John Tytell, a longtime professor of modern American literature at Queens College, discusses his latest book, “Writing Beat and Other Occasions of Literary Mayhem,” a new look back at the Beat Generation. An author best known as a preeminent historian of that idiosyncratic period of postwar American literature, Tytell reflects on writers and writing from the perspective of someone who’s been doing it, and teaching it, for more than 50 years.
In the early 1980s, Lehman College conducted interviews with hundreds of Bronx residents — public figures, community leaders and regular folks — for an oral history project about the borough before, during and after its decade of arson, crime and abandonment. Thirty years later, Emita Hill, a former Lehman professor and vice president, and Janet Munch, a research librarian at the college, have collected some of the project’s most enduring stories into a new book, Bronx Faces and Voices: Sixteen Stories of Courage and Community.
Phil Klay, a former Marine who served in Iraq and a Hunter College MFA, ’11, discusses his acclaimed book, Redeployment, a poignant and powerful collection of short stories about war’s deep impact on soldiers in combat and when they return home. Klay recently won the 2014 National Book Award for Fiction.
In her new book, The Orphan Scandal: Christian Missionaries and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, City College history professor Beth Baron recounts the brutal beating of a 15-year-old Muslim girl by Christian missionaries in 1933 and tells how the incident spurred the growth of one of Islam’s most influential political organizations.
With a $100 million investment from Mayor Bill de Blasio and the arrival of artisanal businesses like Jacques Torres Chocolates, Sunset Park seems poised for a revival. But the transformation of this eclectic Brooklyn neighborhood won’t be easy, says Queens College urban studies professor Tarry Hum. In her new book, Making a Global Immigrant Neighborhood: Brooklyn’s Sunset Park, Hum traces historical struggles and new challenges including job development, environmental issues, an underground sex industry, gentrification and forging alliances between Chinese and Latino immigrant communities.
In Urban Appetites: Food and Culture in Nineteenth-Century New York, Cindy Lobel, an assistant history professor at Lehman College, serves up a richly detailed account of the origins of the food industry in a century that brought enormous changes to the city’s cultural, social and political life. Deftly written, with fine illustrations, Lobel’s cultural history takes us on a fascinating tour of the foodways, describing the farms and markets that supplied the kitchens of the burgeoning city. Lobel also explains how the explosion of restaurants — from posh dining rooms to sixpenny eating houses — helped establish New York’s roots as the world’s greatest culinary center.
In this impressive collection, Bartlett’s Familiar Black Quotations, City College professor Retha Powers documents the words and lyrics of legendary African-American voices from Malcolm X to Maya Angelou. Powers discusses her eight-year research project in compiling the book and her hope in educating young people on black written and oral tradition.
While exploring Brooklyn backyards and New York City parks for edible plants, Ava Chin, associate professor of English at the College of Staten Island, reveals how foraging helped heal family wounds and mended a broken heart. Chin’s new memoir, Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love, and the Perfect Meal, weaves together lessons on finding nature, forgiveness and love in the most unexpected places.
Would you like to know the recipe for Frida Kahlo’s Red Snapper? Or maybe you might prefer baking David Hockney’s strawberry cake? In her new work, The Modern Art Cookbook, Mary Ann Caws, a Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature, English and French at the CUNY Graduate Center, explores the delicious connection between art and literature and food.
Few cases, if any, in American legal history can equal the injustice and racism suffered by the nine black teenagers who were falsely accused and wrongly convicted in Scottsboro, Ala., in 1931. In his book, The Scottsboro Boys in Their Own Words: Selected Letters, 1931-1950, Kwando Kinshasa, professor of sociology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, examines how the boys were arrested and charged with raping two white girls on a freight train and found guilty by an all-white jury. By using their own words, the letters present an original and authentic representation of their nearly two decades of incarceration, as well as a forceful expression of their struggle to maintain a sense of dignity and hope.