OBJECT LESSONS reading with EVAN KINDLEY, BRIAN THILL, ARIANA KELLY, and ALISON KINNEY

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on February 7th, 2016

Object Lessons is an essay and book series published by The Atlantic and Bloomsbury about the hidden lives of ordinary things, from sardines to silence, juniper berries to jumper cables. Joining us will be four authors reading from their respective Object Lessons books. 

--

Questionnaires are everywhere: we fill them out in doctor's offices and at job interviews, to express ourselves and to advance knowledge, to find love and to kill time. But where did they come from, and why have they proliferated? InQuestionnaire, Evan Kindley investigates the history of “the form as form,” from the Victorian confession album to the BuzzFeed quiz. In the process, he uncovers surprising connections between disparate fields (literature and science, psychology and business, journalism and surveillance) and asks fundamental questions about the questions we ask ourselves. 

Evan Kindley is a founding editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books and a visiting assistant professor at Claremont McKenna College. 

--

We all wear hoods: the Grim Reaper, Red Riding Hood, torturers, executioners and the executed, athletes, laborers, anarchists, rappers, babies in onesies, and anyone who’s ever grabbed a hoodie on a chilly day. Alison Kinney’s Hood​ explores the material and symbolic vibrancy of this everyday garment and political semaphore, which often protects the powerful at the expense of the powerless—with deadly results. 

Alison Kinney is the author of Hood. Her writing has appeared online at The Paris Review DailyHyperallergicThe New York TimesThe AtlanticThe New Inquiry, and other publications.

--

Waste focuses on those objects that most fundamentally shape our lives, and also attempts to understand our complicated emotional and intellectual relationships to our own refuse: nuclear waste, climate debris, digital detritus, video game graveyards, space garbage, and more. But waste, as the book argues, is not merely the immense field of our discarded objects; it's also the concept we employ in an effort to define and understand our individual relationships to time and desire. Waste is every object, plus time.

Brian Thill is the author of Waste (Bloomsbury), recently named by Jeff VanderMeer in Electric Literature as one of the best books of the year. His work has also appeared in The Atlantic, Salon, The Guardian, Jacobin, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and more. He's currently in the early stages of writing his next two books.

--

The phone booth exists as a fond but distant memory for some people, and as a strange and dysfunctional waste of space for many more. Ariana Kelly approaches the phone booth as an entity that embodies diverse attitudes about privacy, freedom, power, sanctuary, and communication in its various forms all around the world. Through portrayals of phone booths in literature, film, personal narrative, philosophy, and religion, Phone Booth offers a definitive account of an object on the cusp of obsolescence. - See more at: http://www.bloomsbury.com/us/phone-booth-9781628924121/#sthash.AQ4IIoOU....

Ariana Kelly works as a writer and teacher in Los Angeles. She is currently completing a book of essays about health and place.

00:0000:00



MARC WEINGARTEN discusses his new book THIRSTY, with NINA REVOYR

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on February 7th, 2016

Thirsty: William Mulholland, California Water and the Real Chinatown (Rare Bird Books)

Thirsty is an exploration of Los Angeles’ storied history and its fraught relationship with water. As a city on the make since the early 20th century, Los Angeles’ resources fought hard to keep up with its unchecked growth. The city’s water chief William Mulholland built an aqueduct to grab water over two hundred miles away in Owens Valley, but it wasn’t enough. Where Marc Reiser’s seminal 1986 book Cadillac Desert started, Marc Weingarten’s Thirsty continues. Weingarten delivers a gripping tale of Los Angeles’ epic battles for water, the larger-than life characters that shaped a city’s destiny, and the man-made tragedy that killed four hundred and forever changed the way water would be harnessed and allocated.

Marc Weingarten is the author of Station to Station and The Gang that Wouldn’t Write Straight; the co-editor of the anthologies Yes is the Answer and Here She Comes Now, and producer of the films God Bless Ozzy Osbourne and The Other One. He lives in Malibu.,CA.

Nina Revoyr is the author of five novels, including The Age of Dreaming, which was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize;Southland, a Los Angeles Times best seller and “Best Book” of 2003; Wingshooters, which won an Indie Booksellers’ Choice Award and was selected by O, The Oprah Magazine as one of “10 Titles to Pick Up Now”; and most recently, Lost Canyon. Revoyr lives and works in Los Angeles. 

00:0000:00



CHARLIE JANE ANDERS reads from her debut novel ALL THE BIRDS IN THE SKY

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on February 7th, 2016

All the Birds in the Sky (Tor Books)

From the editor-in-chief of io9.com, a stunning novel about the end of the world--and the beginning of our future.

Childhood friends Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead didn't expect to see each other again, after parting ways under mysterious circumstances during middle school. After all, the development of magical powers and the invention of a two-second time machine could hardly fail to alarm one's peers and families. But now they're both adults, living in the hipster mecca San Francisco, and the planet is falling apart around them. Laurence is an engineering genius who's working with a group that aims to avert catastrophic breakdown through technological intervention. Patricia is a graduate of Eltisley Maze, the hidden academy for the world's magically gifted, and works with a small band of other magicians to secretly repair the world's every-growing ailments. Little do they realize that something bigger than either of them, something begun years ago in their youth, is determined to bring them together--to either save the world, or plunge it into a new dark ages.
A deeply magical, darkly funny examination of life, love, and the apocalypse.

Praise for All the Birds in the Sky

"The very short list of novels that dare to traffic as freely in the uncanny and wondrous as in big ideas, and to create an entire, consistent, myth-ridden alternate world that is still unmistakably our own, all while breaking the reader's heart into the bargain--I think of masterpieces like The Lathe of Heaven; Cloud Atlas; Little, Big—has just been extended by one.”—Michael Chabon

Charlie Jane Anders is the editor-in-chief of io9.com, the extraordinarily popular Gawker Media site devoted to science fiction and fantasy. Her debut novel, the mainstream Choirboy, won the 2006 Lambda Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Edmund White Award. Her Tor.com story “Six Months, Three Days” won the 2013 Hugo Award and was subsequently picked up for development into a NBC television series. She has also had fiction published by McSweeney’s, Lightspeed, and ZYZZYVA. Her journalism has appeared in Salon, Wall Street Journal, Mother Jones and many other outlets.

00:0000:00



JAKE GERHARDT reads from his young adult novel ME & MIRANDA MULLALY

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on February 1st, 2016

Me & Miranda Mullaly (Viking)

Most of us remember our first crush, but do we ever think about our classmates that may have been crushing on that very same person? Jake Gerhardt’s debut, Me & Miranda Mullaly, tells the hilarious story of three (awkward) races for one (oblivious) girl’s heart. 

There's Sam, the class clown; Duke, the intellectual; and Chollie, the athlete. And the object of their collective affection? The enigmatic Miranda Mullaly—the girl who smiles like she means it, the girl who makes Christmas truly magic when she sings, the girl who...barely realizes her admirers exist! But nothing will stop the guys from doing everything they can to get the girl—not even their inevitable confrontation. Told in alternating perspectives, Me & Miranda Mullaly is a comedy of errors where small misunderstandings lead to big laughs, and beneath the humor, every attempt to win Miranda's favor becomes a compelling look at the larger world of each guy’s life. 

Jake Gerhardt was born and raised in Cheltenham, Pennsylvania. He attended Elkins Park Middle School, where he played football and basketball, ran track, performed in the school musical, and was a member of the student council. He also found time to attend many school dances, in constant pursuit of various Miranda Mullalys. Since graduating from West Chester University, he has worked as a teacher, and lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two daughters.

00:0000:00



BETTE ADRIAANSE discusses her debut novel RUS LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, with GALLAGHER LAWSON

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on January 31st, 2016

Rus Like Everyone Else (Unnamed Press)

Rus is a creature of habit. His mother left him an apartment and a debit card, from which he withdraws money everyday to purchase a drink at Starbucks. Until Rus is told by a government agency that his apartment is illegal and that he owes taxes. Lots of taxes. Rus panics and his cash is stolen by a smooth talking Russian submarine captain.  Meanwhile, as Rus capitulates to the demands of society and finds an office job with the help of a micro-managing new girlfriend, the neighborhood's local postal worker surveys the lives of its other residents with an omniscient eye: Mrs. Blue compulsively steals hand creams; a secretary struggles to make conversation (much less human connections); a delivery man desperately seeks to make a name for himself but struggles with his immigrant status; and an aging bachelor, hampered by extreme paranoia, will finally have the chance to meet the Queen (if he can just hold it together long enough). 

With Rus at the head of this lonely ensemble's search for meaning in a complicated and alienating world, debut novelistBette Adriaanse weaves together intersecting lives to create a mini-epic, one that charts a hidden resistance to corporate sameness and artificial relationships.

Praise for Rus Like Everyone Else

"This is a great book. I thought this was the freshest, most unusual writing I'd come across in years. Bette will win awards; but meanwhile continue to write and create and freak me out with her ingenuity and a voice that is unique, a gift."--Marti Leimbach, author of Dying Young and The Man From Saigon 

"Bette Adriaanse has concocted a blend of Rear Window and Under Milk Wood, a world in which various inhabitants of a neighborhood are not only observed but intimately known by a girl with a blonde ponytail whose task is to deliver post. The episodes are brief, short hooks in the narrative to increase the mystery. The whole is elegant and tantalizing."--George Szirtes, T.S. Eliot Prize winning author of Reel 

"In the lives of Rus and the other 'ordinary' characters around him, Bette Adriaanse has created something quite extraordinary. Drawing on the best European traditions of the fabulous and the absurd, she has invented a shimmering narrative world which is entirely her own - hallucinatory, dream-like and utterly real. Told with verve and wit, warmth and deep pathos, Rus Like Everyone Else is a highly original contemporary fable for our times: Adriaanse's is a singular new vision and voice and one we are surely going to hear more of." Jane Draycott, author of The Night Tree 

"Everyday life gets a dose of unruly energy in Adriaanse's debut novel, which follows a cluster of eccentric characters throughout the neighborhood they all share. Adriaanse takes a hard look at the people we see and ignore most days--the postal workers, the secretaries, the strange old men next door--and imagines rich inner lives for them all, creating a book at once rowdy and sympathetic, an absurd panorama that somehow seems truer the stranger it gets. Rus Like Everyone Else isn't like anything else."--Benjamin Rybeck, Marketing Director at Brazos Bookstore

Bette Adriaanse is a writer and a visual artist. She was born in Amsterdam in 1984. Bette graduated from the Image and Language department at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam in 2008 and received her M.A. in creative writing from Oxford University in 2010. She has published fiction in magazines for literature and philosophy, and she exhibits her visual work internationally. Rus Like Everyone Else is her first novel. She lives in London.

Gallagher Lawson is a graduate of U.C. Riverside's Palm Desert M.F.A. program. He has worked as a travel writer and technical writer, and plays classical piano. He lives in Los Angeles. The Paper Man is his first novel. 

00:0000:00



FEMINIST PRESS presents THE FEMINIST UTOPIA PROJECT

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on January 27th, 2016

The Feminist Utopia Project: Fifty-Seven Visions of a Wildly Better Future (Feminist Press)

Alexandra Brodsky, editor at Feministing and co-founder of Know Your IX, and Rachel Kauder Nalebuff, playwright and New York Times bestselling author of My Little Red Book, bring together feminist thinkers, writers, and artists for a groundbreaking anthology that asks: what would a feminist utopia look like? The book features contributions from feminist heroes Janet Mock, Melissa Harris-Perry, Sheila Heti, Jill Soloway, and many more. 

Join us for an evening with five contributors to FUP: Jill Soloway, Abigail Carney, Richard Espinoza, Cindy OK, Yumi Sakugawa, and William Schlesinger.

Jill Soloway is the creator of Amazon Studios' Transparent, which won a Golden Globe for best TV series and an Emmy award for her directing in 2015. Jill won the US Dramatic Directing Award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival for her first feature, Afternoon Delight. She is the author of the memoir Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants, and the cofounder of Wifey.tv, a video network for women.

Abigail Carney is a writer from Ohio. Her plays have been produced at the Secret Theatre, the Young Playwrights Festival, NYC Fringe, the Yale Playwrights’ Festival, the New School for Drama, and in Sitka, Alaska.

Richard Espinosa is from New Jersey and is currently a student at the Yale School of Art studying graphic design. Richard is the current director of YAMP—the Yale AIDS Memorial Project, a localized narrative-based alumni-led initiative to honor the lives of the deceased students, faculty, and staff affiliated with Yale.

Cindy OK is  a public high school teacher in Los Angeles. Just one year out of college, Ok teaches physics, computer science, and math to roughly two hundred students per day in seven different classes.

Yumi Sakugawa is an Ignatz Award–nominated comic book artist and the author of I Think I Am in Friend-Love with Youand Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One with the Universe. Her comics have also appeared in Bitch, the Best American Nonrequired Reading 2014, the Rumpus, the Believer, and other publications. A graduate of the fine art program of University of California, Los Angeles, she lives in Los Angeles.

William Schlesinger completed a Fulbright fellowship in the politics of HIV/AIDS, immigration, and integration in Germany. In the future, he hopes to pursue an MD/PhD in medical anthropology to combine practicing medicine as a primary care physician while conducting ethnographic research on health inequalities.

00:0000:00



ARAM SAROYAN reads from his newest novel STILL NIGHT IN L.A.

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on January 27th, 2016

Still Night in L.A. (Three Rooms Press)

Michael Shepard, a detective with his own set of problems, is hired one morning by a fashionable young woman at her Hollywood apartment. Soon he’s embroiled in a murder investigation that may shed light on a nearly forgotten tragedy. A divorced father wondering how to set his son on a better course in life, the detective gets into deepening trouble as he negotiates a vivid panorama of the town’s modern-day beautiful and damned. Author Aram Saroyan harnesses the hardboiled styles of Chandler, Hammett, and Ross MacDonald into a contemporary tale of information age intrigue. The text is supplemented with cell phone photos taken by Saroyan in the same environs in which the story unfolds.

Praise for Still Night in L.A.

“Aram Saroyan nurses the accelerator in a deceptively laconic way, channeling the faultless ratiocination of Charles Willeford (Miami Blues) and Paul Cain (Seven Slayers). Still Night in L.A. keeps still until, at just the right moment, he floors it.”--Barry Gifford, author, Wild at Heart

“Readers of California-dream-correction fiction may have their particular favourites -- Day of the Locust, The Slide Area, I Should Have Stayed Home, My Face for the World To See, The Long Goodbye. Aram Saroyan’s Still Night in L.A. brings long experience and practiced narrative craft to earn his place in this line.”--Tom Clark, author, The Exile of Celine

Still Night in L.A. is a novel where the magic is all in the language, in the evocation of the detective’s incongruously sweet and gentle personality, and in his astoundingly accurate takes on a world where kids have a hard time growing up before they hit middle age, and where the hard thing is not to become a movie star but to get someone to remember your name.”--Gerald Nicosia, author, Home to War: The Untold Story of the Vietnam Veterans Movement

Still Night in L.A. moves mysteriously through the late American day and ends up inscrutably in the lost hour of the early morning. In between, crazy humans reign supreme. Aram Saroyan’s prose is as elegant as emeralds and ice.”--G. A. Hausman, author, The Mythology of Horses

“Aram Saroyan’s Still Night in L.A. cruises the mean streets and trendy brunch boites of Los Angeles, this city of angels and psychopaths. His shamus Michael Shepard is a Marlowe for our digital times.”--Richard Setlowe, author, The Haunting of Suzanna Blackwell

"A writer who looks deeply into himself and his own experience, confronts what he finds there with real courage and reports what he has experienced with a measure of candor that is both breathtaking and, at moments, heartbreaking."--Jonathan Kirsch, Los Angeles Times

Aram Saroyan is the author of the true crime Literary Guild selection Rancho Mirage, as well as many other books of prose and poetry. His Complete Minimal Poems received the 2008 William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. He is featured in the documentary film One Quick Move or I’m Gone: Jack Kerouac at Big Sur and his comments appear in the oral biographies George Being George: George Plimpton’s Life and Salinger. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, painter Gailyn Saroyan.

00:0000:00



STEPHANIE FORD presents her new collection of poetry ALL PILGRIM with MELISSA BRODER

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on January 27th, 2016

All Pilgrim (Four Way Books)

All Pilgrim charts our vanishing into the modern landscape, mapping both the terror and the ecstatic vision of belonging to the world. Tuned to the intermingling of peril, banality, and beauty, each poem could be thought of as a way station: a site not for reverence or relief, but for seeing and pondering the dilemmas in which we find ourselves living. Restless in its search for illumination, the voice in these poems is at turns mordant, vulnerable, and rapturous—hungry for something to sing about, but unable to ignore the signs of crisis.

Praise for All Pilgrims

“Immanence is nothing more or less than the actual condition of things as they address the open mind and appeal to the open heart. In All Pilgrim, Stephanie Ford conducts a truly remarkable concert of immanence, noting musics I'd never thought to hear. These poems belong unmistakably to our moment. Tender to every nuance, yet undeceived, these poems are amazing.”—Donald Revell

“‘To do a sly kindness and do it / without sleeping.’ The poems of All Pilgrim empty me out alongside American freeways scattered with the refuse that bedecks Stephanie Ford’s sorrowful, resolute observations. A harm has been done. The unexpected intelligence of these poems, their fractious yet layered nuances that repeatedly push the possibilities of sense against the sensual, announce a terrific and very new poetry. I honor this work and urge you, Reader, to take part.”—Cate Marvin

Stephanie Ford is the author of All Pilgrim. Her poems have appeared in Boston ReviewTin House, Harvard Review, Fence, and many other journals. Originally from Boulder, Colorado, she is a long-time resident of Los Angeles, where she currently teaches poetry with Writing Workshops Los Angeles.

Melissa Broder is the author of four collections of poems, including the forthcoming Last Sext and Scarecrone. Poems appear in Poetry, The Iowa Review, Guernica, Fence, The Missouri Review, Denver Quarterly, et al. Her first book of essays,So Sad Today, will be out in March 2016 from Grand Central. She lives in Venice, CA.

00:0000:00



STEVE TOLTZ reads from his new novel QUICKSAND with ANTON MONSTED

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on January 27th, 2016

Quicksand (Simon & Schuster)

A daring, brilliant new novel from Man Booker Prize finalist Steve Toltz, for fans of Dave Eggers, Martin Amis, and David Foster Wallace: a fearlessly funny, outrageously inventive dark comedy about two lifelong friends. 

Liam is a struggling writer and a failing cop. Aldo, his best friend and muse, is a haplessly criminal entrepreneur with an uncanny knack for disaster. As Aldo's luck worsens, Liam is inspired to base his next book on his best friend's exponential misfortunes and hopeless quest to win back his one great love: his ex-wife, Stella. What begins as an attempt to make sense of Aldo's mishaps spirals into a profound story of faith and friendship. With the same originality and buoyancy that catapulted his first novel, A Fraction of the Whole, onto prize lists around the world--including shortlists for the Man Booker Prize and the "Guardian" First Book Award--Steve Toltz has created a rousing, hysterically funny but unapologetically dark satire about fate, faith, friendship, and the artist's obligation to his muse.

Sharp, witty, kinetic, and utterly engrossing, Quicksand is a subversive portrait of twenty-first-century society in all its hypocrisy and absurdity.

Praise for Quicksand:

“Steve Toltz possesses an imagination that knows no limits. His work is mordant, prophetic, and very funny. He is a true original.” —Patrick McGrath, author of Asylum

“Steve Toltz writes with a singular, propulsive energy, with sentences and characters that rise off the page with a force that leaves you almost breathless.  There is more heart, and joy and compassion and hard-earned wisdom in Quicksand than seems possible for a single novel; it is life, literature at its fullest.”—Dinaw Mengestu, award-winning author of The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears and All Our Names

Quicksand is one of the smartest, funniest, angriest novels I have ever read. But it's also a surprisingly touching meditation on friendship and family, on art and God, on law-breaking and law enforcement. … A brilliant piece of fiction, from a novelist who so clearly sees the outsized pleasures and terrors of our troubled time.”  —Brock Clarke, author of An Arsonist's Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England and The Happiest People in the World

Quicksand crackles with such intensity it made me turn the pages with a harder snap, lean closer, want to gnaw the words.  This is a novel of sneak-attack seriousness, so funny it fools you into letting down your guard—then knocks you upside the head with intense intelligence, probing thought, raw pain. For all the wit and wisdom in this book, all the pleasures contained in its raucous, furious, fearless pursuit of truths, the greatest thrill comes when it strikes you that you’ve never read anything quite like it before, that you just might have stumbled—startlingly, unsettlingly—on something close to genius in the writing of Steve Toltz.”
—Josh Weil, author of The Great Glass Sea

“Steve Toltz is a verbal magician and lunatic storyteller. Every page of this novel bursts with ideas and humor and pathos and incisive riffs that perfectly express the grand absurdities of the irrational universe, along with the smaller ones of a very particular friendship. Quicksand is the work of a writer in full command of his many outsized gifts, not least of which is his humanity.”—Teddy Wayne, Whiting Award-winning author of The Love Song of Jonny Valentine

Steve Toltz was born in Sydney and graduated from the University of Newcastle, New South Wales. His first novel, A Fraction of the Whole, was shortlisted for the 2008 Man Booker Prize. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

After working on Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in 1996, Anton Monsted went on to co-found Luhrmann’s music company, Bazmark Music, and served as Music Supervisor and Executive Music Producer on Luhrmann’s film Moulin Rouge! He was Executive Producer of Luhrmann’s 2004 campaign for Chanel No.5 starring Nicole Kidman, and was the Co-Producer and Executive Music Supervisor for Luhrmann’s Australia and The Great Gatsby. He is currently Senior Vice President of Music at Twentieth Century Fox, and, notably, has been Steve Toltz's friend since they met in a bowling alley in 1988. 

00:0000:00



DINAH LENNEY presents BRIEF ENCOUNTERS, together with EMILY RAPP BLACK, CHRIS DALEY, AMY GERSTLER, TOD GOLDBERG, JIM KRUSOE

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on January 27th, 2016

Brief Encounters (W.W. Norton)

What anthology could unite the work of such distinct writers as Paul Auster, Julian Barnes, Marvin Bell, Sven Birkerts, Meghan Daum, Stuart Dybek, Patricia Hampl, Pico Iyer, Leslie Jamison, Phillip Lopate, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Lawrence Weschler?  What anthology could successfully blend literary forms as varied as memoir, aesthetic critique, political and social commentary, slice-of-life observation, conjecture, fragment, and contemplation?  What anthology could so deeply and steadily plumb the mysteries of human experience in two or three or five page bursts? 

For the late Judith Kitchen, editor of such seminal anthologies as Short Takes, In Short, and In Brief, "flash" nonfiction—the "short"—was an ideal tool with which to describe and interrogate our fragmented world.  Sharpened to a point, these essays sounded a resonance that owed as much to poetry as to the familiar pleasures of large-scale creative nonfiction.  Now, in Brief Encounters: A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction, Kitchen and her co-editor, Dinah Lenney, present nearly eighty new selections, many of which have never been published before, having been written expressly for this anthology. 

Taken together, as a curated gallery of impressions and experiences, the essays in Brief Encounters exist in dialogue with each other: arguing, agreeing, contradicting, commiserating, reflecting.  Like Walt Whitman, the anthology is large and contains multitudes.  Certain themes, however, weave their way throughout the whole: the nature of family, the influence of childhood, the centrality of place, and the role of memory.  In Lynne Sharon Schwartz's "The Renaissance," for example, the author remembers her relationship with her mother, tracing her own adolescent route from intimacy to contempt.  In "The Fan," Eduardo Galeano dramatizes the communal devotions of the soccer fan.  And in "There Are Distances Between Us," Roxanne Gay considers the seemingly impossible and illogical demands of love.  What binds these and many other disparate essays together is the ways in which they enrich, color, and shade each other, the manner in which they take on new properties and dimensions when read in conjunction. 

Dinah Lenney is the author of The Object Parade and Bigger than Life, and, with Judith Kitchen, edited, Brief Encounters: A Collection of Contemporary Nonfiction. She serves as core faculty in the Bennington Writing Seminars and the Rainier Writing Workshop, and as the nonfiction editor at Los Angeles Review of Books.

Emily Rapp Black is the author of Poster Child: A Memoir, and The Still Point of the Turning World, which was a New York Times bestseller. Her work has appeared in Salon, Slate, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, Redbook, O the Oprah Magazine, and other publications. She lives in Palm Springs and teaches in the UCR Palm Desert MFA Program in Writing and the Performing Arts.

Chris Daley’s work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, DUM DUM ZINE, and The Collagist, where “Thoughts on Time After Viewing Christian Marclay's ‘The Clock’” first appeared. She teaches academic writing at the California Institute of Technology and, as Co-Director of Writing Workshops Los Angeles, offers creative nonfiction workshops for students at all levels. Chris has a Ph.D. in English from the City University of New York Graduate Center. 

Amy Gerstler is a writer of poetry, nonfiction and journalism. Her book of poems include Scattered at Sea (Penguin, 2015), and Dearest Creature (Penguin, 2009) which was named a New York Times Notable Book, and was short listed for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Poetry. Her previous twelve books include Ghost Girl, Medicine, Crown of Weeds, Nerve Storm, and Bitter Angel, which won a National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry. She was the 2010 guest editor of the yearly anthology Best American Poetry. Her work has appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies, including The New Yorker, Paris Review, American Poetry Review, Poetry several volumes of Best American Poetry and The Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Poetry. She currently teaches in the MFA Writing Program at the University of California at Irvine.

Tod Goldberg is the author of a dozen books, including, most recently, Gangsterland. His nonfiction, criticism, and essays have appeared widely, including in the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and Best American Essays. He lives in Indio, CA where he directs the Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing & Writing for the Performing Arts at the University of California, Riverside. 

Jim Krusoe has published five novels and two books of stories, Blood Lake and Abductions. His first novel, Iceland, was published by Dalkey Archive Press in 2002. Since then, Tin House Books has published Girl Factory, Erased, Toward You,and Parsifal. Jim teaches writing at Santa Monica College as well as in Antioch's MFA Creative Writing Program. He has also published five books of poems. His latest novel, The Sleep Garden, is due out this winter from Tin House.

00:0000:00



SAM ALDEN discusses his new comic book NEW CONSTRUCTION

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on January 27th, 2016

New Construction (Uncivilized Books)

New Construction collects two newly expanded stories from cartoonist and Adventure Time contributor Sam Alden. In “Household,” a brother and sister deal with divergent memories of their father and grow closer than ever. In "Backyard," Vegans and anarchists share a house, small dramas and bizarre transformations (featuring a new, never before published ending). Designed as a companion volume for the critically acclaimed It Never Happened Again, New Construction cements Alden's reputation as one of the best cartoonists of his generation.

Praise for New Construction

"Alden's natural sense of framing and pace, his willingness to use silent panels to tell stories, and his beautiful (yes, beautiful) pencil images combined to open my eyes to a new idea of what a great comic can be. It helps that he's also an excellent writer--both stories sketch out lonely, lost characters efficiently, and put them each through very different quests for meaning."--Dan Kois, Slate

"Two thematically divergent, but devastatingly human portraits from an emerging cartoonist displaying the sort of storytelling and artistic restraint that often only comes after years of toiling away at the drawing board. Alden is a talent to watch."--Publishers Weekly

Sam Alden was born in 1988 in Portland, Oregon. He is the recipient of two Ignatz Awards, one for most promising new talent and another for best comic. Sam was an official guest at the BilBoLbul festival in Bologna, Italy. His work has been previously published in Best American Comics 2013, from Houghton-Mifflin. Sam now lives and works as an illustrator and cartoonist in Los Angeles.

00:0000:00



KATRINA DODSON presents THE COMPLETE STORIES OF CLARICE LISPECTOR, with MAGDALENA EDWARDS

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on January 27th, 2016

The Complete Stories (New Directions) by Clarice Lispector, ed. Benjamin Moster, trans. Katrina Dodson 

The recent publication by New Directions of five Lispector novels revealed to legions of new readers her darkness and dazzle. Now, for the first time in English, are all the stories that made her a Brazilian legend: from teenagers coming into awareness of their sexual and artistic powers to humdrum housewives whose lives are shattered by unexpected epiphanies to old people who don't know what to do with themselves. Clarice Lispector's stories take us through their lives and ours.

From one of the greatest modern writers, these stories, gathered from the nine collections published during her lifetime, follow an unbroken time line of success as a writer, from her adolescence to her death bed.

Praise for Clarice Lispector:

"Clarice Lispector had a diamond-hard intelligence, a visionary instinct, and a sense of humor that veered from a naif wonder to wicked comedy."--Rachel Kushner

"Lispector reads with lively intelligence and is terrifically funny. Language, for her, was the self's light."--Lorrie Moore

"The Complete Stories is bound to become a kind of bedside Bible or I Ching for readers of Lispector, both old and new." --Valeria Luiselli

"One of the hidden geniuses of the twentieth century."--Colm Tobin

"The elusive genius who dramatized a fractured interior world in rich, synesthetic prose."--Megan O'Grady

Clarice Lispector was born in 1920 to a Jewish family in western Ukraine. As a result of the anti-Semitic violence they endured, the family fledto Brazil in 1922, and Clarice Lispector grew up in Recife. Following the death of her mother when Clarice was nine, she moved to Rio de Janeiro with her father and two sisters, and she went on to study law. With her husband, who worked for the foreign service, she lived in Italy, Switzerland, England, and the United States, until they separated and she returned to Rio in 1959; she died there in 1977. Since her death, Clarice Lispector has earned universal recognition as Brazil's greatest modern writer.

Katrina Dodson is the translator of The Complete Stories by Clarice Lispector. She lives in San Francisco and is finishing a PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley.

Magdalena Edwards was born in Santiago, Chile, and raised in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC. Her thesis on Raúl Zurita's Purgatorio (1979), written while an undergraduate at Harvard, led to a stint with the “Artes & Letras” section of Chile's leading newspaper El Mercurio. She received a PhD in Comparative Literature from UCLA with a dissertation titled "The Translator's Colors: Elizabeth Bishop in Brazil & Elsewhere." Her work has appeared in the Boston Review, The Paris Review Daily, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Rattle, The Critical Flame, Rewire Me, and The Millions. She lives in Santa Monica, California, with her husband and three small children. More at magdalenaedwards.com.

00:0000:00



THE HEART’S BLACKMARKET: A TRIBUTE TO JUSTIN CHIN

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on January 27th, 2016

Justin Chin passed away on December 24th in San Francisco. Friends of and writers influenced by his perverse, hilarious, heartbreaking and fearless poetry gather to read works by, about and for him.  Readers include: Ali Liebegott, Beth Pickens, Tara Jepsen, Michelle Tea, Myriam Gurba, Ryka Aoki de la Cruz, Trebor HealeyRaquel Gutierrez and Clint Catalyst .

Ali Liebegott is the author of the book-length poem The Beautifully Worthless, and the novels The IHOP Papers and Cha-Ching! She writes for the Emmy award-winning television show Transparent. She is former Managing Director of RADAR Productions, and the founder of Writers Among Artists, a San Francisco-based queer literary non-profit which supported Justin's work.

Beth Pickens is the former Managing Director of RADAR Productions and oversaw Justin's time at the organization's writers' retreat and the awarding of a completion grant to Justin for his book 98 Wounds. She is a consultant to artists.

Tara Jepsen is the former host of K'Vetch, a weekly queer open mic hosted in a gay male bathhouse in San Francisco, which Justin was a frequent guest at. Her debut novel, Like a Dog, is forthcoming from Sister Spit Books / City Lights.

Michelle Tea is the author of the young adult books Mermaid in Chelsea Creek and Girl at the Bottom of the Sea, the memoir How to Grow Up, and other titles. She is the founder and former Executive Director of RADAR Productions. 

Myriam Gurba is the author of the story collections How Some Abuelitas Keep Their Chicana Granddaughters Still While Painting Their Portraits in Winter and Dahlia Season; the poetry collection Wish You Were Me and many self-published zines and chapbooks. 

Ryka Aoki de la Cruz is the author of the award-winning poetry chapbook Sometimes Too Hot the Eye of Heaven Shinesand the full-length volume Seasonal Velocities. She is a professor of English at Santa Monica College and of Queer Studies at Antioch University.

Trebor Healey is the author of A Horse Named Sorrow, Through it Came Bright Colors, Faun, and other works. He has received award from the Lambda Literary Foundation, the Publishing Triangle and the Violet Quill.

Raquel Gutierrez is the author of the chapbooks Running in Place: poems about INSTITUTIONALITY, #whiteboo andBreaking Up with Los Angeles. She has long been a writer and live performer, and is the publisher of Econo Textual Objects.

Clint Catalyst is the author of Cottonmouth Kisses and the co-editor of Pills, Thrills, Chills and Heartache: Adventures in the First Person. He is a writer, actor, spoken word performer and stylist.

Irene Suico Soriano is a Filipina American poet, Film & Literary Independent Curator and shelter animal advocate that focuses on geriatric and terminally ill animals that enter the LA city and county shelter system. She lives in Silver Lake with her three rescued dogs Cadi, Maxon & Papoo and wishes they could have met Justin even just once.

00:0000:00



ELISSA SUSSMAN discusses her new young adult novel BURN with SARAH ENNI

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on January 27th, 2016

Burn (Greenwillow Books)

After helping to rescue Princess Aislynn, Elanor has finally rejoined the rebel camp she calls home. Stolen from her parents at a young age and forced into service by the Wicked Queen, Elanor now wants nothing more than to see the queen removed from power. But Elanor has secrets, mistakes she’s spent years trying to forget, and the closer the rebels get to the throne, the harder it is for Elanor to keep her past hidden away.

With fellow rebels on her side—including Princess Aislynn, Thackery, and the handsome and mysterious Matthias—it is time for Elanor to make a decision. Will she protect her secrets? Or risk everything to save the people she loves?

Burn is the thrilling companion to Elissa Sussman’s masterful and original fairy tale, Stray, that will appeal to readers of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and fans of Wicked, Into the Woods, and the Disney princess movies.

Elissa Sussman received her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and in a previous life managed animators and organized spreadsheets at some of the best animation studios in the world, including Nickelodeon, Disney, DreamWorks, and Sony Imageworks. You can find her name in the credits of The Croods, Hotel Transylvania, The Princess and the Frog, andTangled. She lives in Los Angeles with her boyfriend and their rescue dog, Basil.

Sarah Enni is an author, journalist, and founder of the First Draft podcast. She's the palest girl in Los Angeles.

00:0000:00



TARA ISON reads from her new short story collection BALL

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores by skylightbooks on January 27th, 2016

Ball (Soft Skull Press)

Tara Ison's Ball is the thrilling and emotionally provocative debut collection of short fiction by the acclaimed author of the novels Rockaway  and A Child Out of Alcatraz and the essay collection Reeling through Life.

Ball explores the darker edges of love and sex and death, how they are intimately and often violently connected, with bright, vivid stories set mostly in contemporary Los Angeles. In "Cactus," a young girl comes to fear the outside world following the freakish, accidental death of her adventure-seeking, naturalist boyfriend in the California desert; in "Wig," a woman must help her best friend face life-threatening cancer while covering up an unseemly affair with her friend's husband; in "Fish," the narrator sits watch over a dying uncle, trying to pay for past sins while administering to his final needs, but distracted by the ravenous fish in the Koi pond near the hospital; and in the collection's stunning title story, the bonds of friendship and pet ownership collide in the most startling and unexpected ways. 

With a keen insight into the edges of human behavior and an assured literary hand, Ball is the new book by one of the West's most provocative stylists.

Praise for Ball 

"The stories in Ball take place at the far limits of obsession and desire and lust, exploring the dangers of turning toward the kinds of love we have tried always to refuse. Tara Ison is a fearless writer, and her bravery before the dark urges of the heart thrills on every page."--Matt Bell, author of In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods 

"Tara Ison is the mistress of bad behavior. She divines the beauty in darkness. She twists the familiar--a friendship, an apology--till something fantastic cracks. And she will have you in thrall to her gorgeous language. The stories in Ball are exquisite and harrowing. Must read straight through. Must remember to breathe." --Dylan Landis, author of Rainey Royal

Tara Ison is the author of the novels The List, A Child Out of Alcatraz, a Finalist for The Los Angeles Times Book Prize, andRockaway, selected as a "2013 Best Books of Summer" by "O Magazine." Her short fiction and essays have appeared in "Tin House," "The Kenyon Review," Nerve.com, "Publishers Weekly," and numerous anthologies. She is the co-author of the cult film "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead."

00:0000:00




« Older episodes ·