Archive for fiction

Alvin Orloff, “DISASTERAMA!” w/ Trebor Healy

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, Memoir, fiction, biography by skylightbooks on November 28th, 2019

In Disasterama!, Alvin Orloff recalls the delirious adventures of his youth—from San Francisco to Los Angeles to New York—where insane nights, deep friendships with the creatives of the underground, and thrilling bi-coastal living led to a free-spirited life of art, manic performance, high camp antics, and exotic sexual encounters. Orloff looks past the politics of AIDS to the people on the ground, friends of his who did not survive AIDS’ wrath—the boys in black leather jackets and cackling queens in tacky frocks—remembering them not as victims, but as people who loved life, loved fun, and who were a part of the insane jigsaw of his community. Includes more than 60 rare photos of the underground counterculture, club flyers, drag queens, and queer icons of era.

Orloff is in conversation with Trebor Healey, author of three novels, A Horse Named SorrowFaun and Through It Came Bright Colors

Jami Attenberg, “ALL THIS COULD BE YOURS” w/ Alissa Nutting

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on November 27th, 2019

From critically acclaimed New York Times best-selling author Jami Attenberg comes a novel of family secrets: think the drama of Big Little Lies set in the heat of a New Orleans summer

"If I know why they are the way they are, then maybe I can learn why I am the way I am," says Alex Tuchman of her parents. Now that her father is on his deathbed, Alex--a strong-headed lawyer, devoted mother, and loving sister--feels she can finally unearth the secrets of who Victor is and what he did over the course of his life and career. (A power-hungry real estate developer, he is, by all accounts, a bad man.) She travels to New Orleans to be with her family, but mostly to interrogate her tightlipped mother, Barbra.

As Barbra fends off Alex's unrelenting questions, she reflects on her tumultuous life with Victor. Meanwhile Gary, Alex's brother, is incommunicado, trying to get his movie career off the ground in Los Angeles. And Gary's wife, Twyla, is having a nervous breakdown, buying up all the lipstick in drug stores around New Orleans and bursting into crying fits. Dysfunction is at its peak. As each family member grapples with Victor's history, they must figure out a way to move forward--with one another, for themselves, and for the sake of their children.

All This Could Be Yours is a timely, piercing exploration of what it means to be caught in the web of a toxic man who abused his power; it shows how those webs can tangle a family for generations and what it takes to--maybe, hopefully--break free.

Attenberg is in conversation with Alissa Nutting, assistant professor of English at Grinnell College.


Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on November 21st, 2019

In his inimitable, recursive, meditative style that reads like a comedic zen koan but contains universes, Seven Samurai Swept Away in a River recounts Korean cult writer Jung Young Moon’s time spent at an artists’ and writers’ residency in small-town Texas. Jung embraces the rambling landscape of Texas, two-stepping, cowboy hats and cowboy churches, antique stores and their an- tique owners, and transmutes them into the even more expansive space of his mind. The author plucks at each surprisingly elucidating concept over pages of reflection – moving seamlessly from chili recipe etiquette (with beans or without?) to the origins of Texas itself – and muses on his outsider experiences in this most unique of places. All the while, the author is asking what a novel is and must be, while accompanied by an invented mental cast of seven samurai who the author carries with him, silent companions in a pantomime of existential theater. Jung blends fact with imagination, humor with reflection, and meaning with meaninglessness, as his meanderings become an absorbing, quintessential novel of ideas.

Liska Jacobs, “THE WORST KIND OF WANT” w/ Allie Rowbottom

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on November 18th, 2019

To cool-headed, fastidious Pricilla Messing, Italy will be an escape, a brief glimpse of freedom from a life that's starting to feel like one long decline.

Rescued from the bedside of her difficult mother, forty-something Cilla finds herself called away to Rome to keep an eye on her wayward teenage niece, Hannah. But after years of caregiving, babysitting is the last thing Cilla wants to do. Instead she throws herself into Hannah's youthful, heedless world—drinking, dancing, smoking—relishing the heady atmosphere of the Italian summer. After years of feeling used up and overlooked, Cilla feels like she's coming back to life. But being so close to Hannah brings up complicated memories, making Cilla restless and increasingly reckless, and a dangerous flirtation with a teenage boy soon threatens to send her into a tailspin.

With the sharp-edged insight of Ottessa Moshfegh and the taut seduction of Patricia Highsmith, The Worst Kind of Want is a dark exploration of the inherent dangers of being a woman. In her unsettling follow-up to Catalina, Liska Jacobs again delivers hypnotic literary noir about a woman whose unruly desires and troubled past push her to the brink of disaster.

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

Alex Dimitrov, “ASTRO POETS” w/ Melissa Broder

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, astrology by skylightbooks on November 12th, 2019

Critically-acclaimed poets Alex Dimitrov (Sagittarius) and Dorothea Lasky (Aries) met at a party nearly a decade ago. There a lengthy conversation about their mutual love for astrology first planted the seed that would become @poetastrologers, a Twitter account they started for their own amusement.  The Twitter went viral and now has almost 500,000 followers. These online phenoms now bring us the first great astrology primer of the 21st century, Astro Poets: Your Guides to the Zodiac.

With humor and insight, the Astro Poets are here to share astrology with everyone from the uninitiated to the firm believers, to help you see what's written in the stars and use it to navigate your friendships, your career, and your very complicated love life. The book opens with a general primer on astrology— which explains everything from what a rising sign actually is, to where each sign falls along the karmic wheel.  The rest of the book is devoted to each sign in turn and mixes classic components from the Linda Goodman playbook (“Pisces as a Lover”) with some fresher takes (“Texting with an Aquarius”). The references are equal parts high (Emily Dickinson) and low (Drake).  

If you’ve ever wondered why your Gemini friend won't let you get a word in edge-wise at drinks, you've come to the right place. When will that Scorpio texting “u up?” at 2AM finally take the next step in your relationship? (Hint: they won’t.) What makes Andy Warhol a textbook Leo, or Beyoncé the ultimate example of a Virgo? Start with the chapter on your own sun sign, then move on to the signs of your partner, your children, your co-workers, your mortal enemy. You’ll walk away understanding them, and yourself, a little better.

Dimitrov will be in conversation with Melissa Broder author of the essay collection So Sad Today and four poetry collections.


Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, Short Stories by skylightbooks on November 11th, 2019

The Usual UncertaintiesJonathan Blum's highly anticipated first collection—is storytelling at its finest. In precise, elegant prose, these stories follow characters and communities often consigned to the edge of the frame: a community college dropout, a geriatric care manager, a square dance bar mitzvah, a Scrabble club, an entrepreneurial Thai immigrant, and a South Florida country club. With echoes of Leonard Michaels, Mavis Gallant, and Lore Segal, Blum explores the ways our divergent histories tether us together and at times push us completely apart. The Usual Uncertainties revels in the persistent human struggle to love with abandon and marks a radiant voice in American short fiction. 

Mimi Lok, “LAST OF HER NAME” w/ Amelia Gray

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, Short Stories by skylightbooks on November 5th, 2019

Mimi Lok's Last of Her Name is an eye-opening story collection about the intimate, interconnected lives of diasporic women and the histories they are born into. Set in a wide range of time periods and locales, including '80s UK suburbia, WWII Hong Kong and contemporary urban California, the book features an eclectic cast of outsiders: among them, an elderly housebreaker, wounded lovers and kung-fu fighting teenage girls. Last of Her Name offers a meditation on female desire and resilience, family and the nature of memory.

Lok is in conversation with Amelia Gray, author of five books, most recently Isadora.

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.

Nefertiti Austin, “MOTHERHOOD SO WHITE”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, Memoir, fiction, nonfiction by skylightbooks on October 21st, 2019

When Nefertiti Austin, a single African-American woman, decided she wanted to adopt a Black baby boy out of the foster care system, she was unprepared for the fact there is no place for Black women in the “mommy wars.” Austin set off on her path without the ability to seek guidance from others who looked like her or shared her experience. She soon realized that she would not only have to navigate skepticism from
the adoption community, who deal almost exclusively with white women, but surprisingly, from her own family and friends as well.

Motherhood So White is the story of Nefertiti’s fight to create the family she always knew she was meant to have and the story of motherhood that all American families need now. In this unflinching account of her parenting journey, Nefertiti examines the history of adoption in the African-American community, faces off against stereotypes of single, Black motherhood, and confronts the reality of raising children of color in racially charged, modern-day America.


Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, Y/A, Young Adult, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on October 18th, 2019

From accomplished poet and author R. Zamora Linmark comes his debut YA novel, The Importance of Being Wilde At Heart (Delacorte Press / On sale August 13, 2019 / $17.99; Ages 12+), about a seventeen-year-old boy's journey through first love and first heartbreak, guided by his personal hero,
Oscar Wilde.

Words have always been more than enough for Ken Z, but when he meets Ran at the mall food court, everything changes. Beautiful, mysterious Ran opens the door to a number of firsts for Ken: first kiss, first love. But as quickly as he enters Ken's life, Ran disappears, and Ken Z is left wondering: Why love at all, if this is where it leads?

Letting it end there would be tragic. So with the help of his best friends, the comfort of his haikus and lists, and even strange, surreal appearances by his hero, Oscar Wilde, Ken will find that love is worth more than the price of heartbreak.


Posted in literature, book stores, books, fiction by skylightbooks on October 16th, 2019

Moon is everything Christine isn't. She’s confident, impulsive, artistic . . . and though they both grew up in the same Chinese-American suburb, Moon is somehow unlike anyone Christine has ever known.

But after Moon moves in next door, these unlikely friends are soon best friends, sharing their favorite music videos and painting their toenails when Christine's strict parents aren't around. Moon even tells Christine her deepest secret: that she has visions, sometimes, of celestial beings who speak to her from the stars. Who reassure her that earth isn't where she really belongs.

Moon's visions have an all-too-earthly root, however, and soon Christine's best friend is in the hospital, fighting for her life. Can Christine be the friend Moon needs, now, when the sky is falling?

Jen Wang draws on her childhood to paint a deeply personal yet wholly relatable friendship story that’s at turns joyful, heart-wrenching, and full of hope.


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

Today we find ourselves at the center of a new kind of sexual revolution, one that is focused on amplifying the voices of survivors of sexual assault who have been systematically dismissed, shamed, stifled, and victim-blamed. Motivated by the wave of women who have come forward to tell their stories in recent years and the public exposure of powerful predators, comics creator Diane Noomin (Twisted Sisters anthology) has curated a collection that gives female cartoonists a platform to speak about their own personal experiences with assault, harassment, and rape culture. The result is a truly revolutionary comics anthology: Drawing Power: Women’s Stories of Sexual Violence, Harassment, and Survival.

Edited by Noomin, Drawing Power includes sixty-three new and personal stories told through the powerful medium of comics. Featuring contributions from a wide-ranging group of international female cartoonists of many ages, sexual identities, and races, Drawing Power offers catharsis, social critique, humor, and disarming honesty about what it means to be a survivor. The comics in this anthology are a collective call for understanding, respect, and, most importantly, change. 

Attica Locke, “HEAVEN, MY HOME”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on October 14th, 2019

9-year-old Levi King knew he should have left for home sooner; now he's alone in the darkness of vast Caddo Lake, in a boat whose motor just died. A sudden noise distracts him - and all goes black.

Darren Matthews is trying to emerge from another kind of darkness; after the events of his previous investigation, his marriage is in a precarious state of re-building, and his career and reputation lie in the hands of his mother, who's never exactly had his best interests at heart. Now she holds the key to his freedom, and she's not above a little maternal blackmail to press her advantage.

An unlikely possibility of rescue arrives in the form of a case down Highway 59, in a small lakeside town where the local economy thrives on nostalgia for ante-bellum Texas - and some of the era's racial attitudes still thrive as well. Levi's disappearance has links to Darren's last case, and to a wealthy businesswoman, the boy's grandmother, who seems more concerned about the fate of her business than that of her grandson.

Darren has to battle centuries-old suspicions and prejudices, as well as threats that have been reignited in the current political climate, as he races to find the boy, and to save himself.

Attica Locke proves that the acclaim and awards for Bluebird, Bluebird were justly deserved, in this thrilling new novel about crimes old and new.

USC PhD Writers of Color

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, anthology by skylightbooks on October 10th, 2019

How do people of color make literary careers? Find out in a showcase of POC writers in USC’s Ph.D. program in creative writing and literature. Part reading, part panel, the evening will demystify the multiple paths taken by writers of color at different stages of their careers.

Jacqueline Woodson, “RED AT THE BONE” w/ Kara Brown

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, Y/A, Young Adult, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on October 9th, 2019

As the book opens in 2001, it is the evening of sixteen-year-old Melody's coming of age ceremony in her grandparents' Brooklyn brownstone. Watched lovingly by her relatives and friends, making her entrance to the soundtrack of Prince, she wears a special custom-made dress. But the event is not without poignancy. Sixteen years earlier, that very dress was measured and sewn for a different wearer: Melody's mother, for her own ceremony-- a celebration that ultimately never took place.

Unfurling the history of Melody's parents and grandparents to show how they all arrived at this moment, Jacqueline Woodson considers not just their ambitions and successes but also the costs, the tolls they've paid for striving to overcome expectations and escape the pull of history. As it explores sexual desire and identity, ambition, gentrification, education, class and status, and the life-altering facts of parenthood, Red at the Bone most strikingly looks at the ways in which young people must so often make long-lasting decisions about their lives--even before they have begun to figure out who they are and what they want to be.

Woodson is in conversation with Kara Brown, writer, speaker and co-host of Crooked Media's pop culture podcast, Keep It!.

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