New Books Network

Ken MacLeod, “The Night Sessions” (Pyr, 2012)
I met Ken MacLeod when we participated in a sequence of “Science Fiction and International Orders” panels at the London School of Economics in the winter of 2011. Ken is an important figure in his own right, as well as someone who has contributed a great deal to the Speculative-Ficiton... Read More
Cory MacLauchlin, “Butterfly in the Typewriter: The Tragic Life of John Kennedy Toole and the Remarkable Story of A Confederacy of Dunces” (Da Capo, 2012)
If you’ve spent any time in New Orleans, you can appreciate the challenge of putting the city’s joie de vivre into words.However, as a New Orleans native, John Kennedy Toole was steeped in the traditions and flavor of his hometown and, therefore, uniquely qualified to write about it. His novel,... Read More
Brenda Dixon Gottschild, “Joan Myers Brown and the Audacious Hope of the Black Ballerina: A Biohistory of American Performance” (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2011)
For the launch of the Dance Channel, I thought long and hard about what the first author interview would be. I felt that it was critically important that this channel begins with a rich conversation between myself and a well respected author whose contributions to dance scholarship were substantial.  It... Read More
Miryam Sas, “Experimental Arts in Postwar Japan: Moments of Encounter, Engagement, and Imagined Return” (Harvard University Asia Center, 2011)
Miryam Sas’ Experimental Arts in Postwar Japan: Moments of Encounter, Engagement, and Imagined Return (Harvard University Asia Center, 2011) is an exceptionally rich study that has a great deal to offer scholars across the humanities. The book looks at the experimental arts in postwar Japan in a study that ranges... Read More
J. Hillis Miller, “The Conflagration of Community: Fiction Before and After Auschwitz” (University of Chicago Press, 2011)
In his recent book, The Conflagration of Community: Fiction Before and After Auschwitz (University of Chicago Press, 2011), J. Hillis Miller sets outs to address Theodor Adorno’s famous proclamation that to write poetry after Auschwitz is impossible and barbaric. One should make clear from the outset that Miller’s central project... Read More
Andrew S. Berish, “Lonesome Roads and Streets of Dreams: Place, Mobility, and Race in Jazz of the 1930s and ’40s” (University of Chicago, 2012)
American history is all about movement: geographical, cultural, ideological. Economic depression and war make the 1930s and ’40s a dramatic example of this movement. In Lonesome Roads and Streets of Dreams: Place, Mobility, and Race in Jazz of the 1930s and ’40s (University of Chicago, 2012), Andrew S. Berish explores... Read More
Roel Sterckx, “Food, Sacrifice, and Sagehood in Early China” (Cambridge UP, 2011)
Roel Sterckx‘s book Food, Sacrifice, and Sagehood in Early China (Cambridge University Press, 2011) had me at drunken seances. (Drunken seances! Do you really need another excuse to read it?) It is a compelling and engaging read, and a wonderful resource for anyone interested in early China, the history of... Read More
Dave Oliphant, “KD: A Jazz Biography” (Wings Press, 2012)
Texas poet/author/historian Dave Oliphant‘s KD: A Jazz Biography (Wings Press, 2012) is a poetic tribute to the life of Jazz trumpeter and one of the original Jazz Messengers, Kenny Dorham. Dorham, who played with some of the jazz greats like Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Art Blakey, Monk and many, many... Read More
Alison Miers, “Charlinder’s Walk” (CreateSpace, 2011)
In our very first fiction-book interview on New Books in Secularism, we chat with Alyson Miers, author of Charlinder’s Walk (CreateSpace, 2011). In this adventure secularism-themed novel, Miers introduces us to Charlinder, a curious and daring young man who lives in the year 2130. The world he lives in is... Read More