Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on April 10th, 2017

Join us as professors and students from UC Riverside’s Creative Writing & Writing for the Performing Arts MFA read from their work. Readers include: Tom Lutz, Charmaine Craig, Katie Ford, Robin Russin, Bernardita Garcia, Ashanti Anderson, Alicia Mosely, Lorelei Baughman, and Emily Margaret Wells.

Tom Lutz is the author, most recently, of And the Monkey Learned Nothing: Dispatches from a Life of Travel and Drinking Mare's Milk on the Roof of the World: Wandering the Globe from Azerbaijan to Zanzibar. He is the founding editor of Los Angeles Review of Books.

Robin Uriel Russin is a professor of screenwriting and playwriting in the Department of Theatre, Film & Digital Production at the University of California, Riverside. He has written, produced and directed for film, TV and the theater, including the box office hit On Deadly Ground; America’s Most Wanted; and Vital Signs on ABC, where he was Senior Producer. Robin is co-author of the books Screenplay: Writing the Picture, now in its second edition, and Naked Playwriting. His stories, articles and reviews have been appeared in Script Magazine, Verdad Magazine, Connotation Press, Harvard Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, The American Oxonian, Shofar, and elsewhere. A Rhodes Scholar, Robin has degrees from Harvard, Oxford, Rhode Island School of Design, and UCLA. His play, The Face in the Reeds, recently premiered in an extended run at the Ruskin Group Theatre, where he initiated and leads a workshop for emerging and established local playwrights. His original one-hour pilot script about King David, Beloved, was adapted by ABC TV as Of Kings and Prophets. Robin is currently directing the indie feature, When I Sing.

Katie Ford is the author of DepositionColosseum, and Blood Lyrics, which was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize and the Rilke Prize. Colosseum was named among the “Best Books of 2008” by Publishers Weekly and the Virginia Quarterly Review and led to a Lannan Literary Fellowship and the Larry Levis Prize. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry MagazineThe Paris ReviewThe American Poetry Review and The Norton Introduction for Literature, and she is currently serving as a judge for the 2016 National Book Awards. Her fourth book is forthcoming from Graywolf Press is 2018. She is a Professor of Creative Writing and Director of the MFA Program.

Charmaine Craig is a faculty member in the Department of Creative Writing at UC Riverside, and the descendant of significant figures in Burma’s modern history. A former actor in film and television, she studied literature at Harvard University and received her MFA from the University of California, Irvine. Her first novel, The Good Men (Riverhead), was a national bestseller translated into six languages.

Bernardita García is a twenty-nine year-old Chilean journalist who is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at UC Riverside. For the last two years, she has worked as a ghostwriter. In 2016, her children’s book “La Ballena Jorobada” (The Humpback Whale) was given an award by the Municipality of Santiago, Chile. She's a paws-and-tails lover and was the coordinator of Chile’s largest animal rights campaign: #NoSonMuebles. Her writing is influenced by Latin American social changes, women’s struggle and her generation’s quest for its own identity.  

Lorelei Baughman has spent her life in California, with interludes in France and the San Juan Islands. She’s been in sales, driven a taxi, and owns a business. Now that she’s writing, she looks back most fondly on driving the taxi. She writes short stories, and graduated from UC Riverside in 2015 with a BA in Creative Writing. She loves teaching almost as much as she loves writing, and has conducted a Creative Writing class at the Chino Women’s Correctional Facility. She has been published in Bravura and Mosaic. Her stories are about ordinary people in Las Vegas and Nebraska, but she secretly wants to write about angels and genii wielding scimitars up in the ozone, inflicting their whims on the grocery clerks and civil engineers below.  She lives in Temecula, California with her husband and dogs.

Ashanti Anderson earned her B.S. in Psychology from Xavier University of Louisiana. Before officially deciding to pursue her goals as a writer, she was a research assistant in a lab that studied the effects of music on the cognition of individuals with dementia. She has published poetry, creative non-fiction, essays, and research articles through various print and electronic publications. Her interests include psychology, theology, cooking, and nature, and she usually (sometimes unintentionally) incorporates at least two of those into every piece that she writes.

Alicia Mosley was born in Santa Cruz, California and spent most of her life with one foot in Northern California and the other in Southern. In her writing, she is interested in exploring the ways people straddle the intersections of place, culture, and time. Alicia currently lives in Riverside with her four children and is working on her first novel.

Emily Margaret Wells writes true stories (journalism) and obliquely true stories (fiction). She is working on a novel about art, family and religion, which she plans to complete during the MFA at UC Riverside. Formerly a newspaper reporter, fashion model and ballet dancer, she lives and works with a nameless cat.



Posted in , literature, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on April 9th, 2017

Finks: How the C.I.A. Tricked the World's Best Writers (Or Books)


When news broke that the CIA had colluded with literary magazines to produce cultural propaganda throughout the Cold War, a debate began that has never been resolved. The story continues to unfold, with the reputations of some of America’s best-loved literary figures—including Peter Matthiessen, George Plimpton, and Richard Wright—tarnished as their work for the intelligence agency has come to light. 

Finks is a tale of two CIAs, and how they blurred the line between propaganda and literature. One CIA created literary magazines that promoted American and European writers and cultural freedom, while the other toppled governments, using assassination and censorship as political tools. Defenders of the cultural CIA argue that it should have been lauded for boosting interest in the arts and freedom of thought, but the two CIAs had the same undercover goals, and shared many of the same methods: deception, subterfuge and intimidation. 

Finks demonstrates how the good-versus-bad CIA is a false divide, and that the cultural Cold Warriors again and again used anti-Communism as a lever to spy relentlessly on leftists, and indeed writers of all political inclinations, and thereby pushed U.S. democracy a little closer to the Soviet model of the surveillance state.

Praise for Finks 

"Listen to this book, because it talks in a very clear way about what has been silenced."--John Berger, author of Ways of Seeing and winner of the Man Booker Prize 

"It may be difficult today to believe that the American intellectual elite was once deeply embedded with the CIA. But withFinks, Joel Whitney vividly brings to life the early days of the Cold War, when the CIA's Ivy League ties were strong, and key American literary figures were willing to secretly do the bidding of the nation's spymasters."--James Risen, author of Pay Any Price: Greed, Power and Endless War 

"A deep look at that scoundrel time when America's most sophisticated and enlightened literati eagerly collaborated with our growing national security state. Finks is a timely moral reckoningone that compels all those who work in the academic, media and literary boiler rooms to ask some troubling questions of themselvesnamely, what, if anything, have they done to resist the subversion of free thought?"--David Talbot, founder of Salon and author of The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA and the Rise of America's Secret Government 

"The marriage of politics and literature is always messy and seldom boring. Intrusive governments are invariably unimaginative and plotting writers are hilariously ineffective. The whole thing makes for tortured drama, and Joel Whitney is a savvy dramatist who knows perfectly how to juice intrigue!"--Ilan Stavans, author of Gabriel Garcia Marquez: The Early Years 

"The CIA's covert financial support of highbrow art and fiction may seem like a quaint, even endearing, chapter in its otherwise grim history of coups, assassinations, and torture. In Finks, Joel Whitney argues otherwise and shines a discomfiting spotlight on this obscure corner of the cultural Cold War. The result is both an illuminating read and a cautionary tale about the potential costspolitical and artisticof accommodating power."--Ben Wizner, ACLU Director of Speech, Privacy and Technology Project 

Joel Whitney is a cofounder and editor at large of Guernica: A Magazine of Art & Politics. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, Boston Review, The San Francisco Chronicle, Dissent, Salon, NPR, New York Magazine and The Sun.

Award-winning investigative journalist Nick Schou is managing editor of OC Weekly. He is the author of Kill the Messenger: How the CIA’s Crack Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb (Nation Books 2006), which provided the basis for the 2014 Focus Features release starring Jeremy Renner and the L.A. Times-bestseller Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love’s Quest to bring Peace, Love and Acid to the World, (Thomas Dunne 2009). He is also the author of The Weed Runners (2013) and Spooked: How the CIA Manipulates the Media and Hoodwinks Hollywood (2016).



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on April 9th, 2017

The Refugees (Grove Press)

Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer was one of the most widely and highly praised novels of 2015, the winner not only of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction but also the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and the California Book Award for First Fiction. Nguyen’s next fiction book, The Refugees, is a collection of perfectly formed stories written over a period of twenty years, exploring questions of immigration, identity, love, and family. 

With the coruscating gaze of The Sympathizer, in The Refugees Viet Thanh Nguyen gives voice to lives led between two worlds, the adopted homeland and the country of birth. From a young Vietnamese refugee who suffers profound culture shock when he comes to live with two gay men in San Francisco, to a woman whose husband is suffering from dementia and starts to confuse her for a former lover, to a girl living in Ho Chi Minh City whose older half sister comes back from America having seemingly accomplished everything she never will, the stories are a captivating testament to the dreams and hardships of immigration. 

The second piece of fiction by a major new voice in American letters, The Refugees is a beautifully written and sharply observed book about the aspirations of those who leave one country for another, and the relationships and desires for self-fulfillment that define our lives.

Praise for The Refugees

“Precise without being clinical, archly humorous without being condescending, and full of understanding; many of the stories might have been written by a modern Flaubert, if that master had spent time in San Jose or Ho Chi Minh City . . . [Nguyen’s] stories, excellent from start to finish, transcend ethnic boundaries to speak to human universals.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Each searing tale in Nguyen’s follow-up to the Pulitzer-winning The Sympathizer is a pressure cooker of unease, simmering with unresolved issues of memory and identity for the Vietnamese whose lives were disrupted by the “American War.” …Nguyen is not here to sympathize…but to challenge the experience of white America as the invisible norm. .” –Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Nguyen…presents a collection of fluidly modulated yet bracing stories about Vietnamese refugees in the U.S., powerful tales of rupture and loss that detonate successive shock waves. . . . Each intimate, supple, and heartrending story is unique in its particulars even as all are works of piercing clarity, poignant emotional nuance, and searing insights into the trauma of war and the long chill of exile, the assault on identity and the resilience of the self, and the fragility and preciousness of memories.”–Booklist (starred review)

“For Nguyen groupies desperate for future titles (including a Sympathizer sequel), [The] Refugees is a highly gratifying interlude. For short fiction fans of other extraordinary, between-culture collections such as Daniyal Mueenuddin’s In Other Rooms, Other Wonders and Jhumpa Lahiri’s Unaccustomed Earth, Nguyen won’t disappoint.” –Library Journal (starred review)

“A delight . . . The short story is a beautiful affirmation of the supreme importance of art in our daily lives. And Viet Thanh Nguyen drives that point home brilliantly.”—Mekong Review

Viet Thanh Nguyen was born in Vietnam and raised in America. His novel The Sympathizer won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as five other awards. He is also the author of the nonfiction books Nothing Ever Dies and Race and Resistance. The Aerol Arnold Professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, he lives in Los Angeles.



Posted in , literature, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on April 9th, 2017

The Prison School (UC Press)

Public schools across the nation have turned to the criminal justice system as a gold standard of discipline. As public schools and offices of justice have become collaborators in punishment, rates of African American suspension and expulsion have soared, dropout rates have accelerated, and prison populations have exploded. Nowhere, perhaps, has the War on Crime been more influential in broadening racialized academic and socioeconomic disparity than in New Orleans, Louisiana, where in 2002 the criminal sheriff opened his own public school at the Orleans Parish Prison. “The Prison School,” as locals called it, enrolled low-income African American boys who had been removed from regular public schools because of nonviolent disciplinary offenses, such as tardiness and insubordination. By examining this school in the local and national context, Lizbet Simmons shows how young black males are in the liminal state of losing educational affiliation while being caught in the net of correctional control. In The Prison School, she asks how schools and prisons became so intertwined. What does this mean for students, communities, and a democratic society? And how do we unravel the ties that bind the racialized realities of school failure and mass incarceration?

Praise for The Prison School 

"At a time of increasing public apprehension regarding the long reach of state violence into the lives of communities of color, Lizbet Simmons’ The Prison School offers us a revealing analysis of the interlocking trajectories of education and punishment.  A compelling example of the engaged scholarship we need during this period, her work is a passionate plea to root out the punitive impulse, born of racism, at the heart of public education."—Angela Y. Davis, Distinguished Professor Emerita, History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz

"The Prison School provides a rigorous, radical critique of the now taken-for-granted notion of a 'school-to-prison pipeline.'  Lizbet Simmons’s work is a pillar contribution to a widening stream of abolitionist scholarly work and research."—Dylan Rodríguez, author of Forced Passages: Imprisoned Radical Intellectuals and the U.S. Prison Regime

"Written with passion and clarity that is rare for an academic text, Simmons utilizes ethnographic detail to expose how the Prison School came into being and how it operated.  For those who recognize the dangers posed by mass incarceration and who hold onto the hope that education can provide an alternative pathway for our most vulnerable youth, this book will be a wake-up call and hopefully a call to action."—Pedro A. Noguera, Distinguished Professor of Education, University of California, Los Angeles

"What began as a chance encounter on the streets of New Orleans became a remarkable sociological investigation of how a public school, ostensibly serving kids struggling in their community schools, came to be housed in a prison. Simmons offers a compelling narrative of what happens when public schooling and mass incarceration become fused in logics and practices. The Prison School opens a window into historical and contemporary forces that produce racial subjugation, exclusion, and state failure with devastating consequences for young African American men coming of age in New Orleans."—Mona Lynch, author of Hard Bargains: The Coercive Power of Drug Laws in Federal Court and Sunbelt Justice: Arizona and the Transformation of American Punishment

Lizbet Simmons is a sociologist living in Los Angeles.



Posted in , literature, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on April 9th, 2017

If You Are There (Counterpoint Press)

Set in the early 1900s, If You Are There follows young Lucia Rutkowski who, thanks to the influence of her beloved grandmother, escapes the Warsaw ghetto to work as a kitchen maid in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the bustling city of Paris. Too talented for her lowly position, Lucia is thrown out on the street. Her only recourse is to take a job working for two disorganized, rather poor married scientists so distracted by their work that their house and young child are often neglected. Lucia soon bonds with her eccentric employers, watching as their work with radioactive materials grows increasing noticed by the world, then rising to fame as the great Marie and Pierre Curie. 

Soon, all of Paris is alit with the news of an impending visit from Eusapia Palladino, the world's most famous medium. It is through her now famous employers that Lucia attends Eusapia's gatherings and eventually falls under the medium's spell, leaving the Curie household to travel with her to Italy. Ultimately, Lucia is placed directly in the crosshairs of faith versus science--what is more real, the glowing substances of the Curie laboratory or the glowing visions that surround the medium during her seance? 

If You Are There is a thrilling, page-turning novel that draws upon real characters and events to detail its examination of a young woman torn between the beliefs she was born with and the scientific realities blooming all around her. 

Praise for If You Are There

“The fictional and historical mingle in Sherman's marvelous account of the lives of Marie and Pierre Curie. It is a rare book that is as scientific as it is magical and as magical as it is scientific. This is that book.” —Karen Joy Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award

"This splendid novel is about discovery, in its many forms: in science, in love, in ambition, in connection; it celebrates the intersection of the natural world and faith. Sherman explores all of her characters with precise, tender compassion and radiant insight; we move with them through beautifully described turn-of-the-century Europe, as they find their own understanding of love and loss and strength. You will love this unforgettable book." —Karen E. Bender, author of Refund, Finalist for the National Book Award  

Susan Sherman is the author of The Little Russian. She is the former Chair of the Art Department of Whittier College and the co-creator of one of the most successful television shows for children in the history of the Disney Network. Learn more at susanshermanauthor.com.

Natashia Deón is the recipient of a PEN Center US Emerging Voices Fellowship and has been awarded fellowships and residencies at Yale, Bread Loaf, Dickinson House in Belgium, and the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. Named one of 2013’s Most Fascinating People by LA Weekly, she has a MFA from UC Riverside and is the creator of the popular LA-based reading series, Dirty Laundry Lit. A practicing lawyer, she currently teaches law at Trinity Law School. Her debut novel, Grace, was published this past June by Counterpoint Press.



Posted in , literature, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on April 9th, 2017

Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 2 (Cleis Press)

Join us for a night of readings from the Best Women's Erotica of  the Year series, featuring contributors from volumes 1 & 2. 

"America's favorite erotica writer takes the helm of the top-selling erotica series!" 

Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 2 gives us fierce female passion, timeless love, and lustful encounters that are guaranteed to fill you with utter delight. Editing by the award winning Rachel Kramer Bussel, these sexy stories about women on the prowl span the globe, traveling from Peru to the Bahamas and beyond in pursuit of pleasure. Learn why "Teacher Appreciation" is so special, what sex is like "At the End of the World," and explore some very explosive "Volcano Nights." These unforgettable erotic tales by the top authors in the genre as well as newcomers will arouse and thrill readers looking for a hot time between the pages."

Jocelyn Bringas is the author of Heartthrob Fantasy and Heartthrob Daddy. Her stories have been in various erotica anthologies such as Zane’s Caramel Flava and Rachel Kramer Bussel’s Yes Sir: Erotic Stories of Female Submission.

Rachel Kramer Bussel is the Best Women's Erotica of the Year series editor. Her 60+ anthologies include The Big Book of Orgasms, Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica, Fast Girls and Cheeky Spanking Stories. She writes widely about sex, dating, books, and pop culture and teaches erotica writing workshops in person as well as online at LitReactor.com. Follow her @raquelita on Twitter and find out more about her classes and consulting at eroticawriting101.com.

Melina Greenport lives in Los Angeles where, after a twenty-year career in television and film, she has shifted her focus to writing. While working on a collection of linked fiction, she has taken up erotica and is having a blast. "The House On Orchard" is her first published story. 

Jade A. Waters’ debut novel, The Assignment, will be published by Carina Press in December 2016 as the first of the Lessons in Control series. Her erotic fiction and poetry has been featured in over a dozen anthologies from Cleis Press, Coming Together, Fuse Literary, and Stupid Fish Productions, including Best Women's Erotica of the Year (Vol. 1), Best Erotic Romance of the Year, and Best Women's Erotica 2014. Her stories have also been narrated on The Kiss Me Quick’s Erotica Podcast. Jade lives in the Bay Area of Northern California, and is currently finishing up the final book in her series. Find her on Twitter @jadeawaters or at her website, jadeawaters.com.



Posted in , literature, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on April 9th, 2017

SCRATCH: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living (Simon & Schuster)

Based on the online magazine of the same name, SCRATCH: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living is a collection of honest and informative essays and interviews, addressing the relationships between writing and money, work and life, literature and commerce.

In the literary world, we romanticize the image of the struggling artist, but pursuing a career as a creative also stirs a complicated discourse: either writers should be paid for everything they do or they should just pay their dues and count themselves lucky to be published. You should never quit your day job, but your ultimate goal should be to quit your day job. They are told by more-successful writers to “do it for the love,” but the advice gets quiet when it comes to how to make a living out of writing. It’s an endless, confusing, and often controversial conversation that, despite our bare-it- all culture, still remains taboo. For SCRATCH, editor Manjula Martin has gathered interviews and essays from established and rising authors to confront the age-old question: how do creative people make money?

For the first time, these authors get down to the nitty gritty of money, MFA programs, freelancing, teaching fellowships, finally getting published, the bestseller list, and how they define “success”. They also tackle the penetrating questions on what living in the literary world is really like, including issues of diversity, female likeability, debt and credit, and having a family while managing an artists’ career.

The result is an entertaining and inspiring book that helps readers and writers understand what it’s really like to make art in a world that runs on money—and why it matters. Essential reading for aspiring and experienced writers, and for anyone interested in the future of literature, SCRATCH is the go-to guide to doing the impossible: making a living by doing what you love.

Praise for SCRATCH

"Well-organized, fascinating anthology...highly recommended"-Kirkus Reviews

"Solid counseling for aspirants on what it means to offer the labors of their heart for sale in the marketplace."-Publishers Weekly

"Meaningful for those working in any discipline."-Booklist, Starred Review

Manjula Martin created the blog Who Pays Writers? and was the founder and editor of Scratch magazine, an online periodical focused on the business of being a writer. Her writing has appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review, Pacific Standard, SF Weekly, The Billfold, The Toast, and other publications. She is the managing editor of Zoetrope: All-StoryScratch is her first book.

Manjula Martin by Ted Weinsten

Julia Fierro is the author of the novels Cutting Teeth and the forthcoming The Gypsy Moth Summer. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Julia’s work has been published in The Millions, Poets & Writers, Flavorwire, Buzzfeed, GlamourTimeOut New York, Psychology Today, and other publications. She founded The Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop in 2002, and it has since become a creative home to over three thousand writers. Sackett Street was named a “Best NYC Writing Workshop” by the Village Voice, TimeOut New York, and Brooklyn magazine, and a “Best MFA-Alternative” by Poets & Writers. She lives in Brooklyn and Los Angeles with her husband and their two children.

Susan Orlean has been a staff writer at the New Yorker since 1992. She is the author of seven books, including Rin Tin Tin, Saturday Night, and The Orchid Thief, which was made into the Academy Award–winning film Adaptation. She lives with her family and her animals in Los Angeles and may be reached at SusanOrlean.com and Twitter.com/SusanOrlean.

Susan Orlean photo by Gaspar Tringale 

Kima Jones has received fellowships from PEN Center USA Emerging Voices, Kimbilio Fiction, Yaddo's 2016 Howard Moss Residency in poetry and was named the 2014-2015 Gerald Freund Fellow at The MacDowell Colony. She has been published at GQ, Guernica, NPR, PANK, Scratch Magazine and The Rumpus among others and in the anthologies Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, Her Own Accord: American Women on Identity, Culture, and Community and The New York Times Best Seller, The Fire this Time, edited by Jesmyn Ward. Her short story "Nine" received notable mention in Best American Science Fiction 2015. Kima is an MFA candidate in fiction and Rodney Jack Scholar in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She is a founding board member of Makara Center for the Arts. Kima lives in Los Angeles where she operates Jack Jones Literary Arts, a book publicity company. 

Harmony Holiday, poet and choreographer, is the author of Negro League Baseball (Fence Books, 2011), winner of the Motherwell Poetry Prize; Go Find Your Father/A Famous Blues (Ricochet, 2015), and Hollywood Forever (FenceBooks, 2016). Holiday curates the Afrosonics archive of Jazz Poetics and audio culture as well as a fantastic blog,nonstophome. She teaches at Otis College in Los Angeles and has a BA from the University of California, Berkeley and an MFA from Columbia University. She runs a boutique production house devoted to the crossing between archiving, improvisation, myth, and black music.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on April 2nd, 2017

Nineveh (Unnamed Press)                     In Plain View (Unnamed Press)

Join Skylight Books and Unnamed Press for a celebration of another year of fantastic independent literature and new novels by Henrietta Rose-Innes and Julie Shigekuni

Known throughout the world as one of the new voices of South African writing, Henrietta Rose-Innes is presenting her US debut, Nineveh, alongside Julie Shigekuni, whose brand new novel In Plain View takes readers from Los Feliz to Japan.

In Nineveh, Katya Grubbs, proprietor of Painless Pest Relocations, expertly wrangles every manner of wild critter, creature or beast with the help of her unwitting nephew, Toby. When she is hired to remove the exotic beetles that have overrun Nineveh, a new luxury housing development on the coast, Katya finds that bugs aren’t the only unwelcome creatures hiding in the new, and supposedly vacant, apartments. As she investigates further, it becomes clear that Nineveh is fast becoming an environmental, not to mention architectural, blunder. 

With marshlands encroaching on its borders, and the nearby seaside more menace than attraction, Katya becomes immersed in the world of Nineveh’s few residents—the mysterious caretakers and scavenger crews that survive in its shadow. It is only when her estranged father—a professional exterminator fallen on hard times—reappears in her life, that Nineveh’s deeper secrets are exposed.

Henrietta Rose-Innes is a South African writer based in Cape Town and currently based in Norwich, UK. Nineveh was shortlisted for the M-Net Literary Award and the Sunday Times Fiction Prize, and in 2015 (in French translation, Ninive) it won the François Sommer Literary Prize. She's previously published a collection of short stories, Homing, and the novels Green Lion, Shark's Egg and The Rock Alphabet. She was the winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2008. In 2012 her story “Sanctuary” came second in the BBC International Short Story Prize.

In In Plain view, Daidai befriends Satsuki, one of her husband Hiroshi’s graduate students who has recently arrived from Japan.  New to Los Angeles, Satsuki clings to her Japanese heritage and introduces Daidai, who is half-Japanese and raised in America, to many traditions. But soon, Satsuki is appearing at their home uninvited, and when news that Satsuki’s estranged mother has been found dead at a nearby monastery emerges, Daidai is suspicious of her new friend’s intentions.

Daidai begins to investigate the death of Satsuki’s mother—an apparent suicide, but Hiroshi is appalled, and Satsuki feels betrayed. To smoothe things over, Daidai accompanies Satsuki to Mito, Japan to visit her wealthy father. Daidai struggles to better comprehend Satsuki’s troubled past and dysfunctional family, and the trip proves increasingly disastrous. Rattled by the events, Satsuki moves in to Daidai and Hiroshi’s apartment and her dangerous and erratic behavior forces Daidai to uncover the secrets of Satsuki’s past. When Hiroshi is suddenly very seriously ill, Daidai finds herself in a fight to save not just her marriage but her husband’s life.

Julie Shigekuni is the author of four novels: A Bridge Between Us, Invisible Gardens, Unending Nora, and most recently In Plain View. Shigekuni was a finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award and the recipient of the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature. She has received a Henfield Award and an American Japanese Literary Award for her writing. She teaches in the creative writing program at the University of New Mexico. 



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on April 2nd, 2017

Sing the Song (Future Tense Books)

After steadily garnering attention and gaining fans with her appearances in various magazines and websites, Meredith Alling comes out with her debut collection of stories, Sing the Song. For fans of writers like Diane Williams, Amy Hempel, Lydia Davis, Ben Marcus, and Amelia Gray, Alling’s debut will signal the arrival of a new unique voice in fiction. Featuring 27 stories in 100 pages, Alling’s collection is propulsive, dangerous, often funny, and powered by a language that wrestles with anxiety and the unexpected surrealism of modern life. With an ancient ham crawling out from a sewer to tell fortunes, a lone blonde at a party for redheads, and a mother outsmarting a masked criminal,Sing the Song bleeds and breathes with dreamlike surprise.

Meredith Alling lives and works in Los Angeles. Her short fiction has appeared in Tin House, No Tokens, The Fanzine, Spork, The Guardian, and elsewhere. 

Siel Ju's novel-in-stories, Cake Time, is the winner of the 2015 Red Hen Press Fiction Manuscript Award and will be published in April 2017. Siel is also the author of two poetry chapbooks. Her stories and poems appear in ZYZZYVA, The Missouri Review (Poem of the Week), The Los Angeles Review, Denver Quarterly, and other places.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on April 2nd, 2017

Please join us this afternoon as students in the University of California, Riverside Master of Fine Arts writing program will read from their work. Readers include Samantha Reid Avina, Kate Burns, Chloe Cole, Joshua Rigsby, Jason Schachat and Miranda Tsang

Samantha Reid Aviña is pursuing her MFA in Creative Nonfiction at UCR. Her writing is influenced by life, love, family, food, and secrets.

Kate Burns is a 2nd-year MFA candidate in fiction at UC Riverside.  She lives in Los Angeles. 
Chloe Cole has lived for many years on both coasts, and she prefers one over the other. She has written about fandom, feminism and flatulence for Dorkly, The Mary Sue, CollegeHumor and Reductress. She enjoys consuming true-crime media and buying the same striped shirt over and over again.
Joshua Rigsby grew up in the famous little town of Roswell, New Mexico. He enjoys writing about the history of tea (among other things). He does not believe in weather balloons.
Jason Schachat is a 2nd-year MFA candidate in the UCR Creative Writing program with a focus on fiction. He has worked as a journalist, editor, tutor, screenwriter, director, video game writer, and finder of stray shopping carts.
Miranda Tsang grew up in San Francisco. She teaches writing as a Gluck Fellow while in the MFA program at UC Riverside. Tsang has received support from Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, Bread Loaf Writers'
Conference, and Kearny Street Workshop. Her writing is published or forthcoming in The Offing, Lumen, and the HYSTERIA anthology. She is the Poetry Editor at SARR.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on March 26th, 2017

Wedding Bush Road (Counterpoint) 

When he learns of his mother’s ailing health, Daniel Rawson must leave Los Angeles and travel half a world away to the family’s horse farm on Wedding Bush Road, one hundred miles outside of Melbourne. Estranged from his parents, Daniel is hesitant to revisit their history: long divorced, his mother still maintains the farm having put out her cheating, rakish husband, and even in these later years her anger burns brightly.

Daniel arrives at the farm in the heat of his parents’ conflict with Sharen, an alluring tenant and ex-lover of his father now perched on family land. Sharen and her unstable son Reggie complicate an already difficult family dynamic while Daniel has to tend to his mother’s condition, his father’s contentious behavior, and the swell of memory that strikes whenever he visits the farm. As Daniel is increasingly drawn to Sharen, the various tensions across the farm will spark events that cannot help but change them all.

With a keen eye for the rugged and beautiful Australian landscape, infused with aboriginal history, and set against the workings of a rural horse farm, Wedding Bush Road is a stunning novel about the choices we make, the regrets that linger, and the unquestionable, inevitable pull of home.

"David Francis is a human rights lawyer in Los Angeles, and he somehow finds time to write terrific books every few years." – KPCC’s “Take Two”

“Francis proves that this reckless landscape also has a darkly seductive pull . . . Domestic drama with an offbeat, rural flavor.” —Kirkus

“Compelling and honest, Wedding Bush Road is a masterful feat.” —Mary Rakow, author of This Is Why I Came

“David Francis writes with precision and sensitivity about that most complicated of subjects: Home. Amid unforgettable landscapes and characters that are both beautiful and violent, Wedding Bush Road grapples with discontent and restlessness. Francis turns a sharp but generous eye on those who won't leave and those who can't stay, reminding us that family can be the most dangerous place of all.” —Mark Sarvas, author of Harry, Revised

“Here’s an Australia so tactile that the page itself begins to feel textured. Francis ably tells a story of a man’s internal struggle as expressed through conflicts as rooted and primal as the soil. A dynamic and inviting read.” —Aimee Bender, author of The Color Master

“I have known David Francis and his work for a long time, and I think Wedding Bush Road is his best book yet!” —Jane Smiley

“With an eye for the transcendent detail, and a pitch perfect ear, David Francis gorgeously summons a farm in rural Australia. The wonderfully complex relationships among its inhabitants reflect nothing less than the tensions wrought by the country’s fractious history of colonialism. Who belongs to the land and to whom does the land belong? These are the uneasy questions raised by this searching, lovely novel.” —Marisa Silver, author of Mary Coin

“A psychologically acute tale of the decline of a patrician Australian family and the forces arrayed against them. Class, sex and land knit together in this compellingly modern take on a timeless struggle. Gorgeous, dangerous and utterly captivating.”—Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander and Paint It Black

“Who hasn't packed a bag and headed home? Wedding Bush Road is a beautiful, intelligent book about love, loss, and the unforgettable landscapes that made us who we are.” —David Ebershoff, author of The Danish Girl and The 19th Wife

David Francis, based in Los Angeles where he works for the Norton Rose Fulbright law firm, spends part of each year back on his family’s farm in Australia. He is the author of The Great Inland Sea, published to acclaim in seven countries, and Stray Dog Winter, Book of the Year in The Advocate, winner of the American Library Association Barbara Gittings Prize for Literature, and a LAMBDA Literary Award Finalist. He has taught creative writing at UCLA, Occidental College, and in the Masters of Professional Writing program at USC. His short fiction and articles have appeared in publications including Harvard ReviewThe Sydney Morning HeraldThe AgeSouthern California ReviewBest Australian StoriesAustralian Love Stories, and The Rattling Wall. He is Vice President of PEN Center USA.

 Dan Smetanka is a Vice President and Executive Editor at Counterpoint Press.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on March 26th, 2017

How to Win At Feminism: The Definitive Guide to Having It All—And Then Some! (HarperOne)

Feminism is all about demanding equality and learning to love yourself. But not too much – men hate that! From the writers of Reductress, the subversive, satirical women’s magazine read by over 2.5 million visitors a month, comes How to Win At Feminism: The Definitive Guide to Having It All—And Then Some!

This ultimate guide to winning feminism—filled with four-color illustrations, bold graphics, and hilarious photos—teaches readers how to battle the patriarchy better than everybody else. From the herstory of feminism to how to apologize for having it all, readers will learn how to be a feminist at work and at home with tips that include:

  • How to Do More with 33 Cents Less
  • How to Be Sex-Positive Even When You’re Bloated
  • How to Love Your Body Even Though Hers Is Better
  • The 9 Circles of Hell for Women Who Don’t Help Other Women
  • Designer Handbags to Hold All Your Feminism
  • How to Get Catcalled For Your Personality

How to Win At Feminism is a fresh take on women's rights through the lens of the funniest women in comedy today. With this book as your wo-manual, you’ll shatter that glass ceiling once and for all (but you’ll still need to clean up the mess).

Reductress is a fast-growing satirical website that delivers mischievously hilarious, on-point criticism wrapped in hilarious headlines and feature articles. Referred to as the “feminist Onion,” it pokes fun at the messages fed to women from an early age and throughout adulthood. Since its creation in 2013, it has exploded in popularity, with over 2.5 million monthly visitors. Reductress was founded by Beth Newell and Sarah Pappalardo, the authors of this book.

Sarah Pappalardo is the co-founder and managing editor of Reductress, and a writer, performer and playwright who has written and performed at The Second City and The Upright Citizens Brigade. 

Beth Newell is the creator, co-founder, and editor of Reductress, and an improvisational stand-up comedian who has performed at The Upright Citizen’s Brigade and contributed to McSweeney’s and The Onion News Network.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on March 26th, 2017

Haunted: On Ghosts, Witches, Vampires, Zombies, and Other Monsters of the Natural and Supernatural Worlds (Yale University Press)

Leo Braudy, a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, has won accolades for revealing the complex and constantly shifting history behind seemingly unchanging ideas of fame, war, and masculinity.

Continuing his interest in the history of emotion, in Haunted: On Ghosts, Witches, Vampires, Zombies, and Other Monsters of the Natural and Supernatural Worlds, he explores how fear has been shaped into images of monsters and monstrosity.

From the Protestant Reformation to contemporary horror films and fiction, he explores four major types: the monster from nature (King Kong), the created monster Frankenstein), the monster from within (Mr. Hyde), and the monster from the past (Dracula). Drawing upon deep historical and literary research, Braudy discusses the lasting presence of fearful imaginings in an age of scientific progress, viewing the detective genre as a rational riposte to the irrational world of the monstrous.

Haunted is a compelling, incisive work by an awardwinning scholar and author that charts four hundred years of monsters and how they reflect the culture that created them.

Leo Braudy is University Professor and Leo S. Bing Chair in English and American Literature at the University of Southern California. He is the author of numerous books, including Jean Renoir: The World of His Films (Doubleday, 1972), a finalist for the National Book Award; The Frenzy of Renown: Fame and Its History (Oxford University Press, 1986), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; From Chivalry to Terrorism (Knopf, 2003), a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; and The Hollywood Sign: Fantasy and Reality of an American Icon (Yale, 2011). He lives in Los Angeles, CA.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on March 26th, 2017

I Blame Dennis Hopper: And Other Stories From A Life Lived In and Out of the Movies (Flatiron Books)

From award-winning actress Illeana Douglas comes a memoir about learning to survive in Hollywood while staying true to her quirky vision of the world.

In 1969 Illeana Douglas' parents saw the film Easy Rider and were transformed. Taking Dennis Hopper's words, "That's what it's all about man" to heart, they abandoned their comfortable upper middle class life and gave Illeana a childhood filled with hippies, goats, free spirits, and free love. Illeana writes, "Since it was all out of my control, I began to think of my life as a movie, with a Dennis Hopper-like father at the center of it."

I Blame Dennis Hopper is a testament to the power of art and the tenacity of passion. It is a rollicking, funny, at times tender exploration of the way movies can change our lives. With crackling humor and a full heart, Douglas describes how a good Liza Minnelli impression helped her land her first gig and how Rudy Valley taught her the meaning of being a show biz trouper. From her first experience being on set with her grandfather and mentor-two-time Academy Award-winning actor Melvyn Douglas-to the moment she was discovered by Martin Scorsese for her blood-curdling scream and cast in her first film, to starring in movies alongside Robert DeNiro, Nicole Kidman, and Ethan Hawke, to becoming an award winning writer, director and producer in her own right, I Blame Dennis Hopper is an irresistible love letter to movies and filmmaking. Writing from the perspective of the ultimate show business fan, Douglas packs each page with hilarious anecdotes, bizarre coincidences, and fateful meetings that seem, well, right out of a plot of a movie.

I Blame Dennis Hopper is the story of one woman's experience in show business, but it is also a genuine reminder of why we all love the movies: for the glitz, the glamor, the sweat, passion, humor, and escape they offer us all.

Praise for I Blame Dennis Hopper

"In this sublime series of essays, Douglas revels in her dual roles as both participant and observer, never losing her awe of the actors and directors she has met along the way. Funny, candid, juicy, gossipy, Douglas insider look at the film industry charms with its pinch me, I m dreaming sweetness while imparting hard-won and valuable lessons about following one s true calling." -Booklist, Starred Review

"In other words, she's got seriously good stories to tell in these chatty, heartfelt essays" - Kim Hubbard, "People" Magazine

"It's Douglas head-over-heels madness for the movies that illuminates the text like a projector bulb through a filmstrip, from her parents decision to run a hippie commune after being bewitched by Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider, to Douglas own obsession with actors like Lee Marvin and Richard Dreyfuss, to her sometimes delusional confidence that she was born to be a star. Douglas recounts her life and work with a perfect mix of self-deprecation and glowing pride. Reading it feels like listening to the magnetic storyteller herself and it s enough to make you fall in love too. A " - Entertainment Weekly

"Humorous, delightful, and wholly entertaining. Douglas delves into all the wonderfully serendipitous tales that got her to the place she as a child always wanted to be, all while charming the hell out of us."- Elle Magazine

Illeana Douglas takes you through her years in Hollywood and beyond the same way she experienced them - by happy, hilarious accident. The revelations fly off the pages of this book are cringe-inducing, gut-busting and terrifying, usually all at once."--Patton Oswalt, New York Times bestselling author of ZOMBIE, SPACESHIP, WASTELAND

"I've talked to Illeana Douglas about her life. Her family roots are crazy, groovy, harsh and a bit glamorous. I'm thrilled she's wrangled that into prose form. She's quirky, hilarious and deep. I love her. I've always loved her. Haven't we all?"--Marc Maron, Comedian and bestselling author of Attempting Normal

"Illeana Douglas is an incredibly talented, smart and funny storyteller. This book is compelling to read from start to finish. She either knows or has worked with so many significant names in film, that in researching, she broke my IMDB."--Bob Saget, actor and author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Dirty Daddy

"Illeana has done what no other movie memoir has ever achieved; she takes us on a journey through the personal, the chaotic, the droll, the ecstatic, the hilarious, the surreal and moving life in moving pictures, hers, and ours. As beautiful as it is exhilarating, I Blame Dennis Hopper not only gives us a rich texture of the life of an American girl coming of age in a wild time, but the most perfect look I've ever read of life on the set through a filmmakers eye. Gorgeous."-- Allison Anders, Award-winning director of Grace of My Heart and Gas Food Lodging

"I Blame Dennis Hopper is genius. I couldn't put it down. It was like having a great companion. Illeana completely captures the enchantment of film in a charming and hilarious way. More than that, it reminded me of my own passion for movies and of acting. Very, very inspirational." --Jeff Goldblum

"I devoured this book as if it were a giant box of popcorn! It isn't easy to put your thoughts, hopes, dreams, and disappointments into words, but Illeana Douglas has done it with equal parts candor and humor. Best of all, she details the special relationship she had with her grandfather, the great Melvyn Douglas-including the time she got to visit him on the set of Being There. I thoroughly enjoyed this disarming memoir."--Leonard Maltin, film critic and bestselling author

Illeana Douglas is an actress, writer, director and host of Trailblazing Women on Turner Classic Movies. She’s appeared in classic films like Cape Fear, Grace of My Heart, and Ghost World, and is often described as “quirky” which is odd because the look she is going for is “skanky."

Jennifer Tilly was in many films including Bound, Bullets over Broadway, and the extremely dramatic Bella Mafia, that she starred in with Illeana Douglas. These days she plays poker and continues to churn out Chucky movies.

Matt Oswalt is a writer and director, he created the hit web series Puddin' starring Eddie Pepitone.  He does punch-up on lots of movies and award shows you've probably seen and is currently writing on Mystery Science Theater 3000. 

Annette O’Toole is an actress who has been around forever. She also sings, knits, and sometimes plays the mandolin. Her favorite actor is Michael McKean. That’s pretty much all you need to know. 

Ben Mankiewicz is a host of Turner Classic Movies. He moved to LA 75 years after his grandfather Herman Mankiewicz arrived. He cohosts the online film review show What The Flick.

Steven Weber is known for playing comedy and drama, he's a national treasure and a good man.

Kate Micucci is one half of the comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates. Lately you may have seen her in Mike Birbilgia's movie Don't Think Twice, or Joe Swanberg's Netflix series Easy.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on March 26th, 2017

Return of the Continuums (Turner Publishing)

One thousand years after a cataclysmic event leaves humanity on the brink of extinction, the descendants of the chosen survivors take refuge in thirteen contingency shelters buried deep underground, at the bottom of the ocean, and in the far reaches of outer space. In the underwater 13th Continuum, sixteen-year-old Myra Jackson has heard rumors and whisperings all her life of a magical place called "The Surface” where people could breathe fresh air, feel the warmth of something called sunlight on their skin, and see things known as stars and trees and mountains. Myra has never dared to ask whether the stories are true, since the act of speaking such words aloud is an offense punishable by death. But after she discovers that the air supply aboard her underwater colony is running out, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to find this mysterious place. To get there, she must first recover the only guide to the Surface—the Beacon, an ancient device that also connects her to Captain Aero Wright, a dashing young soldier from one of the only remaining space colonies. With the fate of all humankind depending on them, Myra and Aero must escape the tyrannical forces that rule their colonies, journey through the black depths of the ocean and across the cold void of space, to find each other on the Surface that their ancestors once called home.  

Praise for The 13th Continuum

"Likeable characters, an intricate world, and imaginative settings combine to make a satisfying young-adult read in Jennifer Brody’s Return of the Continuums, the second book of the dystopian Continuum series."--Foreword Reviews

"Non-stop excitement and strong world-building combine to make The 13th Continuum a fantastic read for science fiction and dystopian fans alike. The story sucked me in from the very beginning, and had me pulling for Myra and Aero to break free from their very different, but equally oppressive governments. Eagerly awaiting the next in this series!" ―Rysa Walker, author of The Chronos Files

"A fascinating premise and compulsively readable debut. It totally sucked me in." - Robin Talley, author of Lies We Tell Ourselves

"I tore through Jennifer Brody's The 13th Continuum at light speed. This fresh, fast-paced novel featuring a post-doom Earth will hook readers with its likable characters and thrilling stakes. But it's the book's action and hope for a better future that will keep readers turning the page and leave eager for the next installment." ―Mindee Arnett, critically acclaimed author of Avalon and the Arkwell Academy series

"The 13th Continuum manages to be smart, surprising, and a good time, all at once. That's hard magic to pull off, but Jennifer Brody makes it seem easy. Swift and surprising, this novel is such a confident debut. Here's to many more." - Victor LaValle, author of New York Times Notable Book of the Year, The Devil in Silver

"This gripping read is recommended not only for advanced teen readers, but for adults who enjoy solid sci-fi dystopian settings." -Donovan's Bookshelf

"Fans clamoring for a new dystopian science fiction series may appreciate this latest addition to the genre." - School Library Journal

After studying film at Harvard University, Jennifer Brody began her career in Hollywood. Highlights include working for Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes and New Line Cinema, most notably on “The Lord of the Rings” films and “The Golden Compass”. In 2008, she produced the film “Make It Happen” for The Weinstein Company. She is an alumni of the Sirenland Writers Conference, Tin House Summer Writers Workshop, The Lemon Tree House Residency for Writers, and has been accepted for a residency at the Helen R. Whiteley Center, run by the University of Washington. She founded and runs BookPod, a social media platform for authors. She’s also a volunteer mentor for the Young Storytellers Foundation and a writing instructor at The Writing Pad.  Jennifer Brody’s debut novel The 13th Continuum sold to Turner Publishing in a 3-book deal and is being packaged into a feature film. Return of the Continuums, the second book in the trilogy, is set to come out on November 1, 2016. She is a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. She lives and writes in LA. 

Romina Russell is a Los Angeles based author who originally hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a teen, Romina landed her first writing gig—College She Wrote, a weekly Sunday column for the Miami Herald that was later picked up for national syndication—and she hasn’t stopped writing since. When she’s not working on the ZODIAC series, Romina can be found producing movie trailers, taking photographs, or daydreaming about buying a new drum set. She is a Virgo to the core.


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