Complete Collection

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The Plum Flower Dance: Poems 1985 to 2005
Weaver, Afaa M. The Plum Flower Dance: Poems 1985 to 2005. Pitt poetry series. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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"Weaver has crafted a virtual planet in this book with plenty of alternate geographies for readers of all flavors and stripes. Marvelous. Huge. Prodigious." --North American Review

How to fight anti-Semitism
Weiss, Bari. How to fight anti-Semitism. New York: Crown, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"No longer the exclusive province of the far right and far left, anti-semitism finds a home in identity politics and the reaction against identity politics, in the renewal of "America first" isolationism and the rise of one-world socialism. An ancient hatred increasingly allowed into modern political discussion, anti-semitism has been migrating toward the mainstream in dangerous ways, amplified by social media and a culture of conspiracy that threatens us all. This timely book is Weiss's cri de couer: an unnerving reminder that Jews must never lose their hard-won instinct for danger, and a powerful case for renewing Jewish and liberal values to guide us through this uncertain moment. Not just for the sake of America's Jews, but for the sake of America"–from the publisher
Winter in the Blood
Welch, James. Winter in the Blood. Penguin classics. New York: Penguin, 2008. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
Narrated by a young Native American living on the Fort Belknap Reservation in Montana, Winter in the Blood is the story of a man living out the tragedy of his people. Intelligent, sensitive, and self-destructive, he is haunted by the untimely deaths of his father and older brother and the shards of his once proud heritage. He sleepwalks through his days working on his stepfather's cattle ranch and consoles himself with alcohol and women. An ironic epiphany provides a tie to the vast land of his ancestors and an alternative to despair.
Educated: A Memoir
Westover, Tara. Educated: A Memoir. New York: Random House, 2018. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her "head-for-the-hills bag." In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara's older brothers became violent. As a way out, Tara began to educate herself, learning enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University. Her quest for knowledge would transform her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she'd traveled too far, if there was still a way home. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Tara Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education offers: the perspective to see one's life through new eyes, and the will to change it."–Provided by publisher
Counternarratives from Women of Color Academics: Bravery, Vulnerability, and Resistance
Whitaker, Manya Catrice, and Eric Anthony Grollman, ed. Counternarratives from Women of Color Academics: Bravery, Vulnerability, and Resistance. New York: Routledge, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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"This book documents the lived experiences of women of color academics who have leveraged their professional positions to challenge the status quo in their scholarship, teaching, service, activism, and leadership. By presenting reflexive work from various vantage points within and outside of the academy, contributors document the cultivation of mentoring relationships, the use of administrative roles to challenge institutional leadership, and more."

The Nickel Boys
Whitehead, Colson. The Nickel Boys. New York: Doubleday, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
" As the Civil Rights movement begins to reach the black enclave of Frenchtown in segregated Tallahassee, Elwood Curtis takes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart: He is "as good as anyone." Abandoned by his parents, but kept on the straight and narrow by his grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But for a black boy in the Jim Crow South of the early 1960s, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy the future. Elwood is sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, whose mission statement says it provides "physical, intellectual and moral training" so the delinquent boys in their charge can become "honorable and honest men." In reality, the Nickel Academy is a grotesque chamber of horrors where the sadistic staff beats and sexually abuses the students, corrupt officials and locals steal food and supplies, and any boy who resists is likely to disappear "out back." Stunned to find himself in such a vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold onto Dr. King's ringing assertion "Throw us in jail and we will still love you." His friend Turner thinks Elwood is worse than naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. The tension between Elwood's ideals and Turner's skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades. Formed in the crucible of the evils Jim Crow wrought, the boys' fates will be determined by what they endured at the Nickel Academy." (Publisher's summary)
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents
Wilkerson, Isabel. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. New York: Random House, 2020. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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"As we go about our daily lives, caste is the wordless usher in a darkened theater, flashlight cast down in the aisles, guiding us to our assigned seats for a performance. The hierarchy of caste is not about feelings or morality. It is about power–which groups have it and which do not. In this book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings. Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people's lives and behavior and the nation's fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people–including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball's Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others–she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their out-cast of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity"– Provided by the publisher.

Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race
Williams, Thomas Chatterton. Self-Portrait in Black and White: Unlearning Race. New York: W.W. Norton, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"A meditation on race and identity from one of our most provocative cultural critics. A reckoning with the way we choose to see and define ourselves, Self-Portrait in Black and White is the searching story of one American family's multigenerational transformation from what is called black to what is assumed to be white. Thomas Chatterton Williams, the son of a 'black' father from the segregated South and a 'white' mother from the West, spent his whole life believing the dictum that a single drop of 'black blood' makes a person black. This was so fundamental to his self-conception that he'd never rigorously reflected on its foundations – but the shock of his experience as the black father of two extremely white-looking children led him to question these long-held convictions. 'It is not that I have come to believe that I am no longer black or that my daughter is white,' Williams writes. 'It is that these categories cannot adequately capture either of us.' Beautifully written and bound to upset received opinions on race, Self-Portrait in Black and White is an urgent work for our time." (Publisher's description)
Outside the XY: A Bklyn Boihood Anthology
Willis, Morgan Mann, ed. Outside the XY: A Bklyn Boihood Anthology. Riverdale, NY: Riverdale Avenue Books, 2016. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
An anthology of more than 50 stories, memoirs, poems, ideas, essays and letters–all examining what it looks like, feels like, and is like to inhabit masculinity outside of cisgender manhood as people of color in the world.
A Wild and Precious Life: A Memoir
Windsor, Edie. A Wild and Precious Life: A Memoir. First edition. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"A lively, intimate memoir from an icon of the gay rights movement, describing gay life in 1950s and 60s New York City and her longtime activism which opened the door for marriage equality. Edie Windsor became internationally famous when she sued the US government, seeking federal recognition for her marriage to Thea Spyer, her partner of more than four decades. The Supreme Court ruled in Edie's favor, a landmark victory that set the stage for full marriage equality in the US. Beloved by the LGBTQ community, Edie embraced her new role as an icon; she had already been living an extraordinary and groundbreaking life for decades. In this memoir, which she began before passing away in 2017 and completed by her co-writer, Edie recounts her childhood in Philadelphia, her realization that she was a lesbian, and her active social life in Greenwich Village's electrifying underground gay scene during the 1950s. Edie was also one of a select group of trailblazing women in computing, working her way up the ladder at IBM and achieving their highest technical ranking while developing software. In the early 1960s Edie met Thea, an expat from a Dutch Jewish family that fled the Nazis, and a widely respected clinical psychologist. Their partnership lasted forty-four years, until Thea died in 2009. Edie found love again, marrying Judith Kasen-Windsor in 2016. A Wild and Precious Life is remarkable portrait of an iconic woman, gay life in New York in the second half of the twentieth century, and the rise of LGBT activism"-- Provided by publisher.
Written on the Body
Winterson, Jeanette. Written on the Body. New York: Vintage, 1994. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

From the cover:

The most beguilingly seductive novel to date from the author of The Passion and Sexing the Cherry. Winterson chronicles the consuming affair between the narrator, who is given neither name nor gender, and the beloved, a complex and confused married woman.

"At once a love story and a philosophical meditation."--New York Times Book Review.

White Like Me: Reflections on Race From a Privileged Son
Wise, Tim J. White Like Me: Reflections on Race From a Privileged Son. Brooklyn, NY: Soft Skull Press, 2005. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"From his experiences as a white anti-racist activist and white American, Tim Wise has crafted the first history of what it means to be part of the "majority" in America. Combining the emotion of personal stories with insights gleaned from fifteen years as an educator, White Like Me examines the ways in which whites reap the benefits of "racial preferences"--Whether or not they actively engage in racism. By critically assessing the magnitude of racial privilege and its costs - to people of color and whites as well - Wise provides a provocative memoir relevant to activists, educators, and average everyday folks seeking to understand why race continues to shape life in the United States."--Jacket.
Uncensored: My Life and Uncomfortable Conversations at the Intersection of Black and White America
Wood, Zachary R. Uncensored: My Life and Uncomfortable Conversations at the Intersection of Black and White America. New York: Dutton, 2018. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

"Rooted in his own powerful personal story, twenty-one-year-old Zachary Wood shares his dynamic perspective on free speech, race, and dissenting opinions--in a world that sorely needs to learn to listen. As the president of the student group Uncomfortable Learning at Williams College, Zachary Wood knows all about intellectual controversy. From John Derbyshire to Charles Murray, there's no one Zach refuses to debate or engage with simply because he disagrees with their beliefs--sometimes vehemently so--and this controversial view has given him a unique platform on college campuses and in the media.

But Zach has never shared the details of his own personal story, and how he came to be a crusader for open dialogue and free speech. In Uncensored, he reveals for the first time how he grew up poor and black in Washington, DC, in an environment where the only way to survive was to resist the urge to write people off because of their backgrounds and their perspectives. By sharing his troubled upbringing--from a difficult early childhood filled with pain, uncertainty, and conflict to the struggles of code-switching between his home in a rough neighborhood and his elite private school--Zach makes a compelling argument for a new way of interacting with others, in a nation and a world that has never felt more polarized. In Uncensored, he hopes to foster a new outlook on society's most difficult conversations, both on campus and beyond."-- Provided by publisher.

 

Carpentaria
Wright, Alexis. Carpentaria. New York: Atria International, 2006. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
Steeped in myth and magical realism, this story exposes the heartbreaking realities of Aboriginal life as indigenous tribes fight to protect their natural resources, sacred sites, and above all, their people.
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A Little Life
Yanagihara, Hanya. A Little Life. New York: Anchor Books, 2016. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
A Little Life follows four college classmates-broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition as they move to New York in search of fame and fortune. While their relationships, which are tinged by addiction, success, and pride, deepen over the decades, the men are held together by their devotion to the brilliant, enigmatic Jude, a man scarred by an unspeakable childhood trauma. A hymn to brotherly bonds and a masterful depiction of love in the twenty-first century, Hanya Yanagihara's stunning novel is about the families we are born into, and those that we make for ourselves.
The Souls of Yellow Folk: Essays
Yang, Wesley. The Souls of Yellow Folk: Essays. New York: W.W. Norton, 2018. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

"One of the most acclaimed essayists of his generation, Wesley Yang writes about race and sex without the jargon, formulas, and polite lies that bore us all. His powerful debut, The Souls of Yellow Folk, does more than collect a decade's worth of cult-reputation essays – it corrals new American herds of pickup artists, school shooters, mandarin zombies, and immigrant strivers, and exposes them to scrutiny, empathy, and polemical force.

In his celebrated and prescient essay "The Face of Seung-Hui Cho," Yang explores the deranged logic of the Virginia Tech shooter. In his National Magazine Award-winning "Paper Tigers," he explores the intersection of Asian values and the American dream, and the inner torment of the child exposed to "tiger mother" parenting. And in his close reading of New York Magazine's popular Sex Diaries, he was among the first critics to take seriously today's Internet-mediated dating lives.

Yang catches these ugly trends early because he has felt at various times implicated in them, and he does not exempt himself from his radical honesty. His essays retain the thrill of discovery, the wary eye of the first explorer, and the rueful admission of the first exposed."–Dust jacket

Caste Matters
Yengde, Suraj. Caste Matters. Gurgaon: Penguin Viking, 2019. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"In this explosive book, Suraj Yengde, a first-generation Dalit scholar educated across continents, challenges deep-seated beliefs about caste and unpacks its many layers. He describes his gut-wrenching experiences of growing up in a Dalit basti, the multiple humiliations suffered by Dalits on a daily basis, and their incredible resilience enabled by love and humour. As he brings to light the immovable glass ceiling that exists for Dalits even in politics, bureaucracy and judiciary, Yengde provides an unflinchingly honest account of divisions within the Dalit community itself-from their internal caste divisions to the conduct of elite Dalits and their tokenized forms of modern-day untouchability-all operating under the inescapable influences of Brahminical doctrines. This path-breaking book reveals how caste crushes human creativity and is disturbingly similar to other forms of oppression, such as race, class and gender. At once a reflection on inequality and a call to arms, Caste Matters argues that until Dalits lay claim to power and Brahmins join hands against Brahminism to effect real transformation, caste will continue to matter." – Book jacket
Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights
Yoshino, Kenji. Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights. New York: Random House, 2006. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract

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"Gay Asian American Yale Law School professor Kenji Yoshino fuses legal manifesto and poetic memoir to call for a redefinition of civil rights in our law and culture. Everyone covers. To cover is to downplay a disfavored trait so as to blend into the mainstream. Because all of us possess stigmatized attributes, we all encounter pressure to cover in our daily lives. Given its pervasiveness, we may experience this pressure to be a simple fact of social life.

Against conventional understanding, Kenji Yoshino argues that the demand to cover can pose a hidden threat to our civil rights. Though we have come to some consensus against penalizing people for differences based on race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, and disability, we still routinely deny equal treatment to people who refuse to downplay differences along these lines. Racial minorities are pressed to 'act white' by changing their names, languages, or cultural practices. Women are told to 'play like men' at work. Gays are asked not to engage in public displays of same-sex affection. The devout are instructed to minimize expressions of faith, and individuals with disabilities are urged to conceal the paraphernalia that permit them to function.

In a wide-ranging analysis, Yoshino demonstrates that American civil rights law has generally ignored the threat posed by these covering demands. With passion and rigor, he shows that the work of civil rights will not be complete until it attends to the harms of coerced conformity." (Publisher's description)

Interior Chinatown
Yu, Charles. Interior Chinatown. New York: Vintage, 2020. Book @ Harvard LibraryAbstract
"Every day Willis Wu leaves his tiny room in a Chinatown SRO and enters the Golden Palace restaurant, where Black and White, a procedural cop show, is in perpetual production. He's a bit player here too, but he dreams of being Kung Fu Guy-- and he sees his life as a script. After stumbling into the spotlight, Willis finds himself launched into a wider world than he has ever known, discovering not only the secret history of Chinatown, but the buried legacy of his own family, and what that means for him in today's America." -- from publisher's description.
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Water: New Short Story Fiction from Africa
Zadok, Rachel, Nick Mulgrew, and Short Story Day Africa Staff. Water: New Short Story Fiction from Africa. New Internationalist, 2016. eBook @ Harvard Library [HarvardKey required]Abstract
"Short Story Day Africa presents its annual anthology. The stories explore true and alternative African culture through a competition on the theme of Water. This is the third in the SSDA collection of anthologies, which aim to break the one-dimensional view of African storytelling and fiction writing. Short Story Day Africa brings together writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, teachers, and school children from all over the globe to write, submit, read, workshop, and discuss stories. Rachel Zadok is the author of two novels: Gem Squash Tokoloshe (2005) and Sister-Sister (2013). Nick Mulgrew is a freelance editor and a columnist for the Sunday Times, South Africa." - Publisher description.

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