Summer Reads 2018: What Are Princeton Professors Reading This Summer?
Photo by Danielle Alio, Office of Communications
What is a favorite book on your shelf?
“Conflicts of Interest: The Letters of María Amparo Ruiz de Burton” compiles the surviving letters of a 19th-century Californian who wrote two novels that spoke of the hardships of the Californios — the landowning elite — after the United States took over their land in 1848. The letters are written in both Spanish and English and offer a unique perspective of a woman interested in politics and advocating for her rights and people.
As a historian I love to be in the archives and read the inner thoughts and private correspondence of individuals. It allows me to connect with a person who lived before I was even born and who had no idea that I would ever read their work.
Like an archive, this book offers a way in to the literary personality of Ruiz de Burton and for me that is often as exciting as a novel.
What’s on your summer reading list?
My academic reading list is (as always) unrealistically long. After 10 years of working on my first book, “An American Language: The History of Spanish in the United States,” I am excited to begin reading widely for my second book, tentatively titled, “Intertwined Roots: Mexican Americans and Native Americans in the Southwest.” Most of the books that I am reading now focus on the interactions between Native Americans, Mexican Americans and Anglos in New Mexico and Colorado. Books I’m especially excited to read along this theme include Erika Perez’s “Colonial Intimacies,” Paul Andrew Hutton’s “The Apache Wars” and David Wallace Adams’ “Three Roads to Magdalena.”
I am a voracious novel reader in the summer and make it a rule not to keep lists of what I want to read. I love to slowly go through the library bookshelves (or online offerings) and pick novels or other books that look great that I have never heard of. I will admit that I am really looking forward to finding “There There” by Tommy Orange and Rita Moreno’s memoir on the shelf though. I am excited to begin a full summer of reading!