Archive for fiction

Ed Brubaker, “BAD WEEKEND” w/ Paul Scheer and Nicholas Winding Refn

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, Comics/Graphic Novels, fiction, graphic novels by skylightbooks on August 16th, 2019

Comics won't just break your heart. Comics will just kill you.

Hal Crane should know, he's been around since practically the beginning. Stuck at an out-of-town convention, waiting to receive a lifetime achievement award, Hal's weekend takes us on a dark ride through the secret history of a medium that's always been haunted by crooks, swindlers, and desperate dreamers. BAD WEEKEND-the story some are already calling the comic of the year from its serialization in CRIMINAL #2 and #3-has been expanded, with several new scenes added and remastered into a hardcover graphic novel, in the same format as ED BRUBAKER and PHILLIPS' ( KILL OR BE KILLED, FATALE, CRIMINAL) bestselling MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN JUNKIES. This gorgeous package is a must-have, an evergreen graphic novel every true comics fan will want to own.

Brubaker is in conversation with actor/comedian Paul Scheer and film director Nicholas Winding Refn.




Ruchika Tomar, “A PRAYER FOR TRAVELERS” w/ Xuan Juliana Wang

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

In her debut novel, A Prayer for Travelers, Ruchika Tomar melds artful prose with a haunting narrative creating an arresting and electric portrait of the dangers of girlhood in the American desert west and how small towns try–– and often fail–– to protect their own. Already hailed by Lit Hub as “an indelible portrait of love, grief, and trauma” and one of the Most Anticipated Books of 2019, A Prayer for Travelers illuminates the heat and fury of girlhood and one’s own memory.

The Nevada landscape––a sun-steamed, desert West that you can practically feel blistering off the page––serves as a harsh yet glittery, gritty yet stunning backdrop for this coming-of-age saga. Cale is our guide: a young bookish loner with a voice as markedly determined as it is vulnerable. Set adrift for the first time in her life, Cale begins waitressing at the local diner, where she reconnects with Penelope Reyes, a charismatic former classmate and all-around hustler. Penny exposes Cale to the reality that exists beyond their small town and the girls become inseparable until one terrifying act of violence shatters their world. When Penny vanishes without a trace, Cale sets off on a dangerous quest across the desert to find her friend.

Told in short, deftly interwoven chapters, the novel eases the story into a disorienting, devastating unraveling and seamlessly blends together a portrait of a memory under siege and a girl, unflinchingly, reclaiming herself. On the structure of the novel Tomar says, “I began thinking about the way I or my friends tell stories—elliptically, episodically. When you’re telling a story out loud it’s very hard to remember every detail in order. In particular, if you’ve ever had to tell a story of trauma, or hold one for one of your friends, you know just how ragged and disjointed that experience is. The nature of trauma and grief is fracturing.”

Tomar is in conversation with Xuan Juliana Wang, author of the debut short story collection, Home Remedies.




Sarah Rose Etter, “THE BOOK OF X” w/ Tommy Pico

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

THE BOOK OF X tells the tale of Cassie, a girl born with her stomach twisted in the shape of a knot. From childhood with her parents on the family meat farm, to a desk job in the city, to finally experiencing love, she grapples with her body, men, and society, all the while imagining a softer world than the one she is in. Twining the drama of the everyday--school-age crushes, paying bills, the sickness of parents--with the surreal--rivers of thighs, men for slae, and fields of throats--Cassie's realities alternate to create a blurred, fantastic world of haunting beauty.

Author Sarah Rose Etter is in conversation with Tommy Pico, author of the books IRL (Birds LLC), Nature Poem (Tin House Books), and Junk (Tin House Books). 




Kristen Arnett, “MOSTLY DEAD THINGS” w/ Tommy Pico

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction by skylightbooks on August 9th, 2019

One morning, Jessa-Lynn Morton walks into the family taxidermy shop to find that her father has committed suicide, right there on one of the metal tables. Shocked and grieving, Jessa steps up to manage the failing business, while the rest of the Morton family crumbles. Her mother starts sneaking into the shop to make aggressively lewd art with the taxidermied animals. Her brother Milo withdraws, struggling to function. And Brynn, Milo’s wife— the only person Jessa’s ever been in love with—walks out without a word. As Jessa seeks out less-than-legal ways of generating income, her mother’s art escalates—picture a figure of her dead husband and a stuffed buffalo in an uncomfortably sexual pose—and the Mortons reach a tipping point. For the first time, Jessa has no choice but to learn who these people truly are, and ultimately how she fits alongside them.

Kristen Arnett’s debut novel is a darkly funny, heart- wrenching, and eccentric look at loss and art and love.

Arnett is in conversation with Tommy Pico, author of the books IRL (Birds LLC), Nature Poem (Tin House Books), and Junk (Tin House Books).




Janet Fitch, “CHIMES OF A LOST CATHEDRAL”

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

The story of The Revolution of Marina M. continues in bestselling author Janet Fitch's sweeping epic about a young woman's coming into her own against the backdrop of the Russian Revolution. 

After the events of The Revolution of Marina M., the young Marina Makarova finds herself on her own amid the devastation of the Russian Civil War---pregnant and adrift in the Russian countryside, forced onto her own resourcefulness to find a place to wait out the birth of her child. She finds new strength and self-reliance to fortify her in her sojourn, and to prepare her for the hardships and dilemmas still to come.

When she finally returns to Petrograd, the city almost unrecognizable after two years of revolution, the haunted, half-emptied, starving Capital of Once Had Been, she finds the streets teeming with homeless children, victims of war. Now fully a woman, she takes on the challenge of caring for these civil war orphans, until they become the tool of tragedy from an unexpected direction.

But despite the ordeal of war and revolution, betrayal and privation and unimaginable loss, Marina at last emerges as the poet she was always meant to be.

Chimes of a Lost Cathedral finishes the epic story of Marina's journey through some of the most dramatic events of the last century---as a woman and an artist, entering her full power, passion, and creativity just as her revolution reveals its true direction for the future.




David Marlett, “AMERICAN RED”

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction by skylightbooks on July 31st, 2019

The men and women of American Red are among the most fascinating in American history. When, at the dawn of the 20th century, the Idaho governor is assassinated, blame falls on “Big Bill” Haywood, the all-powerful, one-eyed boss of the Western Federation of Miners in Denver. Close by, his polio-crippled wife, Neva, struggles with her wavering faith, her love for another man, and her sister’s affair with her husband. New technologies accelerate American life, but justice lags behind. Private detectives, battling socialists and unions on behalf of wealthy capitalists, will do whatever it takes to see Haywood hanged. The scene is set for bloodshed, from Denver to Boise to San Francisco. America’s most famous attorney, Clarence Darrow, leads the defense—a philandering U.S. senator leads the prosecution—while the press, gunhands, and spies pour in. Among them are two idealists, Jack Garrett and Carla Capone—he a spy for the prosecution, she for the defense. Risking all, they discover truths about their employers, about themselves and each other, and what they’ll sacrifice for justice and honor—and for love.

David Marlett is an award-winning storyteller and writer of historical fiction, primarily historical legal thrillers bringing alive the fascinating people and events leading to major historical trials.




Mona Awad, “BUNNY” w/ Anna Joy Springer

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction by skylightbooks on July 3rd, 2019

Samantha Heather Mackey couldn’t be more of an outsider in her small, highly selective MFA program at New England’s Warren University. A scholarship student who prefers the company of her dark imagination to that of most people, she is utterly repelled by the rest of her fiction writing cohort–a clique of unbearably twee rich girls who call each other “Bunny,” and are often found entangled in a group hug so tight they become one. 

But everything changes when Samantha receives an invitation to the Bunnies’ fabled “Smut Salon,” and finds herself inexplicably drawn to their front door–ditching her only friend, Ava, a caustic art school dropout, in the process. As Samantha plunges deeper and deeper into the sinister yet saccharine world of the Bunny cult and starts to take part in their ritualistic off-campus “Workshop” where they magically conjure their monstrous creations, the edges of reality begin to blur, and her friendships with Ava and the Bunnies are brought into deadly collision. 

A spellbinding, down-the-rabbit-hole tale of loneliness and belonging, creativity and agency, and friendship and desire, Bunny is the dazzlingly original second book from an author whose work has been described as “honest, searing and necessary” (Elle).

Author Mona Awad is in conversation with cross-genre writer Anna Joy Springer.




Ocean Vuong, “ON EARTH WE’RE BRIEFLY GORGEOUS” w/ Jade Chang

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction by skylightbooks on July 1st, 2019

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he was born — a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam — and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. Asking questions central to our American moment, immersed as we are in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one’s own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard.  With stunning urgency and grace, Ocean Vuong writes of people caught between disparate worlds, and asks how we heal and rescue one another without forsaking who we are. The question of how to survive, and how to make of it a kind of joy, powers the most important debut novel of many years.

Vuong is in conversation with Jade Chang, author of The Wangs vs. the World.




James Ellroy, “THIS STORM”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, mystery by skylightbooks on June 28th, 2019

It is January, 1942. Torrential rainstorms hit L.A. A body is unearthed in Griffith Park. The cops rate it a routine dead-man job. They're grievously wrong. It's a summons to misalliance and all the spoils of a brand-new war.

Elmer Jackson is a corrupt Vice cop. He's a flesh peddler and a bagman for the L.A. Chief of Police. Hideo Ashida is a crime-lab whiz, caught up in the maelstrom of the Japanese internment. Dudley Smith is an LAPD hardnose working Army Intelligence. He's gone rogue and gone all-the-way Fascist. Joan Conville was born rogue. She's a defrocked Navy lieutenant and a war profiteer to her core. They've signed on for the dead-man job. They've got a hot date with History. They will fight their inner wars within The War with unstoppable fury.




Sarah Gailey, “MAGIC FOR LIARS” w/ Mallory O’Meara

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, fiction by skylightbooks on June 25th, 2019

Mix the sly, coming-of-age elements of Lev Grossman’s The Magicians with the noir and edge of Jessica Jones, shake well, and serve over ice to get Magic for Liars, the debut novel from Hugo Award nominee and debut author Sarah Gailey.

Magic for Liars channels the flushed, youthful intensity of Megan Abbott’s You Will Know Me with a school for mages, hidden in the hills of southern California, as its backdrop. Ivy Gamble, a disagreeable and non-magical private investigator with a slight drinking problem, works to solve a murder at a school for mages where her estranged (and very magically talented) sister teaches. The dark and fantastic secrets she uncovers not only shed a stark light on her case, but on her own family history and the life she could have had.

Gailey is in conversation with Mallory O'Meara, bestselling author of The Lady from the Black Lagoon, among with being a screenwriter and film producer.




Ted Chiang, “EXHALATION”

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, Short Stories by skylightbooks on June 24th, 2019

From the acclaimed author of Stories of Your Life and Others—the basis for the Academy Award –nominated film Arrival—comes a groundbreaking new collection of short fiction: nine stunningly original, provocative, and poignant stories. These are tales that tackle some of humanity’s oldest questions along with new quandaries only Ted Chiang could imagine. In “The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate,” a portal through time forces a fabric seller in ancient Baghdad to grapple with past mistakes and second chances. In “Exhalation,” an alien scientist makes a shocking discovery with ramifications that are literally universal. In “Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom,” the ability to glimpse into alternate universes necessitates a radically new examination of the concepts of choice and free will.

Including stories being published for the first time as well as some of his rare and classic uncollected work, Exhalation is Ted Chiang at his best: profound, sympathetic—revelatory.




Kathryn Scanlan, “AUG 9–FOG” w/ Amina Cain

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction by skylightbooks on June 20th, 2019

Fifteen years ago, Kathryn Scanlan found a stranger’s five-year diary at an estate auction in a small town in Illinois. The owner of the diary was eighty-six years old when she began recording the details of her life in the small book, a gift from her daughter and son-in-law. The diary was falling apart―water-stained and illegible in places―but magnetic to Scanlan nonetheless. 

After reading and rereading the diary, studying and dissecting it, for the next fifteen years she played with the sentences that caught her attention, cutting, editing, arranging, and rearranging them into the composition that became Aug 9―Fog (she chose the title from a note that was tucked into the diary). “Sure grand out,” the diarist writes. “That puzzle a humdinger,” she says, followed by, “A letter from Lloyd saying John died the 16th.” An entire state of mourning reveals itself in “2 canned hams.” The result of Scanlan’s collaging is an utterly compelling, deeply moving meditation on life and death.

 In Aug 9Fog, Scanlan’s spare, minimalist approach has a maximal emotional effect, remaining with the reader long after the book ends. It is an unclassifiable work from a visionary young writer and artist—a singular portrait of a life revealed by revision and restraint.

Scanlan is in conversation with Amina Cain,  the author most recently of the short story collection Creature, out with Dorothy.




Maria Hummel, “STILL LIVES” w/ Rebecca Morse

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction by skylightbooks on June 19th, 2019

Kim Lord is an avant-garde figure, feminist icon, and agent provocateur in the L.A. art scene. Her groundbreaking new exhibition Still Lives is comprised of self-portraits depicting herself as famous, murdered women—the Black Dahlia, Chandra Levy, Nicole Brown Simpson, among many others—and the works are as compelling as they are disturbing, implicating a culture that is too accustomed to violence against women. As the city’s richest art patrons pour into the Rocque Museum’s opening night, all the staff, including editor Maggie Richter, hope the event will be enough to save the historic institution’s flailing finances.

Except Kim Lord never shows up to her own gala. Fear mounts as the hours and days drag on and Lord remains missing. Suspicion falls on the up-and-coming gallerist Greg Shaw Ferguson, who happens to be Maggie’s ex. A rogue’s gallery of eccentric art world figures could also have motive for the act, and as Maggie gets drawn into her own investigation of Lord’s disappearance, she’ll come to suspect all of those closest to her.

Set against a culture that often fetishizes violence, Still Lives is a page-turning exodus into the art world’s hall of mirrors, and one woman’s journey into the belly of an industry flooded with money and secrets.

Hummel is in conversation with Rebecca Morse, curator in the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.




Sarah Pinsker, “SOONER OR LATER EVERYTHING FALLS INTO THE SEA” w/ Rebecca Roanhorse

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, fiction, Short Stories, sci-fi by skylightbooks on June 7th, 2019

Sooner or Later Everything Falls into the Sea is one of the most anticipated SF&F collections of recent years. Sarah Pinsker has shot like a star across the firmament with stories multiply nominated for awards as well as Sturgeon and Nebula award wins.

The baker's dozen stories gathered here (including a new, previously unpublished story) turn readers into travelers to the past, the future, and explorers of the weirder points of the present. The journey is the thing as Pinsker weaves music, memory, technology, history, mystery, love, loss, and even multiple selves on generation ships and cruise ships, on highways and high seas, in murder houses and treehouses. They feature runaways, fiddle-playing astronauts, and retired time travelers; they are weird, wired, hopeful, haunting, and deeply human. They are often described as beautiful but Pinsker also knows that the heart wants what the heart wants and that is not always right, or easy.

Pinsker is in conversation with Rebecca Roanhorse, a Nebula and Hugo Award-winning speculative fiction writer and the recipient of the 2018 Campbell Award for Best New Writer. 




Xuan Juliana Wang, “HOME REMEDIES” w/ Justin Torres

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, Short Stories by skylightbooks on June 6th, 2019

With evocative writing and impressive range, Xuan Juliana Wang captures the heartbeat of this generation, the Chinese millennial, in Home Remedies. Creative, ambitious, messy and often reckless, Wang’s unforgettable characters are on a quest for every kind of freedom—artistic, familial, individual, sexual, psychological. A pair of synchronized divers at the Beijing Olympics have trained together, living and moving as one body, for half their lives, only to discover themselves through divergence. A Chinese-American student in Paris unwittingly becomes the fashion world’s next “it” girl. An immigrant father attempts to understand his fully American daughter through the logic of algorithms. A group of artists drift through Beijing in search of something—meaning, their next muse, the next thrill.

These are stories of lives on the cusp of change: people who are testing the limits of who they are, who they wish they were, and who they will one day be; in a world that is as vast and changing as their ambitions. Above all, these are sharp stories about the brand new face of Chinese youth, around the world, from an exceptionally talented literary writer.

Wang is in conversation with Justin Torres, author of We the Animals.





« Older episodes ·