brooklyn book store

these just in … 31 January, 2008

Stealing Buddha’s Dinner
by Bich Minh Nguyen

Paperback $14.00

As a Vietnamese girl coming of age in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Nguyen is filled with a rapacious hunger for American identity, and in the pre-PC-era Midwest (where the Jennifers and Tiffanys reign supreme), the desire to belong transmutes into a passion for American food. More exotic- seeming than her Buddhist grandmother’s traditional specialties, the campy, preservative-filled “delicacies” of mainstream America capture her imagination.

In Stealing Buddha’s Dinner, the glossy branded allure of Pringles, Kit Kats, and Toll House Cookies becomes an ingenious metaphor for Nguyen’s struggle to become a “real” American, a distinction that brings with it the dream of the perfect school lunch, burgers and Jell- O for dinner, and a visit from the Kool-Aid man. Vivid and viscerally powerful, this remarkable memoir about growing up in the 1980s introduces an original new literary voice and an entirely new spin on the classic assimilation story.

The Friendship: Wordsworth & Coleridge
by Adam Sisman

Paperback $17.00

In Adam Sisman’s previous book, the award-winning Boswell’s Presumptuous Task, he inventively recounted the making of the most distinguished biography in the English language, James Boswell’s Life of Johnson. Now, with The Friendship, Sisman details the relationship of two of the most important Romantic poets, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The first modern biography to consider them together, The Friendship is a wonderfully readable account that evokes these two extraordinary personalities and situates them in their time, exploring the influence each writer had on the other, as well as providing glimpses of the creative process itself.

Along This Way: The Autobiography of James Weldon Johnson     *NEW EDITION
by James Weldon Johnson, intro. by Sondra Kathryn Wilson

Paperback $16.00

Published just four years before his death in 1938, James Weldon Johnson’s autobiography is a fascinating portrait of an African American who broke the racial divide at a time when the Harlem Renaissance had not yet begun to usher in the civil rights movement. Not only an educator, lawyer, and diplomat, Johnson was also one of the most revered leaders of his time, going on to serve as the first black president of the NAACP (which had previously been run only by whites), as well as write the groundbreaking novel The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man. Beginning with his birth in Jacksonville, Florida, and detailing his education, his role in the Harlem Renaissance, and his later years as a professor and civil rights reformer, Along This Way is an inspiring classic of African American literature.

The Golden Road: Notes on My Gentrification     *NEW EDITION
by Caille Millner

Paperback $14.00

Millner, a young black woman, grew up in a Chicano neighborhood in California, more than a little confused about racial identity and the lure of the state as a place of redefinition. Her parents’ wandering quest for economic stability later pulled loose her ties to Chicano culture, but she could never quite ground herself in the black middle class. The result was a cultural restlessness and longing that made her an outsider at an exclusive all-girls school and vulnerable to the allure of other rootless wanderers, including drug dealers and dabblers. Study at Harvard and travel through South Africa didn’t offer a clear sense of identity either. But her disconnectedness also gave her a sharp eye for insider-outsider status and a deep yearning to belong that made her hypersensitive to gentrification as witnessed in California, New York, Boston, and South Africa. Millner, who was first published at 16, has a keen eye for the social undercurrents and upheavals