Happy ‘pub’ days: Diaz, Finn/Eschrich, Lockard, Looser
Ahead of the wave, we’re sharing news of a virtual tsunami of new books on track to be released by Department of English faculty in October 2019. These forthcoming publications are all edited collections and range from sports to sci-fi, from Louis Owens to Jane Austen.
Bodies Built for Game: The Prairie Schooner Anthology of Contemporary Sports Writing (University of Nebraska Press, 2019)
Sport has always been central to the movements of both the nation-state and the people who resist that nation-state. Think of the Roman Colosseum, Jesse Owens’s four gold-medal victories in the 1936 Nazi Olympics, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s protest at the 1968 Olympics, and the fallout Colin Kaepernick suffered as a result of his recent protest on the sidelines of an NFL game. Sport is a place where the body and the mind are the most dangerous because they are allowed to be unified as one energy.
Bodies Built for Game brings together poems, essays, and stories that challenge our traditional ideas of sport and question the power structures that athletics enforce. What is it that drives us to athletics? What is it that makes us break our own bodies or the bodies of others as we root for these unnatural and performed victories? Featuring contributions from a diverse group of writers, including Hanif Abdurraqib, Fatimah Asghar, Reginald Dwayne Betts, Louise Erdrich, Toni Jensen, Ada Limón, Tommy Orange, Claudia Rankine, Danez Smith, and Maya Washington, this book challenges America by questioning its games.
Diaz is associate professor of English in creative writing at ASU, where she holds the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry.
Future Tense Fiction: Stories of Tomorrow (Unnamed Press, 2019)
Featuring Carmen Maria Machado, Emily St. John Mandel, Charlie Jane Anders, Paolo Bacigalupi, Madeline Ashby, Mark Oshiro, Meg Elison, Maureen McHugh, Deji Bryce Olukotun, Hannu Rajaniemi, Annalee Newitz, Lee Konstantinou, and Mark Stasenko—Future Tense Fiction points the way forward to the fiction of tomorrow.
A disease surveillance robot whose social programming gets put to the test. A future in which everyone receives universal basic income—but it’s still not enough. A futuristic sport, in which all the athletes have been chemically and physically enhanced. An A.I. company that manufactures a neural bridge allowing ordinary people to share their memories. Brimming with excitement and exploring new ideas, the stories collected by the editors of Slate’s Future Tense are philosophically ambitious and haunting in their creativity. At times terrifying and heartwrenching, hilarious and optimistic, this is a collection that ushers in a new age for our world and for the short story.
Eschrich, an ASU film and media studies alum (BA 2008), is editor and program manager for the Center for Science and the Imagination at ASU.
Finn is director of the Center for Science and the Imagination at ASU, where he is an associate professor with a joint appointment in the Department of English and the School of Arts, Media and Engineering.
Louis Owens: Writing Land and Legacy (University of New Mexico Press, 2019)
Louis Owens: Writing Land and Legacy explores the wide-ranging oeuvre of this seminal author, examining Owens's work and his importance in literature and Native studies. Of Choctaw, Cherokee, and Irish American descent, Owens's work includes mysteries, novels, literary scholarship, and autobiographical essays. Louis Owens offers a critical introduction and thirteen essays arranged into three sections: "Owens and the World," "Owens and California," and "The Novels."
The essays present an excellent assessment of Owens's literary legacy, noting his contributions to American literature, ethnic literature, and Native American literature and highlighting his contributions to a variety of theories and genres. The collection concludes with a coda of personal poetic reflections on Owens by Diane Glancy and Kimberly Blaeser. Libraries, students, scholars, and the general public interested in Native American literature and the landscape of contemporary US literature will welcome this reflective volume that analyzes a vast range of Louis Owens's imaginative fictions, personal accounts, and critical work.
Lockard is associate professor of English in literature at ASU.
The Daily Jane Austen: A Year of Quotes (University of Chicago Press, 2019)
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Jane Austen is eminently, delightfully, and delectably quotable. This truth goes far beyond the first line of Pride and Prejudice, which has muscled out many other excellent sentences. So many gems of wit and wisdom from her novels deserve to be better known, from Northanger Abbey on its lovable, naive heroine—“if adventures will not befal a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad”—to Persuasion’s moving lines of love from its regret-filled hero: “You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late.”
Devoney Looser, a.k.a. Stone Cold Jane Austen, has drawn 378 genuine, Austen-authored passages from across the canon, resulting in an anthology that is compulsively readable and repeatable. Whether you approach the collection on a one-a-day model or in a satisfying binge read, you will emerge wiser about Austen, if not about life. The Daily Jane Austen will amuse and inspire skeptical beginners, Janeite experts, and every reader in between by showcasing some of the greatest sentences ever crafted in the history of fiction.
Looser is Foundation Professor of English in literature at ASU.