What to Read While Quarantined

In our current climate of social distancing and quarantine, what better than a good book to help experience another reality for a while? We have compiled a list of written works from CalArtians including memoirs, fictional short stories, and graphic design retrospectives. Here are some titles to pick up: 

Song for the Unraveling of the World by Brian Evenson

This gripping collection of short stories from the School of Critical Studies faculty received a rare starred advanced review from Publisher’s Weekly. Step into Evenson’s world of unsettling narratives, where horror and science fiction meld into “stories of doubt, delusion, and paranoia” in which “no belief, no claim to objectivity, is immune to the distortions of human perception.” Published by Coffee House Press.

Read the full 24700 story here, and order Song for the Unraveling of the World from Coffee House Press, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon

Sir by Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle 

Writer and visual artist Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle (Art, Critical Studies MFA 12) combines ethnography, poetry, and family narrative in her multigenre memoir Sir. The book is the author’s meditation of “historical perceptions of the black male body and its contextualizing geographies in relationship to her brother, an African American man born in 1980 named Sir.” Published by Litmus Press.

Order Sir from Small Press Distribution, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.

My Meteorite: Or, Without the Random There Can Be No New Thing by Harry Dodge

School of Art faculty Harry Dodge contemplates life’s coincidences, connections, and randomness in his memoir My Meteorite. Lauded as a “wild, incandescent book that creates a literary universe of its own,” Dodge relates a tale of family reconnection catalyzed by a meteorite fragment found on eBay. Published by Penguin Books.

Read the full 24700 story here, and order My Meteorite from Barnes & Noble or Amazon.

Jell-O Girls: A Family History by Allie Rowbottom

Jell-O is an iconic gelatinous confection known the world over, but Allie Rowbottom’s (Critical Studies MFA 11) Jell-O Girls is far from sweet. Rowbottom, the great-great-great-niece of the Jell-O patent owner, explores the ills that plagued her family history with a story that melds feminist theory with the brand’s history. The New York Times praised the book as one that “alternately surprises and mesmerizes.” Published by Little, Brown and Company.

Read the full 24700 story here, and Order Jell-O Girls from Barnes & Noble or Amazon.

Shadowlands: Fear and Freedom at the Oregon Standoff by Anthony McCann

School of Critical Studies faculty Anthony McCann delves into the 2016 right-wing Oregon occupation in Shadowlands: Fear and Freedom at the Oregon Standoff. McCann relates the epic tale of the occupiers, and the ways in which it engaged the law, social activism, religion, social media, and the environment. Shadowlands offers a “clarifying, exhilarating story of a nation facing an uncertain future and a murky past in a time of great collective reckoning.” Published by Bloomsbury Publishing.

Order Shadowlands from Bloomsbury, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.

People I’ve Met from the Internet by Stephen van Dyck 

Stephen van Dyck’s (Critical Studies-Music-IM MFA 09) form-defying Bildungsroman details the author’s intimate encounters with men he met from the internet from his early teenage years to adulthood. Hailed by filmmaker Miranda July as an “unputdownable” memoir, People I’ve Met from the Internet offers “a queer reimagining of the coming-of-age narrative set at the dawn of the internet era.” Published by Ricochet Editions.

Read the full 24700 story here, and order People I’ve Met from the Internet from Small Press Distribution or Amazon.

Inside Out & Upside Down: Posters from CalArts 1980–2019 edited and designed by Michael Worthington

Delve into a treasure trove of postmodern graphic design in Inside Out & Upside Down, a comprehensive retrospective of works from the CalArts Poster Archive heretofore unavailable to the public. The work was edited and designed by School of Art faculty Michael Worthington, who also wrote the introduction, and features more than 500 student- and faculty-made posters created since the Institute’s founding. The collection also includes interviews and essays from CalArtians including Louise Sandhaus, Lorraine Wild, Jon Sueda, Ian Lynam, Sarah Gottesdiener, Gail Swanlund, and Jeffery Keedy. Published by MW Books.

Read the press release here, and preorder Inside Out & Upside Down here.

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