Summer – a time for catching up, relaxing, exploring, starting new projects, or perhaps completing work in progress.  With this in mind, we have asked some faculty members at St. John’s what they are reading this summer.

Dr. John Lowney, a Professor in the English Department, writes:

This summer I am looking forward to reading the long awaited biography of Thelonious Monk by Robin D.G. Kelley, Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original.  Monk is not only one of the most innovative pianists and composers in jazz history; he was also a legendarily controversial performing artist.  Kelley’s biography is the most thoroughly researched account of Monk’s life.  It is also nothing less than a cultural history of jazz as it evolved in the middle decades of the twentieth century, particularly in New York City. 

 This book appeals to me because of my current research interests in jazz literature, and I am especially interested to see how Kelley relates his extensive knowledge of African American history and radical activism to the development of mid-century jazz.