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Liana Finck,”EXCUSE ME” w/ Charlie Hankin

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

If you’re one of the 310,000 people who follow author Liana Finck on Instagram, you’ve probably seen a few of the following comments before: “Freaking Perfect”; “this rings so true for me I can’t even describe it”; “I'm putting this one on my bathroom mirror”; “WHY IS THIS LITERALLY ME”; “Can I get this tattooed on my body 100 times?” No matter what topic she’s covering—love and intimacy, politics, art, social anxiety,  humanity—Liana’s work contains a precision and thoughtfulness that resonates deeply with those who encounter her work. This fall, Random House is thrilled to share a new book of over 500 of Liana’s most relatable and heartfelt drawings, EXCUSE ME: Cartoons, Complaints, and Notes to Self.

Liana’s thin-penned line drawings have an uncanny ability to communicate life’s absurdities, in a way that feels not only timely and sharp, but accessible and wondrously insightful. Her fans flock to her because they feel seen in her art—she never shies away from showing us life at its most hilarious, uncomfortable, and surreal. EXCUSE ME is divided into a series of distinctive chapters on: Love & Dating; Gender & Other Politics; Animals; Art & Myth-Making; Humanity; Time, Space, and How to Navigate Them; Strangeness, Shyness, Sadness; and Notes to Self. Each chapter is packed with Liana’s signature humor and wit, but also a deep sense of compassion and a profound curiosity in what it means to be a human in this world.

Finck is in conversation with Charlie Hankin, a writer/performer, cartoonist, and animator.

Mike Pearl, “THE DAY IT FINALLY HAPPENS” w/ Brian Merchant

Posted in , skylight books, book stores, books, nonfiction, essays, technology by skylightbooks on October 28th, 2019

If you live on planet Earth you’re probably scared of the future. How could you not be? Some of the world’s most stable democracies are looking pretty shaky. Technology is invading personal relationships and taking over jobs. Relations among the three superpowers—the US, China, and Russia—are growing more complicated and dangerous. A person watching the news has to wonder: is it safe to go out there or not?

Taking inspiration from his virally popular Vice column “How Scared Should I Be?,” Mike Pearl in The Day It Finally Happens games out many of the “could it really happen?” scenarios we’ve all speculated about, assigning a probability rating, and taking us through how it would unfold. He explores what would likely occur in dozens of possible scenarios—among them the final failure of antibiotics, the loss of the world’s marine life, a complete ban on guns in the US, and even the arrival of aliens—and reports back from the future, providing a clear picture of how the world would look, feel, and even smell in each of these instances.

Pearl is in conversation with Brian Merchant, a journalist, producer, and author, focusing on science & technology.

Kimberly King Parsons, “BLACK LIGHT” w/ Leah Dieterich

Posted in by skylightbooks on September 15th, 2019

With raw, poetic ferocity, Kimberly King Parsons exposes desire’s darkest hollows—those hidden places where most of us are afraid to look. In this debut collection of enormously perceptive and brutally unsentimental short stories, Parsons illuminates the ache of first love, the banality of self-loathing, the scourge of addiction, the myth of marriage, and the magic and inevitable disillusionment of childhood.

Taking us from hot Texas highways to cold family kitchens, from the freedom of pay-by-the-hour motels to the claustrophobia of private school dorms, these stories erupt off the page with a primal howl—sharp-voiced, bitter, and wise. Black Light contains the type of storytelling that resonates somewhere deep, in the well of memory that repudiates nostalgia.

Parsons is in conversation with Leach Dieterich, the author of Vanishing Twins: A Marriage.

Dora Malech, “STET” w/ Michelle Brittan Rosado

Posted in by skylightbooks on September 15th, 2019

In Stet, poet Dora Malech takes constraint as her catalyst and subject, exploring what it means to make or break a vow, to create art out of a life in flux, to reckon with the body’s bounds, and to arrive at a place where one might bear and care for another life. Tapping the inventive possibilities of constrained forms, particularly the revealing limitations of the anagram, Stet is a work of serious play that brings home the connections and intimacies of language.

Malech is in conversation with Michelle Brittan Rosado, author of Why Can't It Be Tenderness.

Rob Zubrecky, “STRANGE CURES”

Posted in by skylightbooks on September 5th, 2019

Strange Cures is a turbulent, against-all-odds memoir of self-discovery, success, failure, and reinvention, told by one of LA’s most interesting natives. With an unflinching gaze, musician/magician/actor Rob Zabrecky recounts his bizarre coming-of-age tale and his quest to find a place in the arts—and the world. The author reveals a young life filled with both physical miracles and subversive role models, including an uncle who impersonated an FBI agent and, in a drunken delusion, shot and nearly killed him. He takes readers on a roller coaster ride through the nascent days of Silver Lake’s music and art community, as seen through the lens of his critically acclaimed band, Possum Dixon. We explore the left-of-center landscape of Jabberjaw, LA’s independent coffeehouse which featured the early talents of Nirvana and Beck; Zabrecky’s own struggles with drug addiction, love, and recovery; and finally, his re-emergence as a magician venturing into the sacred world of Hollywood’s Magic Castle.

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.

Lydia Fitzpatrick, “LIGHTS ALL NIGHT LONG” w/ Aja Gabel

Posted in by skylightbooks on April 23rd, 2019

Fifteen-year-old Ilya arrives in Louisiana from his native Russia for what should be the adventure of his life: a year in America as an exchange student. The abundance of his new world--the Super Walmarts and heated pools and enormous televisions--is as hard to fathom as the relentless cheerfulness of his host parents. And Sadie, their beautiful and enigmatic daughter, has miraculously taken an interest in him. 

But all is not right in Ilya's world: he's consumed by the fate of his older brother Vladimir, the magnetic rebel to Ilya's dutiful wunderkind, back in their tiny Russian hometown. The two have always been close, spending their days dreaming of escaping to America. But when Ilya was tapped for the exchange, Vladimir disappeared into their town's seedy, drug-plagued underworld. Just before Ilya left, the murders of three young women rocked the town's usual calm, and Vladimir found himself in prison.

With the help of Sadie, who has secrets of her own, Ilya embarks on a mission to prove Vladimir's innocence. Piecing together the timeline of the murders and Vladimir's descent into addiction, Ilya discovers the radical lengths to which Vladimir has gone to protect him--a truth he could only have learned by leaving him behind. 

A rich tale of belonging and the pull of homes both native and adopted, Lydia Fitzpatrick's Lights All Night Long is a spellbinding story of the fierce bond between brothers determined to find a way back to each other.

Fitzpatrick is in conversation with Aja Gabel, author of The Ensemble.

Sophia Shalmiyev, “MOTHER WINTER” w/ Sara Benincasa

Posted in , skylight books, book stores, books, Memoir, nonfiction by skylightbooks on March 4th, 2019

From Laurels Award Fellowship recipient Sophia Shalmiyev comes the exquisite Mother Winter, a haunting and deeply personal story of fleeing the Soviet Union, where Shalmiyev was forced to abandon her mother, and her subsequent years of searching for surrogate mothers—whether in books, art, lovers, or other lost souls.

Mother Winter is the story of Sophia’s emotional journeys as an immigrant, an artist, and a motherless woman now raising children of her own. Born to a Russian mother and an Azerbaijani father, Shalmiyev grew up in the stark oppressiveness of 1980s Leningrad. When her father packed up for a new life in America, he took Sophia with him but left behind her estranged and alcoholic mother, Elena. At age eleven, Shalmiyev found herself on a plane headed west, motherless and terrified of the new world unfolding before her.

The book depicts in urgent vignettes Sophia’s subsequent years of travel, searching, and forging meaningful connections. She describes her tumultuous childhood in the USSR; her experiences as a refugee; the life she built for herself in the Pacific Northwest; and her cathartic journey back to Russia as an adult to search for the mother she never knew.

Shalmiyev is in conversation with Sara Benincasa, a stand-up comedian, actress, and the author of Real Artists Have Day Jobs.


Posted in , skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, Short Stories by skylightbooks on October 11th, 2018

Unflinching and compelling portrayals of desire fill All Roads Lead to Blood, an award-winning story collection by Bonnie Chau. Chau explores the lives of young women, focusing on love, heritage, and memory, presenting fresh perspectives of second-generation Chinese-Americans.

Moving back and forth between California and New York, and ranging as far away as Paris, Chau’s exquisitely written stories are bold, highly imaginative, and haunting, featuring unique characters who defiantly exert their individuality.

Fatimah Asghar, “IF THEY COME FOR US” w/ Morgan Parker and Sam Bailey

Posted in , skylight books, book stores, books, poetry by skylightbooks on September 4th, 2018

Orphaned as a child, Fatimah Asghar grapples with coming of age and navigating questions of sexuality and race without the guidance of a mother or father. These poems at once bear anguish, joy, vulnerability, and compassion, while also exploring the many facets of violence: how it persists within us, how it is inherited across generations, and how it manifests itself in our relationships. In experimental forms and language both lyrical and raw, Asghar seamlessly braids together marginalized people’s histories with her own understanding of identity, place, and belonging.

Fatimah is joined in conversation by Morgan Parker (There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé) and Sam Bailey, a writer and director from Chicago.

Hallie Bateman and Suzy Hopkins, “WHAT TO DO WHEN I’M GONE”

Posted in , skylight books, book stores, books, Memoir, nonfiction by skylightbooks on July 28th, 2018

What to Do when I'm Gone is an instruction manual for getting through life without a mom. The death of one’s mother, is one of life’s key turning points. Combining Suzy Hopkin's wit and heartfelt advice with Hallie Bateman's quirky and colorful style, What to Do when I'm Gone is the illustrated instruction manual for getting through life without one's mom. It's also a poignant look at loss, love, and taking things one moment at a time. By turns whimsical, funny, touching, and above all pragmatic, it will leave readers laughing and teary-eyed. And it will spur conversations that enrich family members' understanding of one another.

OBJECT LESSONS with Evan Kindley, Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow, and Anna Leahy

Posted in , literature, skylight books, book stores, books by skylightbooks on June 30th, 2018

Bloomsbury's Object Lessons is a series of concise, collectable, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things. Each book starts from a specific inspiration: an historical event, a literary passage, a personal narrative, a technological innovation-and from that starting point explores the object of the title, gleaning a singular lesson or multiple lessons along the way. Featuring contributions from writers, artists, scholars, journalists, and others, the emphasis throughout is lucid writing, imagination, and brevity. Object Lessons paints a picture of the world around us, and tells the story of how we got here, one object at a time.

Join us for an evening with three Object Lessons authors: Evan Lindley (Questionnaire), Rebecca Tuhus-Dubrow (Personal Stereo) and Anna Leahy (Tumor). 

Chris McCormick, “DESERT BOYS”

Posted in , book stores, books, fiction by skylightbooks on June 28th, 2018

A luminous debut, Chris McCormick's Desert Boys traces the development of towns into cities, of boys into men, and the haunting effects produced when these transformations overlap. Both a bildungsroman and a portrait of a changing place, the book mines the terrain between the desire to escape and the hunger to belong. This series of powerful, intertwining stories illuminates Daley “Kush” Kushner's world—the family, friends, and community that have both formed and constrained him, and his new life in San Francisco. Back home, the desert preys on those who cannot conform: an alfalfa farmer on the outskirts of town; two young girls whose curiosity leads to danger; a black politician who once served as his school’s Confederate mascot; Kush’s mother, an immigrant from Armenia; and Kush himself, introspective and queer.

McCormick is in conversation with Brit Bennett, author of The Mothers.


Posted in , skylight books, book stores, books, Comics/Graphic Novels by skylightbooks on June 27th, 2018

In his inimitable style, British cartoonist Tom Gauld has opened comics to a crossover audience and challenged perceptions of what the medium can be. Noted as a "book-lover's cartoonist," Gauld's weekly strips in The Guardian, Britain's most well-regarded newspaper, stitch together the worlds of literary criticism and pop culture to create brilliantly executed, concise comics. Simultaneously silly and serious, Gauld adds an undeniable lightness to traditionally highbrow themes. From sarcastic panels about the health hazards of being a best-selling writer to a list of magical items for fantasy writers (such as the Amulet of Attraction, which summons mainstream acceptance, Hollywood money, and fresh coffee), Gauld's cartoons are timely and droll--his trademark British humour, impeccable timing, and distinctive visual style sets him apart from the rest. In Baking with Kafka, he proves this with one witty, sly, ridiculous comic after another.

Gauld is in conversation with Mark Frauenfelder, a research director at the Institute for the Future, founding editor of, and the author of eight books.


Posted in , skylight books, book stores, books, Crime, fiction by skylightbooks on June 17th, 2018

It’s been two years since the events of Gangsterland, when legendary Chicago hitman Sal Cupertine disappeared into the guise of Las Vegas Rabbi David Cohen. Now, in September of 2001, everything’s coming up gold for David—but Sal wants out. He only needs to make it through the High Holidays, and he’ll have enough money to slip away, grab his wife and kid, and start fresh.

Across the country, former FBI agent Matthew Drew is now running security for an Indian Casino outside of Milwaukee, spending his off-time stalking members of The Family, looking for vengeance for the murder of his former partner. So when Sal’s cousin stumbles into the casino one night, Matthew takes the law into his own hands— again—touching off a series of events that will have Rabbi Cohen running for his life, trapped in Las Vegas, with the law, society, and the post-9/11 world closing in around him.

With the wit and gritty glamour that defines his writing, Tod Goldberg traces how the things we most value in our lives—home, health, even our spiritual lives—have been built on the enterprises of criminals.

Mr. Goldberg is joined by David L. Ulin, author of Ear to the Ground.

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