diaspora in Early Modern Spain” (Penn State UP, 2019)
Nicholas R. Jones’s book, Staging Habla de Negros: Radical Performance of the African Diaspora in Early Modern Spain (Penn State University Press, 2019), analyzes white appropriations of black African voices in Spanish theater in the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries, when performing habla de negros—how Africanized Castilian was commonly referred to—was... Read More