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Junot Díaz's Bookcase

Junot Díaz (born December 31, 1968) is a Dominican American writer, creative writing professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and fiction editor at Boston Review. He also serves on the board of advisers for Freedom University, a volunteer organization in Georgia that provides post-secondary instruction to undocumented immigrants. Central to Díaz's work is the immigrant experience. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, in 2008. He is a 2012 MacArthur Fellow.

Photo by: Chris Woodrich

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Poison River, No. 12

Gilbert Hernandez (Love and Rockets series) has produced some of the best comics work of the last ten years. Poison River is the story of one of his most engaging characters, Luba-self-possesed, intelligent an iconoclastically sexy- in the years before she arrived in Palomar, Hernandez's mythological Central American Village. We meet Maria, Luba's mother, beautiful, pampered and recklessly promiscuous. Maria's husband discovers that Luba is the result of a tool-shed trystwith Eduardo, a poor indian worker and kicks mother, child and lover out into poverty. Glamorous Maria abandons the other two in turn, and much later a teenage Luba meets her future husband Peter Rios, a conga player and small-time(soon to be big-time) gangster who takes her away to a life of privilege. But their meeting is not by chance and Rio's peculiar sexual obsessions (women's navels and well-hung chorus "girls") are driven by carnal memories of the exquisite Maria. Indeed Luba's new life (and the men in it) is much like her mother's - lavishly sheltered by violent anticommunist gangsters, who murder and terrorize the local "leftists" in the name of "business" and right-wing patriotism.

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Sex And Science Fiction Writing In The East Village

Samuel Delany is a science fiction writer, teacher and recipient of the William Whitehead Memorial Award for a lifetime's contribution to lesbian and gay culture. His autobiography focuses on his life in New York's lower east side in the 1960s and his development as a black gay writer in an open interracial marriage. The original edition, published

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A Documentary History of African Politics in South Africa, 1882-1990

"The essays are meticulous and carefully documented accounts which maintain the standard of excellence set by the previous volumes, all of which belong in every library." ―Choice

"Based on extensive documentary archives collected by these researchers, and augmented by interviews with virtually all of the significant antiapartheid activists, this volume covers a formative period in the struggle against white minority rule, 1964-1979." ―Africa Today

"... a substantial achievement... a wonderful resource for future generations of scholars." ―South African Historical Journal

"Karis and Gerhart’s fifth volume is an invaluable addition to their earlier documentary history of the national liberation struggle in South Africa, and includes a priceless collection of new primary historical sources. It ignites vivid flashes of memory... " ―from the Foreword by Nelson Mandela

Volume 5 of this magnificent historical record continues the indispensable study of the struggle for freedom and justice in South Africa. In addition to extensive background essays, it includes formal documents, underground and ephemeral materials, and statements written in exile or in Robben Island prison that have not previously been published.

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A phenomenal worldwide bestseller for more than forty years, Richard Adams's Watership Down is a timeless classic and one of the most beloved novels of all time.

Set in England's Downs, a once idyllic rural landscape, this stirring tale of adventure, courage, and survival follows a band of very special creatures on their flight from the intrusion of man and the certain destruction of their home. Led by a stouthearted pair of brothers, they journey forth from their native Sandleford Warren through the harrowing trials posed by predators and adversaries, to a mysterious promised land and a more perfect society.

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Argentina and the Legacies of Torture

Tanks roaring over farmlands, pregnant women tortured, 30,000 individuals "disappeared"--these were the horrors of Argentina's Dirty War. A New York Times Notable Book of the Year and Finalist for the L.L. Winship / PEN New England Award in 1998, A Lexicon of Terror is a sensitive and unflinching account of the sadism, paranoia, and deception the military junta unleashed on the Argentine people from 1976 to 1983.

This updated edition features a new epilogue that chronicles major political, legal, and social developments in Argentina since the book's initial publication. It also continues the stories of the individuals involved in the Dirty War, including the torturers, kidnappers and murderers formerly granted immunity under now dissolved amnesty laws. Additionally, Feitlowitz discusses investigations launched in the intervening years that have indicated that the network of torture centers, concentration camps, and other operations responsible for the "desaparecidas" was more widespread than previously thought. A Lexicon of Terror vividly evokes this shocking era and tells of the long-lasting effects it has left on the Argentine culture.

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Lilith lyapo awoke from a centuries-long sleep to find herself aboard the vast spaceship of the Oankali. Creatures covered in writhing tentacles, the Oankali had saved every surviving human from a dying, ruined Earth. They healed the planet, cured cancer, increased strength, and were now ready to help Lilith lead her people back to Earth--but for a price.

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Race, Politics, and Popular Culture

A lively exploration of the Planet of the Apes films as racial allegory. In 1968, Planet of the Apes became a megahit movie both in the US and abroad, inspiring four film sequels, two TV series, several comic series, and hundreds of millions of dollars in worldwide merchandising. The Apes films confronted some of the most controversial issues of the time, including Vietnam and the Black Power movement, all the while remaining crowd pleasing box office hits. Eric Greene uses rare photographs, transcripts, and extensive interviews with the writers, directors, actors, and producers to read the Apes saga as a profoundly American myth. Greene also looks at the attempts of filmmakers like Oliver Stone and James Cameron to remake the myth for the 90s. This enjoyable and meticulous book gives the reader an insider's look at the complex relationships between race, politics and popular culture in America.

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The Long Night of White Chickens is a novel truly born of two worlds: It is the story of Roger Graetz, raised in a Boston suburb by an aristocratic Guatemalan mother, and his relationship with Flor de Mayo, the beautiful young Guatemalan orphan sent by his grandmother to live with his family as a maid. When, years later in the 1980s, Flor is murdered in Guatemala while running an orphanage, Roger returns to uncover the truth of her death. There he is reunited with Luis Moya, a childhood friend, and together they attempt to chronicle Flor's life story, a quest that will have unexpected, and unforgettable repercussions.

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Jessica Hagedorn has transformed her bestselling novel about the Philippines during the reign of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos into an equally powerful theatrical piece that is a multi-layered tour de force. As Harold Bloom writes, "Hagedorn expresses the conflicts experienced by Asian immigrants caught between cultures . . . she takes aim at racism in the U.S. and develops in her dramas the themes of displacement and the search for belonging."

Jessica Hagedorn is a performance artist, poet, novelist and playwright, born and raised in the Philippines. Her novels include Dogeaters (Penguin 1990) which was nominated for a National Book Award and The Gangster of Love (Penguin 1996); a short story collection, Danger and Beauty (City Lights 2002).

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The prequel to The Lord of the Rings—The Hobbit—is now a major motion picture directed by Peter Jackson

THE GREATEST FANTASY EPIC OF OUR TIME

While the evil might of the Dark Lord Sauron swarms out to conquer all Middle-earth, Frodo and Sam struggle deep into Mordor, seat of Sauron’s power. To defeat the Dark Lord, the One Ring, ruler of all the accursed Rings of Power, must be destroyed in the fires of Mount Doom. But the way is impossibly hard, and Frodo is weakening. Weighed down by the compulsion of the Ring, he begins finally to despair.

The awesome conclusion of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, beloved by millions of readers around the world.

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Compared favorably to the works of Faulkner and Dickens, Arundhati Roy’s debut novel is a modern classic that has been read and loved worldwide. Equal parts powerful family saga, forbidden love story, and piercing political drama, it is the story of an affluent Indian family forever changed by one fateful day in 1969. The seven-year-old twins Estha and Rahel see their world shaken irrevokably by the arrival of their beautiful young cousin, Sophie. It is an event that will lead to an illicit liaison and tragedies accidental and intentional, exposing “big things [that] lurk unsaid” in a country drifting dangerously toward unrest. Lush, lyrical, and unnerving, The God of Small Things is an award-winning landmark that started for its author an esteemed career of fiction and political commentary that continues unabated.

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The prequel to The Lord of the Rings—The Hobbit—is now a major motion picture directed by Peter Jackson

THE GREATEST FANTASY EPIC OF OUR TIME

The Fellowship is scattered. Some are bracing hopelessly for war against the ancient evil of Sauron. Some are contending with the treachery of the wizard Saruman. Only Frodo and Sam are left to take the accursed One Ring, ruler of all the Rings of Power, to be destroyed in Mordor, the dark realm where Sauron is supreme. Their guide is Gollum, deceitful and lust-filled, slave to the corruption of the Ring.

Thus continues the bestselling epic that began in The Fellowship of the Ring, and which reaches its magnificent climax in The Return of the King.

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The Red King Syndrome

Michael Moran has rediscovered the power of Miracleman, but unbeknownst to him, Dr. Emil Gargunza, the man behind Project Zarathustra, has set in motion plans decades in the making. In The Red King Syndrome, Gargunza's intentions for Miracleman's wife and unborn child set the stage for a confrontati on between creator and creation. The origins of Gargunza and Zarathustra will be revealed, and life and death will be decided deep in the jungles of Paraguay.

COLLECTING: MIRACLEMAN 5-10

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The prequel to The Lord of the Rings—The Hobbit—is now a major motion picture directed by Peter Jackson

THE GREATEST FANTASY EPIC OF OUR TIME

The dark, fearsome Ringwraiths are searching for a Hobbit. Frodo Baggins knows that they are seeking him and the Ring he bears—the Ring of Power that will enable evil Sauron to destroy all that is good in Middle-earth. Now it is up to Frodo and his faithful servant, Sam, with a small band of companions, to carry the Ring to the one place it can be destroyed: Mount Doom, in the very center of Sauron’s realm.

Thus begins J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic The Lord of the Rings, which continues in The Two Towers and The Return of the King.

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The Ecology of Rich and Poor

Global warming. Soil loss. Freshwater scarcity. Extinction. Overconsumption. Toxic waste production. Habitat and biodiversity erosion. These are only a few of our most urgent ecological crises. There are others as well and, despite the popularity of good-news environmentalism, few of them are going away. In this wide-ranging, grimly entertaining commentary on the environmental debate, Tom Athanasiou finds that these problems are exacerbated, if not caused, by the planet's division into "warring camps of rich and poor."

Writing with passionate intelligence, Athanasiou proposes a simple yet radical solution―stop indulging easy, calming fantasies in which everything seems to change, but nothing important changes at all. Instead, do what needs to be done, now, while there is still time and goodwill. The bottom line, he concludes, is that there will be no sustainability without a large measure of justice. Without profound political and economic change, he argues, there can be no effective global environmental action, no real effort to save the planet.

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