Magical Habits

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Product Details
Duke University Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.42 inches | 0.59 pounds

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About the Author
Monica Huerta is Assistant Professor of English and American Studies at Princeton University.
"Monica Huerta's Magical Habits takes us deep into the possibilities of everyday objects, feelings, and questions. . . . I love this book because I, like Huerta, am committed 'to take on scholarly rituals that lead to elsewhere.' This memoir that is also a collage and a performance does just this."--Suzanne Bost "Prose Studies" (8/28/2022 12:00:00 AM)
"Huerta weaves into each chapter powerful stories of her upbringing and family and the narrative of her own winding path in academia. She cleverly uses a variety of documents and historical archival material, sourced from her family and their businesses in Chicago and Mexico, to explore wide-ranging themes of migration and displacement and the results of what she calls racial capitalism. . . . It is a fascinating read. . . ."--Amy Lewontin "Library Journal" (7/1/2021 12:00:00 AM)
"Monica Huerta moves readers toward a habit of being captured by objects that mesh one's own singular and collective histories. We learn to breathe with them and to be dispossessed by them. This fantastic book enchanted me and taught me so much."--Lauren Berlant, author of "Cruel Optimism"
"Magical Habits is as much a treasure trove as it is a book--full of surprises, glittering insights, lyrical vignettes, personal archives, political history, family lore, and brilliant literary critique. The writing is exquisite, for the book is both polyphonic and constantly---effortlessly---changing tack. I would turn the page without any sense of where Monica Huerta might take me next, only knowing that I wanted to follow, that I did not want to come out from under this spell."--Justin Torres, author of "We the Animals"
"Thoughtful, wry, and intimate, Magical Habits is a memoir that's rich with questions about identity, heritage, authenticity, and the true American dream."--Meg Nola "Foreword" (9/1/2021 12:00:00 AM)
"Delightfully heterogenous and perfectly unblended, Huerta's mixture of creative and critical writing spans from history to monologues, to tales and family documents, including a variety of media--photographs, restaurant menus, advertisements--which comprise her personal 'archive' (xix). . . . As a book which 'seeks to enact as much as describe, ' Magical Habits is a love story between the reader and the writing, one to be read with generosity and eagerness (ix)."--Adriana Murad Konings "ASAP/Journal" (6/16/2022 12:00:00 AM)
"When I tweeted a joke ('joke') about timing my book proposal to a certain full moon, someone recommended I read Monica Huerta's Magical Habits, an intimate, academic, genre-bending study of race, history, and heritage grounded in Huerta's experience growing up in her family's Mexican restaurants. I'm glad I listened, and not only because Huerta validates moon-based writing timelines--it was a much-needed reminder that there are countless ways to tell a story, and that a book can be whatever you want it to be."--Arianna Rebolini "The Millions" (12/17/2021 12:00:00 AM)
"Monica Huerta's first book, Magical Habits, is unlike many other contemporary Latinx studies monographs. It breaks with generic conventions of literary criticism and stuns with Huerta's reflections on everyday encounters with history and capitalism via family, place, race, self, and the stories they intertwine."--Jennifer M. Lozano "MELUS" (9/1/2022 12:00:00 AM)
"Monica Huerta's intricate and deeply intimate Magical Habits takes the reader on an inventive study of the links between stories, race, place, and archive. . . . This book will definitely benefit students and researchers in the fields of feminism and gender studies, critical race theory, Chicanx studies, and Latinx literature. It could also enlighten students wishing for more creative liberty in academia."--Anaïs Ornelas Ramirez "Lateral" (10/1/2022 12:00:00 AM)
"This striking debut blends personal and political essays with U.S. and Mexican histories, photos, menus and a fable to indulge 'multiple habits of thought rather than proposing there is one way of knowing.'"-- "New York Times Book Review" (8/12/2021 12:00:00 AM)
"Magical Habits's blend of personal archive and theory prompts the reader to question their assumptions around what constitutes accepted archives and heralded academic discourse. . . . Within a relatively slim text, Huerta performs a rich kind of self-ekphrasis, looking at material from her own life and family for clues about how to live alongside scholarship: television, family lore, tales from her love life that read like movie reels."--Rosa Boshier "Los Angeles Review of Books" (12/6/2021 12:00:00 AM)