Summer Reading — Had Me a Blast

We asked various members and friends of the K-State English Department a couple of key summer questions. For example, can we start wearing our all-white Tom Wolfe-inspired suit again? Nobody, sadly wanted to weigh in on that, but everyone had big, splashy ideas for these two questions: What makes a great summer read? What summer read … Continue reading Summer Reading — Had Me a Blast

Forbidden Love: The Books English Professors Secretly Love

Sometimes people are surprised by this, but writers and English professors and scholars love all kinds of books. To celebrate St. Valentine's Day, here are some love letters you might not have expected from our faculty and some Valentine's Day guests. I met Jack Reacher on November 9, 2016. I was alone. Restless. Wandering the … Continue reading Forbidden Love: The Books English Professors Secretly Love

Books to Energize and Inspire

Some days, it’s hard not to feel disheartened at the events taking place around us. The news this past week has been especially distressing, from the synagogue shootings to the bomb parcel deliveries targeting a series of high profile public figures. What follows are book recommendations to provide hope in difficult times— books which energize … Continue reading Books to Energize and Inspire

Books that Unlock the Doors and the Dirt of Elite Institutions

The last few weeks, leading up to Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation as a Supreme Court justice on Saturday, brought out a number of disturbing stories about his time at Georgetown Prep and Yale University. Here are a handful of books that examine the problems and the possibilities of similar elite institutions. E. Lockhart's 2008 novel The … Continue reading Books that Unlock the Doors and the Dirt of Elite Institutions

The National Book Award’s Fiction Longlist

Two writers who recently visited Kansas State made the 10-writer longlist for the 2018 National Book Award in Fiction. Hell yeah, I cheered. Rebecca Makkai visited Kansas State in March of 2012. At that point, I considered her one of the modern masters of the short story (I'm not alone in that assessment: her stories once … Continue reading The National Book Award’s Fiction Longlist

Beach Read Recommendations

We asked members of the K-State English community two really important summer questions: 1. What's a beach read really? 2. What should people read on the beach this summer — or you know, it's Kansas, so while locked inside with air conditioning?   1. I think we’re meant to think of beach reads like airport … Continue reading Beach Read Recommendations

Forget the Super Bowl: Here are Some Super Writers

Another Super Bowl has come and gone, and we're pretty sure the "Dirty Dancing" ad won? We're just kidding, Eagles fans! We know all about the actual game. Despite those "sportsball" jokes you see spinning around some English departments, the words of literature and the world of sports come together more often than you think. In fact, … Continue reading Forget the Super Bowl: Here are Some Super Writers

Five Books to Help You Give Thanks

Here at the Kansas State English Department — Fine Purveyor of Literary Listicles for All of Your Holiday Needs — we're thankful for the holiday break next week, for our families, for our students, for our colleagues, for our friends, for those who fight for the rights of others, and for books — don't forget … Continue reading Five Books to Help You Give Thanks

Pages of Resistance

Professors Lisa Tatonetti (left) and Tanya González (right) turn to literature  — by writers such as Frederick Douglass, Gloria Anzaldúato, and Mohsin Hamid — to help fight against bigotry. Trying to write anything about diversity in Manhattan, Kansas, at the current political moment seems impossible. Last week, there were incidents of homophobic chalking and reports across our community of … Continue reading Pages of Resistance