Archive for fiction

SKYLIT: Andrew Sean Greer, ”LESS IS LOST”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, LGBTQ, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on September 21st, 2022
For Arthur Less, life is going surprisingly well: he is a moderately accomplished novelist in a steady relationship with his partner, Freddy Pelu. But nothing lasts: the death of an old lover and a sudden financial crisis has Less running away from his problems yet again as he accepts a series of literary gigs that send him on a zigzagging adventure across the US.

Less roves across the “Mild Mild West,” through the South and to his mid-Atlantic birthplace, with an ever-changing posse of writerly characters and his trusty duo – a human-like black pug, Dolly, and a rusty camper van nicknamed Rosina. He grows a handlebar mustache, ditches his signature gray suit, and disguises himself in the bolero-and-cowboy-hat costume of a true “Unitedstatesian”... with varying levels of success, as he continues to be mistaken for either a Dutchman, the wrong writer, or, worst of all, a “bad gay.”

We cannot, however, escape ourselves—even across deserts, bayous, and coastlines. From his estranged father and strained relationship with Freddy, to the reckoning he experiences in confronting his privilege, Arthur Less must eventually face his personal demons. With all of the irrepressible wit and musicality that made Less a bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-winning, must-read breakout book, Less Is Lost is a profound and joyous novel about the enigma of life in America, the riddle of love, and the stories we tell along the way.

 
Join us for a wonderful conversation between award-winning author Andrew Sean Greer and Skylight's Lance Morgan.
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Produced by Nat Freeman, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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




SKYLIT: Meghan Gilliss, ”LUNGFISH” w/ Kendall Storey

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on September 12th, 2022
Tuck is slow to understand the circumstances that have driven her family to an uninhabited island off the coast of Maine, the former home of her deceased grandmother where she once spent her childhood summers. Squatting there now, she must care for her spirited young daughter and scrape together enough money to leave before winter arrives—or before they are found out.

Relying on the island for sustenance and answers—bladderwrack, rosehips, tenacious little green crabs; smells held by the damp walls of the house, field guides and religious texts, a failed invention left behind by her missing father—Tuck lives moment-by-moment through the absurdity, beauty, paranoia, and hunger that shoots through her life, as her husband struggles to detox.

Exquisitely written and formally daring, Lungfish tells the story of a woman grappling through the lies she has been told—and those she has told herself—to arrive at the truth of who she is and where she must go. Meghan Gilliss’s debut is a brilliant and heartbreaking novel about addiction, doubt, marriage, motherhood, and learning to see in the dark.

 
Join us for a conversation between Gilliss and Kendall Storey.
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Produced by Nat Freeman, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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




SKYLIT: Courtney DeNelle, ”IT’S NOT NOTHING”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on September 5th, 2022
Rosemary Candwell’s past has exploded into her present. Down-and-out and deteriorating, she drifts from anonymous beds and bars in Providence, to a homeless shelter hidden among the hedge-rowed avenues of Newport, and through the revolving door of service jobs and quick-fix psychiatric care, always grasping for hope, for a solution. She’s desperate to readjust back into a family and a world that has deemed her a crazy bitch living a choice they believe she could simply un-choose at any time. She endures flashbacks and panic attacks, migraines and nightmares. She can’t sleep or she sleeps for days; she lashes out at anyone and everyone, especially herself. She abuses over-the-counter cold medicine and guzzles down anything caffeinated just to feel less alone. What if her family is right? What if she is truly broken beyond repair? Drawn from the author’s experience of homelessness and trauma recovery, Courtney DeNelle's It’s Not Nothing is a collage of small moments, biting jokes, intrusive memories, and quiet epiphanies meant to reveal a greater truth: Resilience never looks the way we expect it to look.
 
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Produced by Nat Freeman, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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




SKYLIT: Bud Smith, ”TEENAGER”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on August 16th, 2022
Kody Rawlee Green is stuck in juvie. Tella “Teal Cartwheels” Carticelli is packing her bags for Rome--on the orders of her parents, who want her as far from Kody as possible. But teenage love is too strong a force for the obstacles of reality. And the highway beckons.
 
Leaving their abusive pasts behind them in Jersey, Kody and Teal set off on a cross-country road trip equal parts self-destruction and self-discovery, making their way, one stolen car at a time, toward bigger, wider, bluer skies. Along the road, of course, there’s time to stop at Graceland, classic diners, a fairgrounds that smells of “pony shit and kettle corn," and time for run-ins with outsize personalities like the reincarnated Grand Canyon tour guide Dead Bob and the spurious Montana rancher Bill Gold. On their heels, all the while, is Teal’s brother, Neil Carticelli, who’s abandoned his post in the navy to rescue the sister he left behind. But does she really need saving?
 
These all too American tropes find new expression in Bud Smith’s own freewheeling prose—and in Rae Buleri’s original illustrations—filling Teenager with humor, poetry, and a joy that’s palpable in every unforgettable sentence.
 
Join us for a conversation between Smith and Skylight's Mike Jeffrey as they discuss artistic comparisons and what it's like to write a novel between shifts on a construction site.
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Produced by Nat Freeman, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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




SKYLIT: Megan Giddings, ”THE WOMEN COULD FLY”

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, Witches, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on August 10th, 2022

Josephine Thomas has heard every conceivable theory about her mother's disappearance. That she was kidnapped. Murdered. That she took on a new identity to start a new family. That she was a witch. This is the most worrying charge because in a world where witches are real, peculiar behavior raises suspicions and a woman—especially a Black woman—can find herself on trial for witchcraft.  

But fourteen years have passed since her mother’s disappearance, and now Jo is finally ready to let go of the past. Yet her future is in doubt. The State mandates that all women marry by the age of 30—or enroll in a registry that allows them to be monitored, effectively forfeiting their autonomy. At 28, Jo is ambivalent about marriage. With her ability to control her life on the line, she feels as if she has her never understood her mother more. When she’s offered the opportunity to honor one last request from her mother's will, Jo leaves her regular life to feel connected to her one last time.

In this powerful and timely novel, Megan Giddings explores the limits women face—and the powers they have to transgress and transcend them. 

Join us for a wonderful conversation between Giddings and Skylight's Nat Freeman about Giddings' new novel, The Women Could Fly.

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Produced by Nat Freeman, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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




LIVE ON CROWDCAST: Taymour Soomro, ”OTHER NAMES FOR LOVE” w/ Jonathan Parks-Ramage

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, live on crowdcast by skylightbooks on August 8th, 2022
At age sixteen, Fahad hopes to spend the summer with his mother in London. His father, Rafik, has other plans: hauling his son to Abad, the family’s feudal estate in upcountry, Pakistan. Rafik wants to toughen up his sensitive boy, to teach him about power, duty, family—to make him a man. He enlists Ali, a local teenager, in this project, hoping his presence will prove instructive.

Instead, over the course of one hot, indolent season, attraction blooms between the two boys, and Fahad finds himself seduced by the wildness of the land and its inhabitants: the people, who revere and revile his father in turn; cousin Mousey, who lives alone with a man he calls his manager; and most of all, Ali, who threatens to unearth all that is hidden.

Decades later, Fahad is living abroad when he receives a call from his mother summoning him home. His return will force him to face the past. Taymour Soomro’s Other Names for Love is a tale of masculinity, inheritance, and desire set against the backdrop of a country’s troubled history, told with uncommon urgency and beauty.

 
Join us for this conversation between Soomro and Jonathan Parks-Ramage, moderated by Nat Freeman, recorded live on our Crowdcast channel on Wednesday, August 3.
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Produced by Nat Freeman, 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.




LIVE ON CROWDCAST: Benjamin Rosenbaum, ”THE UNRAVELING” w/ Ted Chiang

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, skylit, live on crowdcast by skylightbooks on August 3rd, 2022
In the far-off future, Fift is a Staid-gendered youth–working towards logic and thoughtfulness–just trying to figure out zir life in the bustling, but rigid social system of Fullbelly. And as if mastering zir three bodies and making zir twelve parents proud weren’t enough to handle, Fift’s growing relationship with Shria, an at-times emotional and passionate Vail-gendered bioengineer, is a controversy waiting to happen.  

When Fift and Shria wind up at the center of a scandalous art spectacle that sparks off a multilayered Unraveling of society, Fift is torn between zir attraction to Shria and the safety of zir family, between staying true to zir feelings and social compliance . . . all while zir personal crises suddenly take on global  significance. What’s a young Staid to do when the whole world is watching?

In his intricate and thoughtful debut novel, The UnravelingBenjamin Rosenbaum brings warmth, heart, and humor to this story of growing up in the distant future, interrogates exactly who a utopia is for, and how social structures only change when everyone has a voice. Like Chana Porter’s The Seep and Monica Byrne’s The Actual Star, Benjamin Rosenbaum’s The Unraveling is the latest in a line of science fiction that challenges gender, society, and culture, while showcasing an inclusive, expansive, and creative vision of what the future can be. 

 
Join us for this conversation between author Rosenbaum and Ted Chiang, moderated by Halley Perry, recorded live on our Crowdcast channel on Thursday, July 26.
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Produced by Nat Freeman, 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: XC Atkins, ”DESPERADO DAYS” w/ Chris L. Terry

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, latinx, skylit by skylightbooks on August 1st, 2022
Ranging from Austin to New Orleans, Richmond to Philly, the interrelated stories of THE DESPERADO DAYS lay bare the gritty lives of working-class hustlers existing at the intersection of multiple worlds and social castes. We find Levy, Fenton, Eldridge, and other young people searching for purpose and truth among workaday lives and the instabilities of self-indulgence, love, violence, and race, fortifying themselves even as they watch others around them flame out and fade. Utterly original and pulsing with life, THE DESPERADO DAYS is an examination of perseverance, amity, and grace at the edges of American late capitalism.
 
Join us for a conversation between author XC Atkins and Chris L. Terry. The conversation is moderated by Nat Freeman.
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Produced by Nat Freeman, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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




SKYLIT: Iman Hariri-Kia, ”A HUNDRED OTHER GIRLS” w/ Gabrielle Korn

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on July 27th, 2022

Noora's life is a little off track. She's an aspiring writer and amateur blogger in New York—which is a nice way of saying that she tutors rich Upper East Side kids and is currently crashing on her sister's couch. But that's okay. Noora has Leila, who has always been her rock, and now she has another major influence to lean on: Vinyl magazine. The pages of Vinyl practically raised Noora, teaching her everything from how to properly insert a tampon to which political ideology she subscribes to.

So when she lands a highly coveted job as assistant to Loretta James, Vinyl's iconic editor-in-chief, Noora can't believe her luck. Her only dream is to write for Vinyl, and now with her foot firmly in the door and the Loretta James as her mentor, Noora is finally on the right path... or so she thinks.

Loretta is an unhinged nightmare, insecure and desperate to remain relevant in an evolving media landscape she doesn't understand. Noora's phone buzzes constantly with Loretta's bizarre demands, particularly with tasks Loretta hopes will undermine the success of Vinyl's wunderkind digital director Jade Aki. The reality of Noora's job is nothing like she expected, and a misguided crush on the hot IT guy only threatens to complicate things even more. But as Loretta and the old-school print team enter into a turf war with Jade and the woke-for-the-wrong-reasons digital team, Noora soon finds herself caught in the middle. And with her dream job on the line, she'll need to either choose a side or form her own.

Clever, incisive, and thoroughly fun, A Hundred Other Girls is an insider's take on the changing media industry, an ode to sisterhood, and a profound exploration of what it means to chase your dreams.

 
Author Iman Hariri-Kia is in conversation with Gabrielle Korn. The conversation is moderated by Lance Morgan.
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Produced by Nat Freeman, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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




LIVE ON CROWDCAST: Alison B. Hart, ”THE WORK WIFE” w/ Julia Phillips

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, skylit, live on crowdcast by skylightbooks on July 25th, 2022
Zanne Klein never planned to be a personal assistant to Hollywood royalty Ted and Holly Stabler. But a decade in at thirty-eight, that's exactly how she spends her days, earning six figures to make sure the movie mogul and his family have everything they could ever dream of and more.

However, today is no ordinary day at the Stabler estate. Tonight, everyone who's anyone will be there for the Hollywood event of the season, and if the party's a success, that chief of staff job Zanne's been chasing may soon be hers. Which means she can buy a house, give her girlfriend the life she deserves, pay off her student loans.

Nothing's going to get in Zanne's way--not disgruntled staff, not a nosy reporter, not even a runaway hostess. But when Ted's former business partner, Phoebe Lee, unexpectedly shows up right before go time, Zanne suddenly has a catastrophe unfolding before her--one with explosive consequences. As the truth comes out and Zanne realizes how deeply entangled she's become in the Stablers' world, she must decide if the sacrifices she's made for the job are worth the moral price she has to pay.

Told over the course of a single day and from three fierce perspectives, The Work Wife is a richly observed novel about female ambition, complicity, privilege and what happens when the brightest of stars aren't allowed to shine.

 
Join us for this conversation between author Alison B. Hart and Julia Phillips, moderated by Nat Freeman, recorded live on our Crowdcast channel on Thursday, July 21.
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Produced by Nat Freeman, 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: Elizabeth Kilcoyne, ”WAKE THE BONES”

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, Y/A, Young Adult, fiction, horror, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on July 19th, 2022
The sleepy little farm that Laurel Early grew up on has awakened. The woods are shifting, the soil is dead under her hands, and her bone pile just stood up and walked away.

After dropping out of college, all she wanted was to resume her life as a tobacco hand and taxidermist and try not to think about the boy she can’t help but love. Instead, a devil from her past has returned to court her, as he did her late mother years earlier. Now, Laurel must unravel her mother’s terrifying legacy and tap into her own innate magic before her future and the fate of everyone she loves is doomed.

Elizabeth Kilcoyne’s Wake the Bones is a dark, atmospheric debut about the complicated feelings that arise when the place you call home becomes hostile.

 
Kilcoyne is in conversation with Nat Freeman.
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Produced by Nat Freeman, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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




CROWDCAST: Jamila Rowser & Robyn Smith, ”WASH DAY DIARIES”

Wash Day Diaries tells the story of four best friends—Kim, Tanisha, Davene, and Cookie—through five connected short story comics that follow these young women through the ups and downs of their daily lives in the Bronx.

The book takes its title from the wash day experience shared by Black women everywhere of setting aside all plans and responsibilities for a full day of washing, conditioning, and nourishing their hair. Each short story uses hair routines as a window into these four characters' everyday lives and how they care for each other.

Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith originally kickstarted their critically acclaimed, award-winning slice of life mini comic, Wash Day, inspired by Rowser's own wash day ritual and their shared desire to see more comics featuring the daily lived experiences of young Black women. Wash Day Diaries includes an updated, full color version of this original comic—which follows Kim, a 26-year-old woman living in the Bronx—as the book's first chapter and expands into a graphic novel with short stories about these vibrant and relatable new characters.

 
Moderated by Nat Freeman, recorded live on our Crowdcast channel on Tuesday, July 12.
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Produced by Nat Freeman, 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.




Lit Angeles, Ep. 4: ”THE WHITE BOY SHUFFLE” w/ Steph Cha

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, BIPOC, Lit Angeles by skylightbooks on July 13th, 2022
In the season finale of LIT ANGELES, Emily and Alena tackle Paul Beatty's classic novel The White Boy Shuffle. They discuss Beatty's poetry background and the book's consistent dark comedy, then invite esteemed novelist Steph Cha for further discussion. 
 
Cha talks about the importance of LA in the 90s for people of color, how difficult it is for POC writers to pull off something as weird as White Boy Shuffle, and her own personal connection to the novel and Skylight Books itself.
 
You're not going to want to miss this season-capper!
 
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Produced by Emily VanKoughnett, Alena Saunders & Michael Kowaleski.

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




LIVE ON CROWDCAST: Ashley Hutson, ”ONE’S COMPANY” w/ Sara Levine

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, live on crowdcast by skylightbooks on July 11th, 2022

Bonnie Lincoln just wants to be left alone. To come home from work, shut out the voice that reminds her of some devastating losses, and unwind in front of the nostalgic, golden glow of her favorite TV show, Three’s Company.

When Bonnie wins the lottery, a more grandiose vision—to completely shuck off her own troublesome identity—takes shape. She plans a drastic move to an isolated mountain retreat where she can re-create the iconic apartment set of Three’s Company and slip into the lives of its main characters: no-nonsense Janet Wood, pleasantly airheaded Chrissy Snow, and confident Jack Tripper. While her best friend, Krystal, tries to drag her back to her old life, Bonnie is determined to transcend pain, trauma, and the baggage of her past by immersing herself in the ultimate binge-watch.

 
Join us for this conversation between One's Company author Ashley Hutson and fellow writer Sara Levine, recorded live on our Crowdcast on June 16, 2022.
 
Moderated by Nat Freeman.
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Produced by Nat Freeman, 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.




LIVE ON CROWDCAST: Imogen Binnie, ”NEVADA” w/ Michelle Tea & Brontez Purnell

Maria Griffiths is almost thirty and works at a used bookstore in New York City while trying to stay true to her punk values. She’s in love with her bike but not with her girlfriend, Steph. She takes random pills and drinks more than is good for her, but doesn’t inject anything except, when she remembers, estrogen, because she’s trans. Everything is mostly fine until Maria and Steph break up, sending Maria into a tailspin, and then onto a cross-country trek in the car she steals from Steph. She ends up in the backwater town of Star City, Nevada, where she meets James, who is probably but not certainly trans, and who reminds Maria of her younger self. As Maria finds herself in the awkward position of trans role model, she realizes that she could become James’s savior—or his downfall.

One of the most beloved cult novels of our time and a landmark of trans literature, Imogen Binnie’s Nevada is a blistering, heartfelt, and evergreen coming-of-age story, and a punk-smeared excavation of marginalized life under capitalism. Guided by an instantly memorable, terminally self-aware protagonist—and back in print featuring a new afterword by the author—Nevada is the great American road novel flipped on its head for a new generation.

 
Join us for this conversation between Binnie and fellow writers Michelle Tea and Brontez Purnell, recorded live on our Crowdcast on June 15, 2022.
 
Moderated by Nat Freeman.
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Produced by Nat Freeman, 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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