James Lindgren, author of Preserving South Street Seaport (NYU Press, 2014), on why New Yorkers and the de Blasio administration need to step in and support the Seaport Museum and the district’s public space.

Also, join us tonight at the Paris Cafe for a book talk by the author

Listen to this exclusive interview with author Zareena Grewal on the New Books Network!

Leg Over Leg: Finalist for Best Translated Book Award

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We’re delighted to announce that Library of Arabic Literature’s Leg Over Leg, Volume 1 by Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq, translated by Humphrey Davies is one of 10 finalists for the Best Translated Book Award in fiction! See the full list here.

Head on over to Three Percent to take a look back at the reasons “why these books should win,” according to the judges and other readers.

"[A] wide-ranging analysis that touches on feminism, the military, marriage, the Internet, and discourse around scientific research. Walters’s humane, transformative vision soars in this must-read for anyone interested in LGBT politics.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
The Tolerance Trap publishes next month, and the praise is rollin’ in! Check out the book’s website for more information.

"[A] wide-ranging analysis that touches on feminism, the military, marriage, the Internet, and discourse around scientific research. Walters’s humane, transformative vision soars in this must-read for anyone interested in LGBT politics.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

The Tolerance Trap publishes next month, and the praise is rollin’ in! Check out the book’s website for more information.

In asserting that gay, lesbian and bisexual citizens want rights such as pay equity, voting rights, and an end to discrimination in the workplace and judicial system—indeed, ‘full and deep integration and inclusion in the American dream’—[the author] makes it clear that tolerance is much too limited a goal.

An enlightening examination of identity and the quest for ‘deep freedom’ by a largely misunderstood and marginalized group.

prairielights

prairielights:

Pranksters: Making Mischief in the Modern World is the new book by Kembrew McLeod, UI Professor of Communications and sometime prankster himself. In it he examines the history of various pranksters, hoaxers & con men to explore how pranks are not just for fun but are often used to get at larger truths in society.

 For a limited time, when you stop by the store you’ll get a free pack of Prankster cards with purchase of the book.

Hey, Iowa City folks!  Kembrew McLeod, author of Pranksters, will be reading at Prairie Lights bookstore tonight, April 2, at 6pm!  

Another excellent Women’s History Month post on our blog!

knowledgeequalsblackpower

So I’d like to make a suggestion to jettison the Firsts, Festivals, and Foods trio of Black History Month for a different style of learning about Black and American history. Kids learn who the First Black astronaut was, the First Black senator, and so forth. But what happens after the First? I suggest we do away with how we teach about ‘Firsts,’ and I’ll leave the Festivals and Foods to other, more creative minds.

When we focus on the Firsts, and not What Followed, we allow ourselves to be seduced by the silence in between milestones of Black History. If we do not look into the gaps between the Firsts, then we fail to see the ways that other individuals, institutions, and social practices worked—often quite deliberately—to crush the spirit of those Firsts, and to make it plain that Black people who wanted to follow in their footsteps would be met with massive resistance.

So I ask that we pair the question ‘What Followed and Why?’ with each First, to ensure that our students can understand the reasons why we still celebrate Firsts, why they remain rarities decades after slavery and Jim Crow.

What happened after Benjamin Banneker made plans for our nation’s capitol, the First Black engineer to be recognized as such by white folks? Why the gap in Black urban planners between Banneker and… well, I must admit I cannot bring to mind a famous Black urban planner. What stymied efforts to bring up generations of Bannekers to design welcoming, sustainable urban spaces to be shared by people of all colors? Why are so many urban areas still segregated, decades after the First Black mayors were elected?

Until we look closely at What Followed, and try to learn lessons from that part of our American history, our celebrations of Firsts will feel less festive and more frustrating as time goes by.