This month’s Collection Spotlight is all about chocolate! We have titles covering a diverse range of themes, including history, romance, food, feminism, and even some movies. Here are some examples of what you can find:
Do you suddenly find yourself craving chocolate? Then take a look at the Collection Spotlight rack near our Perkins Library Service Desk on the first floor of Perkins! We’ll even have chocolate out most of the time, so you can really satisfy that sweet tooth!
As you are preparing for your much needed break, I hope you remember that the library will still be here for you! Maybe you already know that you can access many of our online resources from home or that you can check out books to take home with you. We also have movies and music that you can stream and some e-books that you can download to your devices. Here are some of the resources we have to do this!
Alexander Street Video Collection: Find and watch streaming video across multiple Alexander Street Press video collections on diverse topics that include newsreels, documentaries, field recordings, interviews and lectures.
Docuseek2 Collection: Find and watch streaming video of documentary and social issues films.
Films on Demand: Find and watch streaming video with academic, vocational, and life-skills content.
Kanopy: Watch thousands of award-winning documentaries and feature films including titles from the Criterion Collection.
SWANK Digital Campus: Feature films from major Hollywood studios.
Go to bit.ly/dukevideos to access these video collections.
Contemporary World Music: Listen to music from around the world, including reggae, Bollywood, fado, American folk music, and more.
Jazz Music Library: Access a wide range of recordings from jazz classics to contemporary jazz.
Medici.tv: Browse an online collection of classical music, operas and ballets.
Metropolitan Opera on Demand: For opera fans, a large selection of opera videos from the stage of the Metropolitan Opera.
Naxos Music Library: Huge selection of classical music recordings—over 1,925,000 tracks!
Smithsonian Global Sound: Find and listen to streaming folk and related music
All of these streaming music sources can be accessed at library.duke.edu/music/resources/listening-online
Go to duke.overdrive.com to access downloadable eBooks and audiobooks that can be enjoyed on all major computers and devices, including iPhones®, iPads®, Nooks®, Android phones and tablets, and Kindles®.
Our next book club will be on Wednesday November, 20th at 5:30 in Bostock 127 (The Edge Workshop Room) @ The Edge.
It’s that time when signs of the transitioning season are all around us, from the shortening days to changing leaves and shivers in the morning. As we move closer to winter, the Low Maintenance Book Club will be reading and discussing two short essays by Helen Macdonald on the cyclical movement of nature’s patterns: “The Human Flock” and “Sex, Death and Mushrooms.” Macdonald, author of the award-winning H is for Hawk, published these two essays as part of her regular “On Nature” column for The New York Times.
Both essays were published in The New York Times and are available on the NYT site:
- “The Human Flock”: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/06/magazine/the-human-flock.html
- “Sex, Death and Mushrooms”: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/08/magazine/sex-death-and-mushrooms.html
They can also be found searching by essay title in The New York Times database collection.
Light snacks will be served. Please RSVP if you plan to attend. If you have any questions, you can contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We acknowledge that this space and greater university gathers on land that has long served as the site of meeting and exchange amongst a number of Indigenous peoples, historically the Shakori (sha-core-ee) and Catawba (kuh-taa-buh) people.
It is also important to recognize the 8 tribes that currently reside in North Carolina, these include the Coharie (co-HAIR-ee), Lumbee, Meherrin (ma-HAIR-in), Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, Haliwa Saponi (HA-lih-WAH suh-PONY), Waccamaw Siouan (WOK-uh-ma Soo-uhn), Sappony, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee. We honor and respect the diverse Indigenous peoples connected to this territory on which we gather.
In honor of National Native American Heritage Month, Duke University Libraries is co-sponsoring with the Native American Student Alliance (NASA) a Collection Spotlight this month called “Native Americans: A Present-Tense People.”
We took part of the inspiration for this spotlight from this year’s Summer Reading book There There by Tommy Orange: “We’ve been fighting for decades to be recognized as a present-tense people, modern and relevant, alive.” The fiction included in the spotlight are all by modern Native American authors, and the non-fiction books focus on modern history and culture. Examples of some of the titles included are:
Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings: Poems by Joy Harjo
Lumbee Indians in the Jim Crow South: Race, Identity, and the Making of a Nation by Malinda Maynor Lowery
Heart Berries: A Memoir by Terese Marie Mailhot
Native Voices: indigenous American Poetry, Craft and Conversations edited by CMarie Fuhrman and Dean Rader
Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson
Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir by Deborah A. Miranda
Unsettling America: The Uses of Indianness in the 21st century by C. Richard King
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
“All the real Indians died off”: And 20 Other Myths about Native Americans by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Dina Gilio-Whitaker
You might also be interested in the current Nasher exhibit Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950’s to Now running until January 12th, 2020. It is the first exhibition to chart the development of contemporary Indigenous art in the United States and Canada. Check out the podcast “Native Voices: Darien Herndon” to learn more. Darien Herndon is the current president of NASA! There’s also a wonderful companion book by the curators Mindy N. Besaw, Candice Hopkins, and Manuela Well-Off-Man.
Please check out the Collection Spotlight rack near our Perkins Library Service Desk on the first floor of Perkins.Dana Claxton, Headdress, 2016. LED firebox with transmounted Lightjet Duratrans. Collection of the Canada Council Art Bank. © Dana Claxton.
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Beneath the Mountain by Luca D’Andrea; translated from the Italian by Howard Curtis.
In Luca D’Andrea’s atmospheric and brilliant thriller, set in a small mountain community in the majestic Italian Dolomites, an outsider must uncover the truth about a triple murder that has gone unsolved for thirty years.
New York City native Jeremiah Salinger is one half of a hot-shot documentary-making team. He and his partner, Mike, made a reality show about roadies that skyrocketed them to fame. But now Salinger’s left that all behind, to move with his wife, Annelise, and young daughter, Clara, to the remote part of Italy where Annelise grew up – the Alto Adige.
Nestled in the Dolomites, this breathtaking, rural region that was once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire remains more Austro than Italian. Locals speak a strange, ancient dialect – Ladino – and root for Germany (against Italy) in the world cup. Annelise’s small town – Siebenhoch – is close-knit to say the least and does not take kindly to out-of-towners. When Salinger decides to make a documentary about the mountain rescue group, the mission goes horribly awry, leaving him the only survivor. He blames himself, and so, it seems, does everyone else in Siebenhoch. Spiraling into a deep depression, he begins having terrible, recurrent nightmares. Only his little girl Clara can put a smile on his face.
But when he takes Clara to the Bletterbach Gorge – a canyon rich in fossil remains – he accidentally overhears a conversation that gives his life renewed focus. In 1985, three students were murdered there, their bodies savaged, limbs severed and strewn by a killer who was never found. Although Salinger knows this is a tightlipped community, one where he is definitely persona non grata, he becomes obsessed with solving this mystery and is convinced it is all that can keep him sane. And as Salinger unearths the long kept secrets of this small town, one by one, the terrifying truth is eventually revealed about the horrifying crime that marked an entire village.
Completely engrossing and deeply atmospheric, Beneath The Mountain is a thriller par excellence.
Antisemitism: Here and Now by Deborah E. Lipstadt.
The award-winning author of The Eichmann Trial and Denial: Holocaust History on Trial gives us a penetrating and provocative analysis of the hate that will not die, focusing on its current, virulent incarnations on both the political right and left: from white supremacist demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, to mainstream enablers of antisemitism such as Donald Trump and Jeremy Corbyn, to a gay pride march in Chicago that expelled a group of women for carrying a Star of David banner.
Over the last decade there has been a noticeable uptick in antisemitic rhetoric and incidents by left-wing groups targeting Jewish students and Jewish organizations on American college campuses. And the reemergence of the white nationalist movement in America, complete with Nazi slogans and imagery, has been reminiscent of the horrific fascist displays of the 1930s. Throughout Europe, Jews have been attacked by terrorists, and some have been murdered.
Where is all this hatred coming from? Is there any significant difference between left-wing and right-wing antisemitism? What role has the anti-Zionist movement played? And what can be done to combat the latest manifestations of an ancient hatred? In a series of letters to an imagined college student and imagined colleague, both of whom are perplexed by this resurgence, acclaimed historian Deborah Lipstadt gives us her own superbly reasoned, brilliantly argued, and certain to be controversial responses to these troubling questions.
Midwestern Strange chronicles B.J. Hollars’s exploration of the mythic, lesser-known oddities of flyover country. The mysteries, ranging from bipedal wolf sightings to run-ins with pancake-flipping space aliens to a lumberjack-inspired “Hodag hoax,” make this book a little bit X-Files, a little bit Ghostbusters, and a whole lot of Sherlock Holmes . Hollars’s quest is not to confirm or debunk these mysteries but rather to seek out these unexplained phenomena to understand how they complicate our worldview and to discover what truths might be gleaned by reexamining the facts in our “post-truth” era.
Part memoir and part journalism, Midwestern Strange offers a fascinating, funny, and quirky account of flyover folklore that also contends with the ways such oddities retain cultural footholds. Hollars shows how grappling with such subjects might fortify us against the glut of misinformation now inundating our lives. By confronting monsters, Martians, and a cabinet of curiosities, we challenge ourselves to look beyond our presumptions and acknowledge that just because something is weird, doesn’t mean it is wrong.
Ageing and Contemporary Female Musicians by Abigail Gardner.
Ageing and Contemporary Female Musicians focuses on ageing within contemporary popular music. It argues that context, genres, memoirs, racial politics and place all contribute to how women are ‘aged’ in popular music.
Framing contemporary female musicians as canonical grandmothers, Rude Girls, neo-Afrofuturist and memoirists settling accounts, the book gives us some respite from a decline or denial narrative and introduces a dynamism into ageing. Female rock memoirs are age-appropriate survival stories that reframe the histories of punk and independent rock music. Old age has a functional and canonical ‘place’ in the work of Shirley Collins and Calypso Rose.
Janelle Monáe, Christine and the Queens, and Anohni perform ‘queer’ age, specifically a kind of ‘going beyond’ both corporeal and temporal borders. Genres age, and the book introduces the idea of the time-crunch; an encounter between an embodied, represented age and a genre-age, which is, itself, produced through historicity and aesthetics. Lastly the book goes behind the scenes to draw on interviews and questionnaires with 19 women involved in the contemporary British and American popular music industry; DIY and ex-musicians, producers, music publishers, music journalists and audio engineers.
Ageing and Contemporary Female Musicians is a vital intergenerational feminist viewpoint for researchers and students in gender studies, popular music, popular culture, media studies, cultural studies and ageing studies.
The Genius Within: Unlocking Our Brain’s Potential by David Adam.
What if you have more intelligence than you realize? What if there is a genius inside you, just waiting to be released? And what if the route to better brain power is not hard work or thousands of hours of practice but to simply swallow a pill? In The Genius Within, David Adam explores the groundbreaking neuroscience of cognitive enhancement that is changing the way the brain and the mind works – to make it better, sharper, more focused and, yes, more intelligent. He considers how we measure and judge intelligence, taking us on a fascinating tour of the history of brain science and medicine, from gentlemen scientist brain autopsy clubs to case studies of mental health patients with extraordinary savant abilities. In addition to reporting on the latest research and fascinating case studies, David also goes on his own personal journey to investigate the possibilities of neuroenhancement, using himself as a guinea pig for smart pills and electrical brain stimulation in order to improve his IQ scores and cheat his way into MENSA. Getting to the heart of how we think about intelligence and mental ability, The Genius Within plunges into deep ethical, neuroscientific, and historical pools of enquiry about the science of brain function, untapping potential, and what it means for all of us. The Genius Within asks difficult questions about the science that could rank and define us, and inevitably shape our future.
Our next book club will be on Tuesday October 29th at 5:30 in Bostock 127 (The Edge Workshop Room) @ The Edge.
Get in the Halloween spirit with October’s meeting of Duke University Library’s Low Maintenance Book Club! We’ll be reading two spooky selections from award-winning author Kelly Link’s Pretty Monsters: “The Wrong Grave” and “Magic For Beginners.” Both titles are freely available online:
Please RSVP if you plan to attend. If you have any questions, you can contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy at email@example.com.
The post Low Maintenance Book Club Reads Kelly Link’s Pretty Monsters appeared first on Duke University Libraries Blogs.
Happy fall! While it might be too soon to curl up with a blanket, you can always curl up with a good book. For more exciting reads, check out our Overdrive, New and Noteworthy, and Current Literature collections.
Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton.
Eli Bell’s life is complicated. His father is lost, his mother is in jail, and his stepdad is a heroin dealer. The most steadfast adult in Eli’s life is Slim – a notorious felon and national record-holder for successful prison escapes – who watches over Eli and August, his silent genius of an older brother.
Exiled far from the rest of the world in Darra, a neglected suburb populated by Polish and Vietnamese refugees, this twelve-year-old boy with an old soul and an adult mind is just trying to follow his heart, learn what it takes to be a good man, and train for a glamorous career in journalism. Life, however, insists on throwing obstacles in Eli’s path – most notably Tytus Broz, Brisbane’s legendary drug dealer.
But the real trouble lies ahead. Eli is about to fall in love, face off against truly bad guys, and fight to save his mother from a certain doom – all before starting high school.
A story of brotherhood, true love, family, and the most unlikely of friendships, Boy Swallows Universe is the tale of an adolescent boy on the cusp of discovering the man he will be. Powerful and kinetic, Trent Dalton’s debut is sure to be one of the most heartbreaking, joyous and exhilarating novels you will experience.
The Mosquito: A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator by Timothy C. Winegard.
A pioneering and groundbreaking work of narrative nonfiction that offers a dramatic new perspective on the history of humankind, showing how through millennia, the mosquito has been the single most powerful force in determining humanity’s fate.
Why was gin and tonic the cocktail of choice for British colonists in India and Africa? What does Starbucks have to thank for its global domination? What has protected the lives of popes for millennia? Why did Scotland surrender its sovereignty to England? What was George Washington’s secret weapon during the American Revolution?
The answer to all these questions, and many more, is the mosquito.
Across our planet since the dawn of humankind, this nefarious pest, roughly the size and weight of a grape seed, has been at the frontlines of history as the grim reaper, the harvester of human populations, and the ultimate agent of historical change. As the mosquito transformed the landscapes of civilization, humans were unwittingly required to respond to its piercing impact and universal projection of power.
The mosquito has determined the fates of empires and nations, razed and crippled economies, and decided the outcome of pivotal wars, killing nearly half of humanity along the way. She (only females bite) has dispatched an estimated 52 billion people from a total of 108 billion throughout our relatively brief existence. As the greatest purveyor of extermination we have ever known, she has played a greater role in shaping our human story than any other living thing with which we share our global village.
Imagine for a moment a world without deadly mosquitoes, or any mosquitoes, for that matter? Our history and the world we know, or think we know, would be completely unrecognizable.
Driven by surprising insights and fast-paced storytelling, The Mosquito is the extraordinary untold story of the mosquito’s reign through human history and her indelible impact on our modern world order.
The Last Equation of Isaac Severy: A Novel in Clues by Nova Jacobs.
The Family Fang meets The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry in this literary mystery about a struggling bookseller whose recently deceased grandfather, a famed mathematician, left behind a dangerous equation for her to track down – and protect – before others can get their hands on it.
Just days after mathematician and family patriarch Isaac Severy dies of an apparent suicide, his adopted granddaughter Hazel, owner of a struggling Seattle bookstore, receives a letter from him by mail. In it, Isaac alludes to a secretive organization that is after his final bombshell equation, and he charges Hazel with safely delivering it to a trusted colleague. But first, she must find where the equation is hidden.
While in Los Angeles for Isaac’s funeral, Hazel realizes she’s not the only one searching for his life’s work, and that the equation’s implications have potentially disastrous consequences for the extended Severy family, a group of dysfunctional geniuses unmoored by the sudden death of their patriarch.
As agents of an enigmatic company shadow Isaac’s favorite son – a theoretical physicist – and a long-lost cousin mysteriously reappears in Los Angeles, the equation slips further from Hazel’s grasp. She must unravel a series of maddening clues hidden by Isaac inside one of her favorite novels, drawing her ever closer to his mathematical treasure. But when her efforts fall short, she is forced to enlist the help of those with questionable motives.
Brave New Arctic: The Untold Story of the Melting North by Mark C. Serreze.
An insider account of how researchers unraveled the mystery of the thawing Arctic.
In the 1990s, researchers in the Arctic noticed that floating summer sea ice had begun receding. This was accompanied by shifts in ocean circulation and unexpected changes in weather patterns throughout the world. The Arctic’s perennially frozen ground, known as permafrost, was warming, and treeless tundra was being overtaken by shrubs. What was going on? Brave New Arctic is Mark Serreze’s riveting firsthand account of how scientists from around the globe came together to find answers.
In a sweeping tale of discovery spanning three decades, Serreze describes how puzzlement turned to concern and astonishment as researchers came to understand that the Arctic of old was quickly disappearing – with potentially devastating implications for the entire planet. Serreze is a world-renowned Arctic geographer and climatologist who has conducted fieldwork on ice caps, glaciers, sea ice, and tundra in the Canadian and Alaskan Arctic. In this must-read book, he blends invaluable insights from his own career with those of other pioneering scientists who, together, ushered in an exciting new age of Arctic exploration. Along the way, he accessibly describes the cutting-edge science that led to the alarming conclusion that the Arctic is rapidly thawing due to climate change, that humans are to blame, and that the global consequences are immense.
A gripping scientific adventure story, Brave New Arctic shows how the Arctic’s extraordinary transformation serves as a harbinger of things to come if we fail to meet the challenge posed by a warming Earth.
The Light Brigade by Kameron Hurley.
From the Hugo Awardwinning author of The Stars Are Legion comes a brand-new science fiction thriller about a futuristic war during which soldiers are broken down into light in order to get them to the front lines on Mars.
They said the war would turn us into light.
I wanted to be counted among the heroes who gave us this better world.
The Light Brigade: it’s what soldiers fighting the war against Mars call the ones who come back…different. Grunts in the corporate corps get busted down into light to travel to and from interplanetary battlefronts. Everyone is changed by what the corps must do in order to break them down into light. Those who survive learn to stick to the mission brief – no matter what actually happens during combat.
Dietz, a fresh recruit in the infantry, begins to experience combat drops that don’t sync up with the platoon’s. And Dietz’s bad drops tell a story of the war that’s not at all what the corporate brass want the soldiers to think is going on.
Is Dietz really experiencing the war differently, or is it combat madness? Trying to untangle memory from mission brief and survive with sanity intact, Dietz is ready to become a hero – or maybe a villain; in war it’s hard to tell the difference.
A worthy successor to classic stories like Downbelow Station, Starship Troopers, and The Forever War, The Light Brigade is award-winning author Kameron Hurley’s gritty time-bending take on the future of war.
This week (September 22nd-28th) is Banned Books Week, which is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Inspired by an article I read this year (More than half of banned books challenged for LGBTQ content), I want to highlight some LGBTQ related titles that have been challenged or banned to make us more aware of the need to include a variety of voices. I hope that you will enjoy exploring these titles for yourself.
Angels in America by Tony Kushner. Angels in America was challenged at Deerfield High School in Deerfield, Massachusetts after protests from a community member who objected to its sexual, religious and racial content, and public attacks made by a local organization that called the play ‘pornography.’ However, after a major outcry from students and other community members, including a student who wrote an op-ed, it was decided that the book would still be taught in the Deerfield AP English class.
Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden. It was published first in 1982 amidst controversy because of its positive portrayal of the story’s gay protagonists. There have been several attacks on the book because it centers on two 17 year old girls exploring their sexual orientation, though there are no explicit sexual encounters in the novel. The book was also reportedly banned in some Kansas City schools. The book was at the center of a high-profile 1995 case in which US District Court Justice Thomas Van Bebber ruled that the novel must be returned to high school libraries where it had been removed because it was educationally suitable.
Coming Out in College: The Struggle for a Queer Identity by Robert A. Rhoads. It was one of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas petitioned to have removed from school libraries. The parents formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children and objected to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in the book. They also accused librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a homosexual agenda. PPMC objects to this book because it promotes gay pride and a rejection of heterosexism.
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel. Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home is a graphic novel memoir of the author’s childhood, particularly focused on her relationship with her closeted gay father Bruce. As Alison grows older and realizes that she is a lesbian, she and Bruce are both forced to confront how his repression may have affected her own self-image and the way that she dealt with her sexuality. Time magazine named it the best book of 2006, describing it as “a masterpiece about two people who live in the same house but different worlds, and their mysterious debts to each other.” The musical adaptation of Fun Home won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Musical. In 2018, two New Jersey parents requested that it be removed from the 12th grade honors curriculum because of its “sexually explicit nature.”
Gays/Justice: A Study of Ethics, Society and Law by Richard D. Mohr. Gays/Justice was one of 55 books that parents in Fayetteville, Arkansas petitioned to have removed from school libraries. The parents formed Parents Protecting the Minds of Children and objected to the profane language and depictions of sexuality in the book. They also accused librarians and other opponents of their efforts of promoting a homosexual agenda. PPMC objects to this book because it endorses stronger civil rights for gay people and opposes organized religion.
Geography Club by Brent Hartinger. It has recently become one of the most banned and challenged books in the United States. It was banned in the author’s hometown of Tacoma, Washington. More recently, the book has come under fire in West Bend, Wisconsin, where community members object to its presence in the local library because of its ‘immoral’ gay content. Click here for the Kids’ Right to Read Project interview with Brent Hartinger.
George by Alex Gino tells the story a child who is born male and known to all as George, but identifies as female and prefers the name Melissa. The book details how Melissa comes out to her best friend, and eventually to others, through the help of a school play. Five elementary schools in eastern Oregon withdrew from an annual statewide ‘Battle of the Books’ competition because of the inclusion of George in the reading list. The book carries an age recommendation of grades 3-7 and the schools’ principals argued it was not appropriate for their third-to-fifth grade students who would be participating in the competition.
Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin by John D’Emilio. In May 2005, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a resolution calling on public libraries to remove children’s books with references to gay characters or families. In response, gay and lesbian civil rights groups in Oklahoma donated copies of Lost Prophet: The Life of Bayard Rustin and Stonewall: The Riot that Sparked the Gay Revolution to local high schools. The donation was met with conservative outcry but the Oklahoma City school board voted to permit the donation.
New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein. The New Joy of Gay Sex met various challenges including its being challenged at a Clifton, New Jersey library where the board voted to limit access to the book, keeping it hidden behind the circulation desk and requiring that patrons ask for it specifically by name. Additionally, a York Township woman in Medina County, Ohio quit her job as a librarian in protest over children being able to check out adult-oriented materials like The New Joy of Gay Sex. The library took no action maintaining that its policy was a parental responsibility to monitor which books children checked out.
Stuck Rubber Baby by Howard Cruse is a graphic novel about a young man coming to terms with his homosexuality in the Civil Rights era American south. Themes include homophobia, racism and gay identity. The novel was attacked by the Library Patrons of Texas, who objected to its inclusion in local libraries. They forced the reclassification of the book from Young Adult to Adult, but the book was not removed.
The National Coalition Against Censorship has even more titles on their website.
In conjunction with the 2019 Provost Forum: Immigration in a Divided World, our current collection spotlight focuses on the complex issue of immigration, including books by many of the participants. The titles are a mix of points of view and include public policy texts, political books, histories, memoirs, and novels. Here are some highlights from the display:
The Rise and Fall of Anglo-America by Eric Kaufmann
Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Jose Antonio Vargas
Cast Away: Stories of Survival from Europe’s Refugee Crisis by Charlotte McDonald-Gibson
The Virtue of Nationalism by Yoram Hazony
Brother, I’m Dying by Edwidge Danticat
Debating Immigration edited by Carol M. Swain
Challenging the Borders of Justice in the Age of Migrations by Juan Carlos Velasco and MariaCaterina La Barbara
The Body Papers: A Memoir by Grace Talusan
Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution by Jeb Bush and Clint Bolick
The Other Americans by Laila Lalami
Please check out the Collection Spotlight rack near our Perkins Library Service Desk on the first floor of Perkins in preparation for the Forum taking place between October 16th-17th, 2019.
The post Collection Spotlight: Migration in a Divided World appeared first on Duke University Libraries Blogs.
Our next book club will be on Tuesday September 24th at 5:30 in Bostock 121 (Murthy Digital Studio) @ The Edge.
If you enjoyed the series, check out the play! Duke University Libraries’ Low Maintenance Book Club kicks off the fall semester reading Fleabag, Phoebe Waller-Bridges’ play upon which the hit show was based.
From the play’s synopsis: “With family and friendships under strain and a guinea pig café struggling to keep afloat, Fleabag suddenly finds herself with nothing to lose.” We hope you’ll join us on this wild ride!
Light refreshments will be served, and we’ll have small prizes for attendees. Copies of this book are available through the Duke Libraries.
Please RSVP if you plan to attend. If you have any questions, you can contact Arianne Hartsell-Gundy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Archival Expeditions introduces Duke graduate students to teaching with digital and physical primary sources. Each student partners with a Duke faculty sponsor to design an undergraduate course module that incorporates primary source material tailored to a specific class. The Archival Expeditions Fellows spend 70-75 hours during a semester consulting with their faculty sponsor, library staff and other experts and researching, developing and testing the module. A module can take a variety of shapes and be adjusted to fit different courses, disciplines, and goals of the faculty sponsor. This year’s cohorts consists of three graduate students.Kimberley Dimitriadis
Kimberley is a third year graduate student in the English department. Her research interests include Victorian literature and culture, the history of science and mathematics, and novel theory. She will be working with Dr. Charlotte Sussman on the course “Doctors’ Stories,” an undergraduate course that investigates fiction and theory written about doctors and the discipline of medicine from the eighteenth century to the present day. It explores stories doctors tell about themselves, and the stories that have been told about them. She plans to use historical objects, manuscripts, and advertisements to help students understand how the fictions they’ve encountered in the classroom are supported by the physical instruments and documentation in circulation prior to or at the time of writing.Jonathan Hornrighausen
Jonathan is a second year graduate student in Religious Studies. His research interests include Scripture, art, and interreligious dialogue. He will be working with Dr. Marc Brettler on the course “The Old Testament/Hebrew Bible,” an introduction to the Hebrew Bible from a non-confessional, historical-critical perspective. His module aims to help students in the course understand the impact of the Hebrew language’s structure and writing system on how the Hebrew Bible has changed over time as a text and a material artifact. One major aim will be for students to engage in transcription exercises based on the practices used by the Dead Sea scribes, the Masoretes, and contemporary Jewish scribes.Joseph Mulligan
Joseph is a fourth year graduate student in Romance Studies. His research engages with late nineteenth- and twentieth-century literatures of Hispanic America and explores the proliferation of allegory in modernist aesthetics. He will be working with Dr. José María Rodríguez García on the course “Introduction to Spanish Literature II,” a survey of major writers and movements of the Spanish literary tradition in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. He will be drawing materials from digital archives, such as Biblioteca Digital Hispánica (Biblioteca Nacional de España), Biblioteca Digital de Castilla y León, and HathiTrust, as well as holdings from the Rubenstein, Perkins, and Lily Libraries at Duke. Focusing on pedagogical missions, this module will highlight the challenges of modernization which the government of the Second Spanish Republic addressed in 1931 with the creation of the Board of Pedagogical Missions led by Manuel Bartolomé Cossío,
Applications will be available on our website in the spring for the fall 2020 cohort. Funding has been provided by the Provost’s Office and Duke’s Versatile Humanist NEH grant.
Welcome / welcome back to Duke and the start of another school year! In an effort to encourage reading for pleasure while in college – really, it’s possible – here are some suggestions from our New and Noteworthy collection, located on the first floor of Perkins across from the bathrooms. You can also check out our Current Literature and Devil DVDS at Lilly, CDs at the Music Library on East Campus, and our Overdrive collection. Don’t worry if your computer doesn’t have a disc drive; you can borrow those at Lilly! And if you need help finding a book, you can learn about how we organize our books in this course guide or come to the service desk – we’re happy to help!
Strangers and Cousins by Leah Hager Cohen.
In the seemingly idyllic town of Rundle Junction, Bennie and Walter are preparing to host the wedding of their eldest daughter Clem. A marriage ceremony at their beloved, rambling home should be the happiest of occasions, but Walter and Bennie have a secret. A new community has moved to Rundle Junction, threatening the social order and forcing Bennie and Walter to confront uncomfortable truths about the lengths they would go to to maintain harmony.
Meanwhile, Aunt Glad, the oldest member of the family, arrives for the wedding plagued by long-buried memories of a scarring event that occurred when she was a girl in Rundle Junction. As she uncovers details about her role in this event, the family begins to realize that Clem’s wedding may not be exactly what it seemed. Clever, passionate, artistic Clem has her own agenda. What she doesn’t know is that by the end, everyone will have roles to play in this richly imagined ceremony of familial connection-a brood of quirky relatives, effervescent college friends, ghosts emerging from the past, a determined little mouse, and even the very group of new neighbors whose presence has shaken Rundle Junction to its core.
With Strangers and Cousins, Leah Hager Cohen delivers a story of pageantry and performance, hopefulness and growth, and introduces a winsome, unforgettable cast of characters whose lives are forever changed by events that unfold and reverberate across generations.
Cohen writes both fiction and nonfiction, including her 2013 book, I Don’t Know: In Praise of Admitting Ignorance and Doubt (Except When You Shouldn’t).
Only as the Day is Long: New and Selected Poems by Dorianne Laux.
Only as the Day Is Long represents a brilliant, daring body of work from one of our boldest contemporary poets, known to bear compassionate and ruthless witness to the quotidian. Drawn from Dorianne Laux’s five expansive volumes, including her confident debut Awake, National Book Critics Circle Finalist What We Carry, and Paterson Prize-winning The Book of Men, the poems in this collection have been “brought to the hard edge of meaning” (B. H. Fairchild) and praised for their “enormous precision and beauty” (Philip Levine). Twenty new odes pay homage to Laux’s mother, an ordinary and extraordinary woman of the Depression era.The wealth of her life experience finds expression in Laux’s earthy and lyrical depictions of working-class America, full of the dirt and mess of real life. From the opening poem, “Two Pictures of My Sister,” to the last, “Letter to My Dead Mother,” she writes, in her words, of “living gristle” with a perceptive frankness that is luminous in its specificity and universal in its appeal. Exploring experiences of survival and healing, of sexual love and celebration, Only as the Day Is Long shows Laux at the height of her powers.
You can watch Laux read her poetry.
The End of the Beginning: Cancer, Immunity, and the Future of a Cure by Michael S. Kinch.
For the first time since a 5th century Greek physician gave the name “cancer” (karkinos, in Greek) to a deadly disease first described in Egyptian Papyri, the medical world is near a breakthrough that could allow even the most conservative doctors and pragmatic patients to use the other “c word” – cure – in the same sentence as cancer. A remarkable series of events has brought us to this point, thanks in large part to a new ability to more efficiently harness the extraordinary power of the human immune system.
The End of the Beginning is a remarkable history of cancer treatment and the evolution of our understanding of its dynamic interplay with the immune system. Through Michael Kinch’s personal experience as a cancer researcher at Washington University and the head of the oncology program at a leading biotechnology company, we witness the incredible accumulation of breakthrough science and its rapid translation into life-saving technologies that have begun to dramatically increase the quality and quantity of life for cancer patients.
According to Kinch’s website,
“Michael S. Kinch, Ph.D. is Associate Vice Chancellor at Washington University in St Louis, where he helps lead entrepreneurship activities as well as research on innovation in biopharmaceutical research and development. Michael founded and leads the Centers for Research Innovation in Biotechnology (CRIB) and Drug Development (CDD).
“Dr. Kinch’s scientific background includes the development of new medicines for cancer, immunological and infectious diseases. His current work is primarily focused upon understanding the blend of science, medicine, business and law needed to support the development of new medicines.”
Today, entrepreneurs, Silicon Valley start-ups, and celebrity activists are the driving force in a radical shift in the way we think about lifting people out of poverty. In this new era of data-driven, results-oriented global aid, it’s no longer enough to be a well-intentioned do-gooder or for the wealthy to donate an infinitesimal part of their assets to people without a home or basic nutrition. What matter now in the world of aid are measurable improvements and demonstrable, long-term change.
Drawing on two decades of research and his own experiences as an expert in global development, Raj Kumar, founder and President of Devex, explores the successes and failures of non-traditional models of philanthropy. According to Kumar, a new billionaire boom is fundamentally changing the landscape of how we give, from well-established charitable organizations like the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to Starbucks and other businesses that see themselves as social enterprises, to entrepreneurial start-ups like Hello Tractor, a farm equipment-sharing app for farmers in Nigeria, and Give Directly, an app that allows individuals to send money straight to the mobile phone of someone in need. The result is a more sustainable philosophy of aid that elevates the voices of people in need as neighbors, partners, and customers.
Refreshing and accessibly written, The Business of Changing the World sets forth a bold vision for how businesses, policymakers, civil society organizations, and individuals can turn well-intentioned charity into effective advocacy to transform our world for good.
For a different perspective, see Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas.
Operatic by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Byron Eggenschwiler.
Somewhere in the universe, there is the perfect tune for you.
It’s almost the end of middle school, and Charlie has to find her perfect song for a music class assignment. The class learns about a different style of music each day, from hip-hop to metal to disco, but it’s hard for Charlie to concentrate when she can’t stop noticing her classmate Emile, or wondering about Luka, who hasn’t been to school in weeks. On top of everything, she has been talked into participating in an end-of-year performance with her best friends.
Then, the class learns about opera, and Charlie discovers the music of Maria Callas. The more she learns about Maria’s life, the more Charlie admires her passion for singing and her ability to express herself fully through her music. Can Charlie follow the example of the ultimate diva, Maria Callas, when it comes to her own life?
This evocatively illustrated graphic novel brilliantly captures the high drama of middle school by focusing on the desire of its finely drawn characters to sing and be heard.
The Music Library has a variety of CD and Vinyl records featuring Maria Callas.
This month’s Collection Spotlight is featuring microhistories. In order to create what we hope is a far ranging and interesting selection of titles for people to browse, we decided to approach microhistory both from the academic and popular side of things. We hope you will forgive us if in our enthusiasm we stray into some titles that might not meet the strict definition!
Here is a selection of some of the titles that we are showcasing:
A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
To Free a Family: The journey of Mary Walker by Sydney Nathans
Color: A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay
Poverty and Piety in an English Village by Keith Wrightson and David Levine
If some of these titles spark your interest, consider getting involved with Duke’s own MicroWorlds Lab this year! They even have a section called “What is Microhistory” if you want to explore further what this method of study means.
Please check out the Collection Spotlight rack near our Perkins Library Service Desk on the first floor of Perkins to find your next read!
Toni Morrison passed away yesterday at the age of 88. You can find a lot of really wonderful tributes and reflections online explaining just why she is a literary giant. Here are a few that you might find interesting:
Toni Morrison’s Song of America (written by Tracy K. Smith, former poet laureate)
Beloved (ebook version)
If you have a chance to go see the new documentary on her, Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am, you should definitely do so. I saw it at the Full Frame Documentary Festival this year, and I really enjoyed it. Eventually we’ll have a copy of the dvd in our library, but in the meantime you might enjoy these two films:
Zero Sum Game by S.L. Huang
I devoured this book in half a day. It was amazing, and probably rates with some of my favorite sci-fi books like In Conquest Born by C.S. Friedman. The main character – Cas – is brilliant, compelling, a survivor, and a killer. And then she winds up in situations where she has to view the world beyond the lens of the axioms that fill her brain and literally surround her in daily life. Cas is also placed in a position where her actions affect the fate of millions (which brings to mind Dragon Age: Inquisition). Cas’s character in many ways reminds me of Clariel from Clariel by Garth Nix and Cat in Catharsis by D. Andrew Campbell.
Even better, apparently there’s a second book in the series that just came out!
A blockbuster, near-future science fiction thriller, S.L. Huang’s Zero Sum Game introduces a math-genius mercenary who finds herself being manipulated by someone possessing unimaginable power …
Cas Russell is good at math. Scary good. The vector calculus blazing through her head lets her smash through armed men twice her size and dodge every bullet in a gunfight, and she’ll take any job for the right price.
As far as Cas knows, she’s the only person around with a superpower…until she discovers someone with a power even more dangerous than her own. Someone who can reach directly into people’s minds and twist their brains into Moebius strips. Someone intent on becoming the world’s puppet master.
Cas should run, like she usually does, but for once she’s involved. There’s only one problem…
She doesn’t know which of her thoughts are her own anymore.
Thick: And Other Essays by Tressie McMillan Cottom
A few pages into this book, I set it down. I knew I would want to read it in one sitting, and also hear the author’s voice before reading more. So I went to listen to the first few minutes of her book presentation at Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse. Two hours later, I had watched the entire presentation. And then I finally got around to reading the book. There’s so much to reflect on and absorb that I’m getting my own copy so I can underline to my heart’s content. Very approachable, compelling, and a wonderful author; I came to her from reading Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy, which I also recommend.
As featured by The Daily Show, NPR, PBS, CBC, Time, VIBE, Entertainment Weekly, Well-Read Black Girl, and Chris Hayes, “incisive, witty, and provocative essays” (Publishers Weekly) by one of the “most bracing thinkers on race, gender, and capitalism of our time” (Rebecca Traister)
“Thick is sure to become a classic.” –The New York Times Book Review
In eight highly praised treatises on beauty, media, money, and more, Tressie McMillan Cottom–award-winning professor and acclaimed author of Lower Ed – is unapologetically “thick”: deemed “thick where I should have been thin, more where I should have been less,” McMillan Cottom refuses to shy away from blending the personal with the political, from bringing her full self and voice to the fore of her analytical work. Thick “transforms narrative moments into analyses of whiteness, black misogyny, and status-signaling as means of survival for black women” (Los Angeles Review of Books) with “writing that is as deft as it is amusing” (Darnell L. Moore).
This “transgressive, provocative, and brilliant” (Roxane Gay) collection cements McMillan Cottom’s position as a public thinker capable of shedding new light on what the “personal essay” can do. She turns her chosen form into a showcase for her critical dexterity, investigating everything from Saturday Night Live, LinkedIn, and BBQ Becky to sexual violence, infant mortality, and Trump rallies.
Collected in an indispensable volume that speaks to the everywoman and the erudite alike, these unforgettable essays never fail to be “painfully honest and gloriously affirming” and hold “a mirror to your soul and to that of America” (Dorothy Roberts).
Filling the Void: Emotion, Capitalism and Social Media by Marcus Gilroy-Ware
This extremely thought-provoking book explores the sociocultural dimensions of technology in general and social media in particular. Gilroy-Ware links the emotional distress that social media feeds and profits from to the culture of capitalism that developed from capitalism as an economic system. He describes it: “The ‘capitalism’ that must be addressed in relation to social media is therefore one that operates at a far broader scale – that of society itself” (99).
Why is everyone staring at their phones on the train? Why do online videos of kittens get so many views? Why is the internet full of misinformation? Why are depression and anxiety amongst the most treated health conditions?
Platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have come to be an integral part of the lives of billions of people across the world. But are they simply another source of information and entertainment, or a far more ominous symptom of capitalism’s excesses?
Written by Marcus Gilroy-Ware, this book is an essential inquiry into why we really use social media, and what this means for our understanding of culture, politics and capitalism itself.
Anti-Social Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy by Siva Vaidhyanathan
I picked this book up after reading The Googlization of Everything: (And Why We Should Worry) and learning a lot from it. Anti-Social Media did not dissapoint. It is timely, thoughtful, and compelling as it queries the unintended effects of a culture intertwined with the Internet.
One of the signal developments in democratic culture around the world in the past half-decade has been the increasing power of social media to both spread information and shape opinions. More and more of our social, political, and religious activities revolve around the Internet. Within this context, Facebook has emerged as one of the most powerful companies in the world.
If you wanted to build a machine that would distribute propaganda to millions of people, distract them from important issues, energize hatred and bigotry, erode social trust, undermine respectable journalism, foster doubts about science, and engage in massive surveillance all at once, you would make something a lot like Facebook. Of course, none of that was part of the plan. In Antisocial Media, Siva Vaidhyanathan explains how Facebook devolved from an innocent social site hacked together by Harvard students into a force that, while it may make personal life just a little more pleasurable, makes democracy a lot more challenging. It’s an account of the hubris of good intentions, a missionary spirit, and an ideology that sees computer code as the universal solvent for all human problems. And it’s an indictment of how “social media” has fostered the deterioration of democratic culture around the world, from facilitating Russian meddling in support of Trump’s election to the exploitation of the platform by murderous authoritarians in Burma and the Philippines. Both authoritative and trenchant, Antisocial Media shows how Facebook’s mission went so wrong.
The Rise of the Meritocracy by Michael Dunlop Young
Contemporary discourse surrounding meritocracy glorifies it as an American ideal. However, the origins of the term are more akin to Jonathan Swift’s modest proposal of eating babies. Young coined the term in his 1958 dystopian satire The Rise of the Meritocracy. From the year 2034, he tracks the history of British education, projecting the triumph of an IQ-based education system and the perils of a meritocracy come to fruition. The philosophical success of meritocracy is a bitter disappointment to Young, who wrote a Guardian article in 2001 titled “Down with Meritocracy.”
This should be required reading for any serious contemporary discussion of merit and its role in higher education.
Michael Young has christened the oligarchy of the future “Meritocracy.” Indeed, the word is now part of the English language. It would appear that the formula IQ + Effort = Merit may well constitute the basic belief of the ruling class in the twenty-first century. Projecting himself from 1958 into the year 2034, the author of this sociological satire shows how present decisions and practices may remold our society.
It is widespread knowledge that it is insufficient to be somebody’s nephew to obtain a responsible post in business, government, teaching, or science. Experts in education and selection apply scientific principles to sift out the leaders of tomorrow. You need intelligence rating, qualification, experience, application, and a certain caliber to achieve status. In a word, one must show merit to advance in the new society of tomorrow.
Happy Pride Month! In addition to these books, check out our Overdrive, New and Noteworthy, and Current Literature collections. If you’re looking for something good to watch or listen to, explore Lilly’s Devil DVDs and the Music Library’s CD collection.
Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl: A Novel by Andrea Lawlor (they/them).
It’s 1993 and Paul Polydoris tends bar at the only gay club in a university town thrumming with politics and partying. He studies queer theory, has a dyke best friend, makes zines, and is a flâneur with a rich dating life. But Paul’s also got a secret: he’s a shapeshifter. Oscillating wildly from Riot Grrrl to leather cub, Women’s Studies major to trade, Paul transforms his body at will in a series of adventures that take him from Iowa City to Boystown to Provincetown and finally to San Francisco – a journey through the deep queer archives of struggle and pleasure.
Andrea Lawlor’s debut novel offers a speculative history of early ’90s identity politics during the heyday of ACT UP and Queer Nation. Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl is a riotous, razor-sharp bildungsroman whose hero/ine wends his way through a world gutted by loss, pulsing with music, and opening into an array of intimacy and connections.
Andrea Lawlor recently appeared on the podcast Against Everyone with Connor Habib, in an episode titled Andrea Lawlor or Queer Non-Binary Sex Revolution Now!
Born Both: An Intersex Life by Hida Viloria (s/he, he/r).
From one of the world’s foremost intersex activists, a candid, provocative, and eye-opening memoir of gender identity, self-acceptance, and love.
My name is Hida Viloria. I was raised as a girl but discovered at a young age that my body looked different. Having endured an often turbulent home life as a kid, there were many times when I felt scared and alone, especially given my attraction to girls. But unlike most people in the first world who are born intersex – meaning they have genitals, reproductive organs, hormones, and/or chromosomal patterns that do not fit standard definitions of male or female – I grew up in the body I was born with because my parents did not have my sex characteristics surgically altered at birth.
It wasn’t until I was twenty-six and encountered the term intersex in a San Francisco newspaper that I finally had a name for my difference. That’s when I began to explore what it means to live in the space between genders – to be both and neither. I tried living as a feminine woman, an androgynous person, and even for a brief period of time as a man. Good friends would not recognize me, and gay men would hit on me. My gender fluidity was exciting, and in many ways freeing – but it could also be isolating.
I had to know if there were other intersex people like me, but when I finally found an intersex community to connect with I was shocked, and then deeply upset, to learn that most of the people I met had been scarred, both physically and psychologically, by infant surgeries and hormone treatments meant to “correct” their bodies. Realizing that the invisibility of intersex people in society facilitated these practices, I made it my mission to bring an end to it – and became one of the first people to voluntarily come out as intersex at a national and then international level.
Born Both is the story of my lifelong journey toward finding love and embracing my authentic identity in a world that insists on categorizing people into either/or, and of my decades-long fight for human rights and equality for intersex people everywhere.
Hida Viloria is a writer, author, and vanguard intersex and non-binary activist. S/he has spoken about intersex human rights at the United Nations and as a frequent television and radio guest (Oprah, Aljazeera, 20/20, NPR, BBC…), consultant (Lambda Legal, UN, Williams Institute…) and op-ed contributor (NewNowNext, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, The Advocate, Ms., CNN.com…).
¡Cuéntamelo! : Oral Histories by LGBT Latino immigrants by Juliana Delgado Lopera (she/her), illustrated by Laura Cerón Melo, edited by Shadia Savo and Santiago Acosta.
¡Cuéntamelo! began as a cover story for SF Weekly. It is “[a] stunning collection of bilingual oral histories and illustrations by LGBT Latinx immigrants who arrived in the U.S. during the 80s and 90s. Stories of repression in underground Havana in the 60s; coming out trans in Catholic Puerto Rico in the 80s; Scarface, female impersonators, Miami and the ‘boat people’; San Francisco’s underground Latinx scene during the 90s and more.”
Juliana Delgado Lopera is an award-winning Colombian writer, historian, speaker and storyteller based in San Francisco. She’s the creative director of RADAR Productions, a queer literary non-profit in San Francisco. Her debut novel Fiebre Tropical, which won the 2014 Jackson Literary Award, will be out Spring 2020 from The Feminist Press.
Lives of Great Men: Living and Loving as an African Gay Man: A Memoir by Chiké Frankie Edozien (he/him).
From Victoria Island, Lagos to Brooklyn, U.S.A. to Accra, Ghana to Paris, France; from across the Diaspora to the heart of the African continent, in this memoir Nigerian journalist Chiké Frankie Edozien offers a highly personal series of contemporary snapshots of same gender loving Africans, unsung Great Men living their lives, triumphing and finding joy in the face of great adversity. On his travels and sojourns Edozien explores the worsening legal climate for gay men and women on the continent; the impact homophobic evangelical American pastors are having in many countries, and its toxic intersection with political populism; and experiences the pressures placed on those living under harshly oppressive laws that are themselves the legacy of colonial rule – pressures that sometimes lead to seeking asylum in the West. Yet he remains hopeful, and this memoir, which is pacy, romantic, and funny by turns, is also a love-letter to Africa, above all to Nigeria and the megalopolis that is Lagos.
Chiké Frankie Edozien is an award-winning reporter whose work has appeared in the New York Times, The Times (UK), Quartz, Vibe magazine, Time Magazine, and more.
He was a New York Post political reporter for over a decade. His work has been featured on numerous new broadcasts. He co-founded The AFRican magazine in 2001 to tell often overlooked, African stories.
Trans Figured: My Journey from Boy to Girl to Woman to Man by Brian Belovitch (he/him).
Imagine experiencing life not as the gender dictated by birth but as one of your own design. In Trans Figured, Brian Belovitch shares his true story of life as a gender outlier and his dramatic journey through the jungle of gender identity.
Brian has the rare distinction of coming out three times: first as a queer teenager; second as a glamorous transgender woman named Tish, and later, Natalia Gervais; and finally as an HIV-positive gay man surviving the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. From growing up in a barely-working-class first-generation immigrant family in Fall River, Massachusetts, to spinning across the disco dance floor of Studio 54 in New York City; from falling into military lock-step as the Army wife of a domineering GI in Germany to having a brush with fame as Natalia, high-flying downtown darling of the boozy and druggy pre-Giuliani New York nightclub scene, Brian escaped many near-death experiences.
Trans Figured chronicles a life lived on the edge with an unforgettable cast of characters during a dangerous and chaotic era. Rich with drama and excitement, this no-holds-barred memoir tells it all. Most importantly, Brian’s candid and poignant story of recovery shines a light on the perseverance of the human spirit.
In 2016, Brian created Queer Stages an LGBTQ playreading group whose mission is to preserve and present LGBTQ themed plays and playwrights for current and future generations. Recently he was Alice, First Lady of Earth in Charles Ludlam’s Conquest of the Universe or When Queens Collide at LaMama to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Ridiculous Theatre. In film and television, Brian has appeared in The Irishman, Nor’easter, Silent Prey, Q&A, The Deuce, Homeland, and The Americans.