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2011 AAAS Conference

I recently attended the AAAS (Association for Asian American Studies) conference in New Orleans, LA. This year’s conference theme was “Consuming Asian America,” which seemed appropriate for a conference held in New Orleans — a place with so much good food, culture, and history to…

a magical history of a voodoo queen

Jewell Parker Rhodes’ novel of famed Voodoo priestess Marie Laveau read like a typical historical novel…at first. But then, well, it diverged from the regular feel of the historical novel genre and took its own path. To begin with, each section opens with a fictionalized…

Evil Spirits & Blossoming Friendships

Sarah Addison Allen’s fourth novel, The Peach Keeper, is her least magic-filled work to date. Featuring protagonists without unusual abilities — unless you count genetic prank playing and the side effect of helping the man who loves you sleep well as “abilities” — this novel…

Gary Shteyngart Reading

At the 2011 MELUS Conference in Boca Raton, Florida, I had the opportunity to attend a reading by Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story, Absurdistan, and The Russian Debutante’s Handbook. He was reading from his newest novel, Super Sad True Love Story,…

2011 MELUS Conference

Last weekend I attended the 2011 MELUS (The Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States) conference in Boca Raton, Florida. I had the privilege of presenting my paper on a panel moderated by Wenying Xu of Florida Atlantic University (also…

So Far From God (Ana Castillo)

This is the third or fourth time I’ve read So Far From God, and it was no less enjoyable this time around than it has been in the past. Castillo’s style is so fun to read, written in the style of a telenovela and chronicling…

In the Time of the Butterflies (Julia Alvarez)

I’ve been hearing good things about In the Time of the Butterflies for a few years now, but until recently I haven’t had the chance to read it. I finally got around to it last week, and I couldn’t put it down. Having read Junot…

Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down (Ishmael Reed)

Yellow Back Radio Broke-Down has been sitting on my bookshelf for just about a year now. I picked it up in a used bookstore in Austin, Texas, last March and haven’t had the chance to read it…until last night. In a bout of insomnia, I…

Tree of Codes (Jonathan Safran Foer)

Like so many of my favorite novels, I found this book accidentally. I was looking for books that experimented with form, and boy did I ever find a book that experiments with form! This book is so experimental that it was deemed unprintable until Visual…

A.D. New Orleans After the Deluge (Josh Neufeld)

Apparently I’m on a graphic novel kick. I was in a bookstore browsing the comics section when I stumbled across A.D. I actually picked it up with a friend of mine in mind (she’s writing her dissertation on Hurrican Katrina narratives), and after texting her…