I love books. I love to read books. I love to write and teach about books. And I especially love to hold the real things, print copies of books in my hands. That's why I chose this photo as my introduction to you. I'm a literature professor in the Department of African American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My areas of specialization are twentieth century fiction, African American literary criticism, and Black theater. In 2010 I published a memoir, Confessions of a Slot Machine Queen andcurrently am working on a new book titled And Then The Casinos Came: Black Women's Narratives about Gambling and Loss.