Archive for book stores

Jaime Hernandez, “IS THIS HOW YOU SEE ME?” w/ Nina Gregory

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, Comics/Graphic Novels, fiction by skylightbooks on May 17th, 2019

In Love and Rockets, Jaime Hernandez has followed the lives of his queer, Chicano cast of characters for over 30 years of romance, heartbreak, and the self-awareness that comes with age. Is This How You See Me? hones in on Jaime’s two most beloved characters, Maggie and Hopey, flashing backward and forward in time to reveal how the passage of time has molded these young LA punks into complex, middle-aged women. An intimate look at how people change and drift apart, yet remain deeply affected by their formative years, this graphic novel brings Hernandez’s L&R series full circle.

Hernandez is in conversation with Nina Gregory, senior editor for NPR's Arts Desk.

Grace Talusan, “THE BODY PAPERS” w/ Noel Alumit

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, Memoir by skylightbooks on May 16th, 2019

Born in the Philippines, young Grace Talusan moves with her family to a New England suburb in the 1970s. At school, she confronts racism as one of the few kids with a brown face. At home, the confusion is worse: her grandfather's nightly visits to her room leave her hurt and terrified, and she learns to build a protective wall of silence that maps onto the larger silence practiced by her Catholic Filipino family. Talusan learns as a teenager that her family's legal status in the country has always hung by a thread--for a time, they were "illegal." Family, she's told, must be put first.

The abuse and trauma Talusan suffers as a child affects all her relationships, her mental health, and her relationship with her own body. Later, she learns that her family history is threaded with violence and abuse. And she discovers another devastating family thread: cancer. In her thirties, Talusan must decide whether to undergo preventive surgeries to remove her breasts and ovaries. Despite all this, she finds love, and success as a teacher. On a fellowship, Talusan and her husband return to the Philippines, where she revisits her family's ancestral home and tries to reclaim a lost piece of herself.

Not every family legacy is destructive. From her parents, Talusan has learned to tell stories in order to continue. The generosity of spirit and literary acuity of this debut memoir are a testament to her determination and resilience. In excavating such abuse and trauma, and supplementing her story with government documents, medical records, and family photos, Talusan gives voice to unspeakable experience, and shines a light of hope into the darkness.

Talusan is in conversation with Noel Alumit, author of novels Letters to Montgomery Clift and Talking to the Moon.

Sehba Sarwar, “BLACK WINGS”

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on May 15th, 2019

Spanning two continents, Sehba Sarwar's Black Wings is the story of Laila and Yasmeen, a mother and daughter, struggling to meet across the generations, cultures, and secrets that separate them. Their shared grief, as well as the common bond of unhappiness in their marriages, allows them to reconnect after seventeen years of frustration, anger and misunderstandings.

Laila Lalami, “THE OTHER AMERICANS” w/ Charles Finch

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, mystery by skylightbooks on May 14th, 2019

From Pulitzer Prize finalist Laila Lalami comes The Other Americans, a timely and powerful new novel about the suspicious death of a Moroccan immigrant--at once a family saga, a murder mystery, and a love story, informed by the treacherous fault lines of American culture.

Late one spring night, as Driss Guerraoui is walking across a darkened intersection in California, he's killed by a speeding car. The repercussions of his death bring together a diverse cast of characters: Guerraoui's daughter Nora, a jazz composer who returns to the small town in the Mojave she thought she'd left for good; his widow, Maryam, who still pines after her life in the old country; Efraín, an undocumented witness whose fear of deportation prevents him from coming forward; Jeremy, an old friend of Nora's and an Iraqi War veteran; Coleman, a detective who is slowly discovering her son's secrets; Anderson, a neighbor trying to reconnect with his family; and the murdered man himself. 

As the characters--deeply divided by race, religion, and class--tell their stories, connections among them emerge, even as Driss's family confronts its secrets, a town faces its hypocrisies, and love--messy and unpredictable--is born.

Lalami is in conversation with Charles Finch, bestselling author of the Charles Lenox mysteries.

Nathaniel Rich, “LOSING EARTH” w/ Jane Smiley

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, nonfiction, history, nature, climate change, science by skylightbooks on May 13th, 2019

By 1979, we knew nearly everything we understand today about climate change--including how to stop it. Over the next decade, a handful of scientists, politicians, and strategists, led by two unlikely heroes, risked their careers in a desperate, escalating campaign to convince the world to act before it was too late. Losing Earth is their story, and ours.

Nathaniel Rich reveals, in previously unreported detail, the birth of climate denialism and the genesis of the fossil fuel industry's coordinated effort to thwart climate policy through misinformation propaganda and political influence. The book carries the story into the present day, wrestling with the long shadow of our past failures and asking crucial questions about how we make sense of our past, our future, and ourselves. Like John Hersey's Hiroshima and Jonathan Schell's The Fate of the EarthLosing Earth is the rarest of achievements: a riveting work of dramatic history that articulates a moral framework for understanding how we got here, and how we must go forward.

Rich is in conversation with Jane Smiley, author of numerous novels, including A Thousand Acres, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and most recently, Golden Age, the concluding volume of The Last Hundred Years trilogy.

Sally Rooney, “NORMAL PEOPLE” w/ Karolina Waclawiak

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction by skylightbooks on May 2nd, 2019

Sally Rooney’s award-winning and critically lauded debut novel, Conversations with Friendsintroduced her as a fiercely intelligent new voice in literary fiction and set the book world buzzing. Praised by the likes of Zadie Smith, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Celeste Ng, the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award–winning author has been hailed as “the first great millennial novelist for her stories of love and late capitalism.” Now, Rooney brings her remarkable psychological acuity and sharp, exacting prose to her highly anticipated second novel, Normal People.

Marianne and Connell grow up in the same small town in Ireland, but they live in different worlds. Connell is the school’s top football player, a star student, popular and admired. Marianne is a stubborn outcast, uninterested in winning the affection of her peers. Unbeknown to their classmates, Marianne’s family employs Connell’s mother as a cleaner. Despite the gulf separating their social and economic lives, the teenagers share an undeniable connection, and the two embark on a relationship that will test the limits of what they know about each other—and themselves. When Connell and Marianne are both accepted to study at Trinity College, their dynamic is turned upside down. Marianne thrives in the rarefied social life she finds on campus, while Connell hovers on the periphery, fumbling to find his footing. As they confront the power and danger of intimacy throughout their years in college, they are forced to find out how far they will go to save each other.

Rooney is in conversation with Karolina Waclawiak, author of How to Get Into the Twin Palms and THE INVADERS.

Kenji C. Liu and Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, poetry by skylightbooks on May 1st, 2019

Using an invented poetry method called frankenpo (frankenstein poetry), Kenji C. Liu takes existing texts and remixes them, creating multi-faceted poems that investigate the relationship between toxic masculinity and forms of violence plaguing our modern society. In Monsters I Have Been, Liu also explores the male-male erotic and marginalized masculinities that are urgently needed as a counterweight to today’s dominant hypermasculinity. By challenging perceived gender norms with his playful, yet poignant, new form, the reader is directed toward a wider, more inclusive definition ofwhat it means to be a "man."

Winner of the 2018 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, The Inheritance of Haunting, by Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes, is a collection of poems contending with historical memory and its losses and gains carried within the body, wrought through colonization and its generations of violence, war, and survival.

The driving forces behind Rhodes’s work include a decolonizing ethos; a queer sensibility that extends beyond sexual and gender identities to include a politics of deviance; errantry; ramshackled bodies; and forms of loving and living that persist in their wild difference. Invoking individual and collective ghosts inherited across diverse geographies, this collection queers the space between past, present, and future. In these poems, haunting is a kind of memory weaving that can bestow a freedom from the attenuations of the so-called American dream, which, according to Rhodes, is a nightmare of assimilation, conquest, and genocide. How love unfolds is also a Big Bang emergence into life—a way to, again and again, cut the future open, open up the opening, undertake it, begin.

These poems are written for immigrants, queer and transgender people of color, women, Latin Americans, diasporic communities, and the many impacted by war.

Johanna Fateman and Amy Scholder, “LAST DAYS AT HOT SLIT”

Posted in , skylight books, book stores, books, Feminism, nonfiction, essays, biography by skylightbooks on April 30th, 2019

Radical feminist author Andrea Dworkin was a caricature of misandrist extremism in the popular imagination and a polarizing figure within the women's movement, infamous for her antipornography stance and her role in the feminist sex wars of the 1980s. She still looms large in feminist demands for sexual freedom, evoked as a censorial demagogue, more than a decade after her death. Among the very first writers to use her own experiences of rape and battery in a revolutionary analysis of male supremacy, Dworkin was a philosopher outside and against the academy who wrote with a singular, apocalyptic urgency.

Last Days at Hot Slit brings together selections from Dworkin's work, both fiction and nonfiction, with the aim of putting the contentious positions she's best known for in dialogue with her literary oeuvre. The collection charts her path from the militant primer Woman Hating (1974), to the formally complex polemics of Pornography (1979) and Intercourse (1987) and the raw experimentalism of her final novel Mercy (1990). It also includes "Goodbye to All This" (1983), a scathing chapter from an unpublished manuscript that calls out her feminist adversaries, and "My Suicide" (1999), a despairing long-form essay found on her hard drive after her death in 2005.


Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, Comics/Graphic Novels, fiction by skylightbooks on April 29th, 2019

When a group of outcasts have to leave the valley, how will they survive the toxicity of the big city?

Richard is a benevolent but tough leader. He oversees everything that happens in the valley, and everyone loves him for it. When Lyle the Raccoon becomes sick, his friends—Omar the Spider, Neville the Dog, and Ellie Squirrel—take matters into their own hands, breaking Richard’s strict rules. Caroline Frog rats them out to Richard and they are immediately exiled from the only world they’ve ever known.

Michael DeForge’s Leaving Richard’s Valley expands from a bizarre hero’s quest into something more. As this ragtag group makes their way out of the valley, and then out of the park and into the big city, we see them coming to terms with different kinds of community: noise-rockers, gentrification protesters, squatters, and more. DeForge is idiosyncratically funny but also deeply insightful about community, cults of personality, and the condo-ization of cities. These eye-catching and sometimes absurd comics coalesce into a book that questions who our cities are for and how we make community in a capitalist society.

Poetry Month Celebration

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, poetry by skylightbooks on April 26th, 2019

Join us for an evening of poetry with readings from Hannah DowMike Sonksen, F. Douglas Brown, and the poets from Poets at Work

Six Years of Unnamed Press w/ Mukherjee, Nemett, & Decker

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction by skylightbooks on April 25th, 2019

Join us for a celebration of Los Angeles's own Unnamed Press featuring their two most recent releases: The Body Myth by Rheea Mukherjee and We Can Save Us All by Adam Nemett

Mukherjee and Nemett are in conversation with actress and director Josephine Decker.

T. Kira Madden, “LONG LIVE THE TRIBE OF FATHERLESS GIRLS” w/ Allie Rowbottom

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, nonfiction, essays, biography by skylightbooks on April 24th, 2019

Acclaimed literary essayist T Kira Madden’s raw and redemptive debut memoir is about coming of age and reckoning with desire as a queer, biracial teenager amidst the fierce contradictions of Boca Raton, Florida, a place where she found cult-like privilege, shocking racial disparities, rampant white-collar crime, and powerfully destructive standards of beauty hiding in plain sight.

As a child, Madden lived a life of extravagance, from her exclusive private school to her equestrian trophies and designer shoe-brand name. But under the surface was a wild instability. The only child of parents continually battling drug and alcohol addictions, Madden confronted her environment alone. Facing a culture of assault and objectification, she found lifelines in the desperately loving friendships of fatherless girls.

With unflinching honesty and lyrical prose, spanning from 1960s Hawai’i to the present-day struggle of a young woman mourning the loss of a father while unearthing truths that reframe her reality, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls is equal parts eulogy and love letter. It’s a story about trauma and forgiveness, about families of blood and affinity, both lost and found, unmade and rebuilt, crooked and beautiful.

Madden is in conversation with Allie Rowbottom, author of Jell-O Girls.

G. Willow Wilson, “THE BIRD KING”

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, historical fiction by skylightbooks on April 22nd, 2019

It’s 1491 and a party representing the newly formed Spanish monarchy arrives to negotiate the terms of the sultan’s surrender, but Hassan has a secret—he can make maps of places he’s never seen and bend the shape of reality with his pen and paper. His magical gift, which has proven useful to the sultan’s armies in wartime and entertained a bored Fatima who has never stepped foot outside the palace walls, could now be seen as sorcery and a threat to the Christian Spanish rule. Fatima befriends one of the women, little realizing that her new friend Luz represents the Inquisition and soon Fatima must risk everything to save Hassan, and taste the freedom she has never known.

As Fatima and Hassan flee the forces of the Inquistion in search of safe harbor, they are helped along the way by a jinn who has taken a liking to them—Vikram the Vampire, who readers may remember from Alif the Unseen.

The Bird King is an epic adventure from an essential voice in American fiction. It is a jubilant story that challenges us to consider what true love is and the price of freedom at a time when the West and the Muslim world were not yet separate.

William E. Jones, “I’M OPEN TO ANYTHING”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, erotica by skylightbooks on April 2nd, 2019

A perverse and explicit new take on the coming of age novel, William E. Jones’s I’m Open to Anything explores bohemian Southern California of the late 1980s and early 90s, before gentrification ruined everything. The book’s narrator flees a crumbling industrial wasteland in the Midwest and finds himself in sunny Los Angeles without a car, working in a neighborhood video store and spending many hours watching films. He explores his adopted city and befriends a number of men, most of them immigrants, who teach him the finer points of sex. He acquires the skill of fisting, giving his partners intense pleasure, and at the same time hearing the stories of their lives. They too have fled their hometowns: one to escape torture at the hands of a Salvadoran death squad; another to study anthropology after years of wandering and religious questioning.

Alternating between explicit scenes of kinky sex and intimate conversations about matters of life and death, I’m Open to Anything is a porno novel of rare ambition and humor.

Samira Ahmed, “INTERNMENT” w/ Brandy Colbert

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, Y/A, Young Adult, fiction by skylightbooks on April 1st, 2019

Set in a horrifying “fifteen minutes in the future” United States, spitfire main character Layla Amin is forced into an internment camp for Muslim citizens with her family. With the help of newly-made friends also trapped within the internment camp, and her boyfriend on the outside, Layla manages to start a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against Islamophobia and complicit silence against the internment camp's Director and his guards. Samira Ahmed can recall incidents of Islamophobia in her own life as early as age eight. But rather than be deterred, she let it fuel her writing and she is a vocal proponent for changes that need to be made in our society to fight against bigotry. With recent marches and protests led by teen activists, Internment also has the potential to resonate strongly with teen leaders who fight to make the change they want to see in their own communities.

Ahmed is in conversation with Pointe author Brandy Colbert.

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