Arts and Literature

Arts and Literature

The Book of Delights

Ross Gay
Algonquin Books, 2019

In The Book of Delights, one of today’s most original literary voices offers up a genre-defying volume of lyric essays written over one tumultuous year. The first nonfiction book from award-winning poet Ross Gay is a record of the small joys we often overlook in our busy lives. Among Gay’s funny, poetic, philosophical delights: a friend’s unabashed use of air quotes, cradling a tomato seedling aboard an airplane, the silent nod of acknowledgment between the only two black people in a room. But Gay never dismisses the complexities, even the terrors, of living in America as a black man or the ecological and psychic violence of our consumer culture or the loss of those he loves. More than anything other subject, though, Gay celebrates the beauty of the natural world--his garden, the flowers peeking out of the sidewalk, the hypnotic movements of a praying mantis.

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Linguistic Disobedience: Restoring Power to Civic Language

Michelle Moyd
Palgrave Macmillan, 2018

This book asks how we—as citizens, immigrants, activists, teachers—can counter the abuse of language in our midst. How can we take back the power of language from those who flaunt that power to silence or erase us and our fellows? In search of answers, Linguistic Disobedience recalls ages and situations that made critiquing, correcting, and caring for language essential for survival. From turn-of-the-twentieth-century Central Europe to the miseries of the Third Reich, from the Movement for Black Lives to the ongoing effort to decolonize African languages, the study and practice of linguistic disobedience have been crucial. But what are we to do today, when reactionary supremacists and authoritarians are screen-testing their own forms of so-called disobedience to quash oppositional social justice movements and their languages? Blending lyric essay with cultural criticism, historical analysis, and applied linguistics, Linguistic Disobedience offers suggestions for a hopeful pathway forward in violent times.

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