Archive for fiction

SKYLIT: Camille Roy, ”HONEY MINE” w/ Michelle Tea

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, LGBTQ, skylit by skylightbooks on September 8th, 2021
A content warning for this episode: discussions of sexual assault and incest.
 
Honey Mine unfolds as both excavation and romp, an adventure story that ushers readers into a lesbian writer's coming of age through disorienting, unsparing, and exhilarating encounters with sex, gender, and distinctly American realities of race and class. From childhood in Chicago's South Side to youth in the lesbian underground, Roy's politics find joyful and transgressive expression in the liberatory potential of subculture. Find here, in these new, uncollected and out-of-print fictions by a master of New Narrative, a record of survival and thriving under conditions of danger.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Alix Ohlin, ”WE WANT WHAT WE WANT”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, Short Stories, skylit by skylightbooks on August 31st, 2021
Populated with imperfect families, burned potential, and inescapable old flames, the thirteen stories in Alix Ohlin's We Want What We Want are, each one, diamond-sharp--sparkling with pain, humor, and beauty.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Keenan Norris, “THE CONFESSION OF COPELAND CANE” w/ Tongo Eisen-Martin

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on August 25th, 2021
Copeland Cane V, the child who fell outta Colored People Time and into America, is a fugitive... He is also just a regular teenager coming up in a terrifying world. A slightly eccentric, flip-phone loving kid with analog tendencies and a sideline hustling sneakers, the boundaries of Copeland's life are demarcated from the jump by urban toxicity, an educational apparatus with confounding intentions, and a police state that has merged with media conglomerates--the highly-rated Insurgency Alert Desk that surveils and harasses his neighborhood in the name of anti-terrorism.
 
Recruited by the nearby private school even as he and his folks face eviction, Copeland is doing his damnedest to do right by himself, for himself. And yet the forces at play entrap him in a reality that chews up his past and obscures his future. Copeland's wry awareness of the absurd keeps life passable, as do his friends and their surprising array of survival skills. And yet in the aftermath of a protest rally against police violence, everything changes, and Copeland finds himself caught in the flood of history.
 
Set in East Oakland, California in a very near future, The Confession of Copeland Cane introduces us to a prescient and contemporary voice, one whose take on coming of age in America becomes a startling reflection of our present moment.
 
Author Keenan Norris is in conversation with Tongo Eisen-Martin.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Nawaaz Ahmed, “RADIANT FUGITIVES” w/ Natashia Deón

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on August 21st, 2021
Working as a consultant for Kamala Harris’s attorney general campaign in Obama-era San Francisco, Seema has constructed a successful life for herself in the West, despite still struggling with her father’s long-ago decision to exile her from the family after she came out as lesbian. Now, nine months pregnant and estranged from the Black father of her unborn son, Seema seeks solace in the company of those she once thought lost to her: her ailing mother, Nafeesa, traveling alone to California from Chennai, and her devoutly religious sister, Tahera, a doctor living in Texas with her husband and children. 
 
But instead of a joyful reconciliation anticipating the birth of a child, the events of this fateful week unearth years of betrayal, misunderstanding, and complicated layers of love—a tapestry of emotions as riveting and disparate as the era itself.
 
Told from the point of view of Seema’s child at the moment of his birth, and infused with the poetry of Wordsworth and Keats and verses from the Quran, Radiant Fugitives is a moving tale of a family and a country grappling with acceptance, forgiveness, and enduring love.
 
Author Nawaaz Ahmed discusses Radiant Fugitives with Natashia Deón.
 
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Benjamin Hedin, “UNDER THE SPELL” w/ Maaza Mengiste

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on August 20th, 2021
Under the Spell is the first novel by Benjamin Hedin, a dazzling new voice in American fiction. Newly widowed Sandra is searching her husband’s email for financial information when she discovers a correspondence between him and a woman named Ryan. Rather than simply sharing the news of the death, Sandra, who is shocked and hungry for details, instead impersonates her husband as she writes back to Ryan. This bold course of action will expose the secrets and solitude within her marriage, prompting her to reconsider everything she once held dear.
 
Unmoored and seeking connection, Sandra also meets Lee, a single mother with a drinking problem, and begins babysitting her daughter. But Sandra can’t stop herself from continuing the correspondence with Ryan, in the process uncovering more about her husband—and Ryan herself.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Pedro Mairal, “THE WOMAN FROM URUGUAY” w/ Jennifer Croft

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, translated, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on August 17th, 2021
Lucas Pereyra, an unemployed writer in his forties, embarks on a day trip from Buenos Aires to Montevideo to pick up fifteen thousand dollars in cash. An advance due to him on his upcoming novel, the small fortune might mean the solution to his problems, most importantly the tension he has with his wife. While she spends her days at work and her nights out on the town-with a lover, perhaps, he doesn't know for sure-Lucas is stuck at home all day staring at the blank page, caring for his son Maiko and fantasizing about the one thing that keeps him going: the woman from Uruguay whom he met at a conference and has been longing to see ever since.

But that woman, Magalí Guerra Zabala, is a free spirit with her own relationship troubles, and the day they spend together in this beautiful city on the beach winds up being nothing like Lucas predicted. The constantly surprising, moving story of this dramatically transformative day in their lives, The Woman from Uruguay is both a gripping narrative and a tender, thought-provoking exploration of the nature of relationships. An international bestseller published in fourteen countries, it is the masterpiece from Pedro Mairal, one of the most original voices in Latin American literature today.

 
Mairal is in conversation with the translator of The Woman from Uruguay, Jennifer Croft.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Marissa Levien, “THE WORLD GIVES WAY”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, latinx, skylit by skylightbooks on August 11th, 2021
In fifty years, Myrra will be free.

Until then, she's a contract worker. Ever since she was five, her life and labor have belonged to the highest bidder on her contract—butchers, laundries, and now the powerful, secretive Carlyles.

But when one night finds the Carlyles dead, Myrra is suddenly free a lot sooner than she anticipated—and at a cost she never could have imagined. Burdened with the Carlyles' orphaned daughter and the terrible secret they died to escape, she runs. With time running out, Myrra must come face to face with the truth about her world—and embrace what's left before it's too late.

A sweeping novel with a darkly glimmering heart, The World Gives Way is an unforgettable portrait of a world in freefall, and the fierce drive to live even at the end of it all.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Beth Morgan, “A TOUCH OF JEN”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on August 6th, 2021

Remy and Alicia, a couple of insecure  service workers, are not particularly happy together. But they are bound by a shared obsession with Jen, a beautiful former co-worker of Remy’s who now seems to be following her bliss as a globe-trotting jewelry designer. In and outside the bedroom, Remy and Alicia's entire relationship revolves around fantasies of Jen, whose every Instagram caption, outfit, and new age mantra they know by heart.

Imagine their confused excitement when they run into Jen, in the flesh, and she invites them on a surfing trip to the Hamptons with her wealthy boyfriend and their group. Once there, Remy and Alicia try (a little too hard) to fit into Jen’s exalted social circle, but violent desire and class resentment bubble beneath the surface of this beachside paradise, threatening to erupt. As small disturbances escalate into outright horror, we find ourselves tumbling with Remy and Alicia into an uncanny alternate reality, one shaped by their most unspeakable, deviant, and intoxicating fantasies.  Is this what “self-actualization” looks like?

Part millennial social comedy, part psychedelic horror, and all wildly entertaining, Beth Morgan's A Touch of Jen is a sly, unflinching examination of the hidden drives that lurk just outside the frame of our carefully curated selves.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Joie Davidow, “AN UNOFFICIAL MARRIAGE” w/ Esmerelda Santiago

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, historical fiction, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on July 21st, 2021
Set against the backdrop of the tumultuous events of 19th century Europe, An Unofficial Marriage dramatizes the equally tumultuous real-life love affair of two great artists—the famous Russian author, Ivan Turgenev, and the celebrated French opera singer, Pauline Viardot. From the moment he encounters her on the St. Petersburg stage, Ivan falls completely for Pauline. Though Pauline returns his feelings, she is bound by her singular passion for her art and her devotion to her gentle, older husband, Louis. Nevertheless, Ivan pursues Pauline across countries and continents—from Russia to France to Germany to Prussia—and in the decades that follow their fateful meeting, the lives of Pauline, Ivan, and Louis remain permanently intertwined as the lovers face jealousy, separation, the French Revolution of 1848, the cholera epidemic of 1849, the Franco-Prussian War, Turgenev’s arrest in Russia, Louis’s heartbreak and resignation, and the highs and lows of their artistic careers. “You know those unofficial marriages,” Turgenev would write almost thirty years after meeting Pauline, “They sometimes turn out more poisonous than the accepted form.”
 
With beautiful and compelling prose and employing multiple perspectives, Joie Davidow (who herself has a background in opera) illuminates not only the interior lives of these two intensely passionate artists, but also the grand historic moments that Pauline and Ivan experienced and the celebrated figures who moved in their circles—including George Sand, Leo Tolstoy, Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, and Ary Scheffer—providing insight into the dynamic worlds of 19th century opera, literature, art, and politics. Epic in the tradition of the Russian writers whom we encounter, and as romantic and tragic as the operas that Pauline Viardot performs in, An Unofficial Marriage brings to life with great scope and great humanity this captivating story from the past and explores timeless questions about the relationship between art and passion and the complex workings of the human heart.
 
Davidow is in conversation with Esmerelda Santiago.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Emma Ramadan, “IN CONCRETE”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on July 17th, 2021

Garr ta's first novel in a decade, In Concrete, follows the mania that descends upon a family when the father finds himself in possession of a concrete mixer. As he seeks to modernize every aspect of their lives, disaster strikes when the younger sister is subsumed by concrete.

 

Through puns, wordplay, and dizzying verbal effect, Garr ta reinvents the novel form and blurs the line between spoken and written language in an attempt to confront the elasticity of communication.

 
Translator Emma Ramadan talks with Skylight's Mike Jeffrey about her experience translating Garr ta's work.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Claire Boyles, “SITE FIDELITY” w/ Zac Hug

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, Short Stories, skylit by skylightbooks on July 14th, 2021

Firmly rooted in the modern American West, Site Fidelity follows women and families who feel the instinctual, inexplicable pull of a home they must work to protect from the effects of economic inequity and climate catastrophe. A seventy-four-year-old nun turns to eco-sabotage to stop a fracking project. A woman delivers her own baby in a Nevada ghost town. A young farmer hides her chicken flock from the government during a bird flu epidemic. An ornithologist returns home to care for her rancher father and gets caught up trying to protect a breeding group of endangered Gunnison sage grouse.

In lean, lyrical prose, Claire Boyles evokes the bleakness and beauty of our threatened western landscapes. Spanning the decades from the 1970s to a plausible near future, this knockout debut introduces unforgettable characters who must confront the challenges of caregiving and loss alongside the very practical impacts of fracking, water rights law, and other agricultural policies. Site Fidelity is a vivid, intimate, and deeply human exploration of life on the shifting terrain of our changing planet.

Boyles is in conversation with Zac Hug.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: David Leo Rice, “DRIFTER” w/ Matthew Spellberg

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, Short Stories, novels by skylightbooks on July 7th, 2021
Collecting a decade's worth of stories by acclaimed author David Leo Rice, Drifter is a wild trip through the occult and surreal undercurrents of contemporary life. Ever in pursuit of illumination and unholy opportunity, the characters in these stories roam from blighted Western settlements to eerie New England circuses, from the backwoods of Austria to the remotest reaches of Japan, and from seedy Caribbean islands to the shadow of the Swiss Alps.
 
Rice is in conversation with Matthew Spellberg
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Brittany Ackerman, “THE BRITTANYS”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on July 1st, 2021
They're not the most popular freshmen at their Florida prep school, but at least everyone knows their name(s). The Brittanys.

 

Brittany Rosenberg: drives her golf cart around her subdivision to meet boys. Brittany Gottlieb: insists you can't lose your virginity if you haven't gotten your period. (She heard it somewhere ) Brittany Tomassi: is from New York. Brittany Jensen: once threw her tampon into a stranger's swimming pool. A brash, bold, unapologetic tomboy. And the greatest person in the whole wide world.

 

At least as far as the fifth Brittany--our narrator--is concerned. Even within their friend group, she and Jensen are a duo: with their matching JanSport backpacks, Tiffany chokers, and Victoria's Secret push-up bras, they are unstoppable. And now that they're finally growing up, they're going to do everything: dye their hair, attend no-parent parties, try pot . . . maybe even lose their virginities. 2004 is totally going to be their year

 

Except Jensen's interests may be diverging from her friends'. And within our narrator's own family--in the lives of her exhausted mother and beloved, genius older brother--life-changing events may be taking shape. Events that only years later, looking back, she has the perspective to see.

 
Enjoy this conversation with The Brittanys author Brittany Ackerman.
 
SPONSORED EPISODE:
 
This episode is brought to you by Rare Bird Lit and Unstoppable by Joshua M. Greene.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Rupert Thomson, “BARCELONA DREAMING”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on June 28th, 2021
Barcelona Dreaming is narrated, in turn, by an English woman who runs a gift shop, an alcoholic jazz pianist, and a translator tormented by unrequited love, all of whose lives will be changed forever. Underpinning the novel, and casting a long shadow, is a crime committed against a young Moroccan immigrant.
 
Exploring themes of addiction, racism, celebrity, immigration, and self-delusion, and fueled by a longing for the unattainable and a nostalgia for what is about to be lost, Rupert Thomson's Barcelona Dreaming is a love letter to one of the world’s most beautiful cities and a powerful and poignant fable for our uncertain times.
 
SPONSORED EPISODE:
 
This episode is brought to you by Rare Bird Lit and Unstoppable by Joshua M. Greene.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.




SKYLIT: Ben Percy, “THE NINTH METAL”

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Fantasy, fiction, novels, sci-fi, skylit by skylightbooks on June 23rd, 2021
At first, people gazed in wonder at the radiant tear in the sky. A year later, the celestial marvel became a planetary crisis when Earth spun through the comet’s debris field and the sky rained fire.

The town of Northfall, Minnesota will never be the same. Meteors cratered hardwood forests and annihilated homes, and among the wreckage a new metal was discovered. This “omnimetal” has properties that make it world-changing as an energy source…and a weapon.

John Frontier—the troubled scion of an iron-ore dynasty in Northfall—returns for his sister’s wedding to find his family embroiled in a cutthroat war to control mineral rights and mining operations. His father rightly suspects foreign leaders and competing corporations of sabotage, but the greatest threat to his legacy might be the US government. Physicist Victoria Lennon was recruited by the Department of Defense to research omnimetal, but she finds herself trapped in a laboratory of nightmares. And across town, a rookie cop is investigating a murder that puts her own life in the crosshairs. She will have to compromise her moral code to bring justice to this now lawless community.

In The Ninth Metal, the first in his Comet Cycle, Ben Percy lays bare how a modern-day goldrush has turned the middle of nowhere into the center of everything, and how one family—the Frontiers—hopes to control it all.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski

Theme: "I Love All My Friends," an unreleased demo by Fragile Gang.

Visit https://www.skylightbooks.com/event for future offerings from the Skylight Books Events team.





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