Hey there. Welcome to all of my new subscribers! I don't know what prompted the increase (I'm not complaining), but I'm happy to have you here. I'll do my best not to disappoint you. (Just so you know what you're in for, the purpose of this newsletter is to recommend books and other media. I also share bits about my life and the occasional dog pic.)
If you're a regular subscriber, you know I live in central Virginia. And if you've been following the news, you know our governor refuses to resign in the wake of a scandal over a racist photo unearthed in his med school yearbook; our lieutenant governor has been accused of sexual assault by two women (and also asked to resign); and our attorney general admitted to having worn blackface in college, in 1980.
1. My book club met last week to discuss Robin DiAngelo's White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism. This book had been on our schedule for months, but it couldn't have come at a better time. Are you white? It is a must read. This, by UVA's Lisa Woolfork, uses DiAngelo's work to help us understand Virginia's contemporary racism.
2. This rec is especially for my American Studies pals: So Many Olympic Exertions by Anelise Chen. The narrator of this experimental novel is a graduate student in sports studies. The text is an assemblage of observations, reflections, pseudo-flashbacks, anecdotes, a sort of notes to self that make up an autofictional debut well worth your time.
3. The magazine I work for is a finalist for two National Magazine Awards this year: General Excellence (the big one, the one that means the mag as a whole is excellent); and Essays & Criticism, for our Spring 2018 cover story by Leslie Jamison, "The Breakup Museum." This is very good news, and I'd like to share my excitement with you by offering you a discount. If you enter LOVE&PENANCE at the store, you will receive a 20 percent discount. It's good stuff.