Archive for literature

LIVE ON CROWDCAST: Wayne Koestenbaum, “FIGURE IT OUT” w/ Maggie Nelson

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, essays, LGBTQ by skylightbooks on July 8th, 2020

In his new nonfiction collection, poet, artist, critic, novelist, and performer Wayne Koestenbaum enacts twenty-six ecstatic collisions between his mind and the world. A subway passenger’s leather bracelet prompts musings on the German word for “stranger”; Montaigne leads to the memory of a fourth-grade friend’s stinky feet. Wayne dreams about a handjob from John Ashbery, swims next to Nicole Kidman, reclaims Robert Rauschenberg’s squeegee, and apotheosizes Marguerite Duras as a destroyer of sentences. He directly proposes assignments to readers: “Buy a one-dollar cactus, and start anthropomorphizing it. Call it Sabrina.” “Describe an ungenerous or unkind act you have committed.” “Find in every orgasm an encyclopedic richness . . . Reimagine doing the laundry as having an orgasm, and reinterpret orgasm as not a tiny experience, temporally limited, occurring in a single human body, but as an experience that somehow touches on all of human history.” Figure It Out is both a guidebook for, and the embodiment of, the practices of pleasure, attentiveness, art, and play.

Koestenbaum is in conversation with Maggie Nelson, author of nine books of poetry and prose, including the National Book Critics Circle Award winner The ArgonautsThe Art of Cruelty: A ReckoningBluetsThe Red Parts, and Jane: A Murder.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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

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




LIVE ON CROWDCAST: Rosalie Knecht, “VERA KELLY IS NOT A MYSTERY” w/ Amy Stewart

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, mystery by skylightbooks on July 3rd, 2020

When ex-CIA agent Vera Kelly loses her job and her girlfriend in a single day, she reluctantly goes into business as a private detective. Heartbroken and cash-strapped, she takes a case that dredges up dark memories and attracts dangerous characters from across the Cold War landscape. Before it’s over, she’ll chase a lost child through foster care and follow a trail of Dominican exiles to the Caribbean. Forever looking over her shoulder, she nearly misses what’s right in front of her: her own desire for home, connection, and a new romance at the local bar.

In Vera Kelly is Not a Mystery, the exciting second installment of the Vera Kelly series, Rosalie Knecht challenges and deepens the Vera we love: a woman of sparkling wit, deep moral fiber, and martini-dry humor who knows how to follow a case even as she struggles to follow her heart.

The “splendid genre-pushing” (People) Vera Kelly series returns in full force as our recently out-of-the-spy-game heroine travels from Brooklyn to a sprawling countryside estate in the Caribbean in her first case as a private investigator.

Knecht is joined in conversation by Amy Stewart, best-selling author of the Kopp Sisters series, which are based on the true story of one of America’s first female deputy sheriffs and her two rambunctious sisters.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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

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




LIVE ON CROWDCAST: Tom Rastrelli, “CONFESSIONS OF A GAY PRIEST” w/ Janet Finch

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Memoir, religion, LGBTQ, biography, queer by skylightbooks on July 3rd, 2020

Tom Rastrelli is a survivor of clergy-perpetrated sexual abuse who then became a priest in the early days of the Catholic Church’s ongoing scandals. Confessions of a Gay Priest divulges the clandes­tine inner workings of the seminary, providing an intimate and unapologetic look into the psychosexual and spiritual dynamics of celibacy and lays bare the “formation” system that perpetuates the cycle of abuse and cover-up that continues today. 

Under the guidance of a charismatic college campus minister, Rastrelli sought to reconcile his homosexuality and childhood sexual abuse. When he felt called to the priesthood, Rastrelli be­gan the process of “priestly discernment.” Priests welcomed him into a confusing clerical culture where public displays of piety, celibacy, and homophobia masked a closeted underworld in which elder priests preyed upon young recruits. 

Rastrelli is in conversation with Janet Finch, author of White Oleander and teacher of fiction writing.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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

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




LIVE ON CROWDCAST: Sara Sligar and Amy Jo Burns

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on July 1st, 2020

Skylight Events are now on Crowdcast!

Our Crowdcast debut features Sara Sligar (Take Me Apart) and Amy Jo Burns (Shiner) in conversation, discussing their respective books.

Take Me Apart by Sara Silgar

A young archivist’s obsession with her subject’s mysterious death threatens to destroy her fragile grasp on sanity, in a riveting debut novel of psychological suspense

When the famed photographer Miranda Brand died mysteriously at the height of her career, it sent shock waves through Callinas, California. Decades later, old wounds are reopened when her son, Theo, hires the ex-journalist Kate Aitken to create an archive of his mother’s work.

From Miranda’s vast maze of personal effects, Kate pieces together a portrait of a vibrant artist buckling under the pressures of ambition, motherhood, and marriage. As the summer progresses, Kate navigates vicious local rumors and her growing attraction to the enigmatic Theo, all while unearthing the shocking details of Miranda’s private life. But Kate has secrets of her own, and when she stumbles across a diary that may finally resolve the mystery of Miranda’s death, her curiosity starts to spiral into a dangerous obsession.

Shiner by Amy Jo Burns

On a lush mountaintop trapped in time, two women vow to protect each other at all costs-and one young girl must defy her father to survive.

An hour from the closest West Virginia mining town, fifteen-year-old Wren Bird lives in a cloistered mountain cabin with her parents. They have no car, no mailbox, and no visitors-except for her mother’s lifelong best friend. Every Sunday, Wren’s father delivers winding sermons in an abandoned gas station, where he takes up serpents and praises the Lord for his blighted white eye, proof of his divinity and key to the hold he has over the community, over Wren and her mother. 

But over the course of one summer, a miracle performed by Wren’s father quickly turns to tragedy. As the order of her world begins to shatter, Wren must uncover the truth of her father’s mysterious legend and her mother’s harrowing history and complex bond with her best friend. And with that newfound knowledge, Wren can imagine a different future for herself than she has been told to expect. 

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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

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




LIVE ON ZOOM: “OBJECT LESSONS” Group Reading

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, essays by skylightbooks on June 29th, 2020

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.

Our readers are Dinah Lenney, Steve Mentz, Steven E. Jones, Rolf Halden, and Erik Anderson.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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

 




LIVE ON ZOOM: Yuri Herrera, “A SILENT FURY” w/ John Gibler

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on June 27th, 2020

We're taking a break from producing Handsell episodes for a bit, so we're going to give you guys an extra Skylit episode to get you through the weekend!

On March 10, 1920, in Pachuca, Mexico, the Compañía de Santa Gertrudis — the largest employer in the region, and a subsidiary of the United States Smelting, Refining and Mining Company — may have committed murder. 

The alert was first raised at six in the morning: a fire was tearing through the El Bordo mine. After a brief evacuation, the mouths of the shafts were sealed. Company representatives hastened to assert that “no more than ten” men remained inside the mineshafts, and that all ten were most certainly dead. Yet when the mine was opened six days later, the death toll was not ten, but eighty-seven. And there were seven survivors.

A century later, acclaimed novelist Yuri Herrera has reconstructed a workers’ tragedy at once globally resonant and deeply personal: Pachuca is his hometown. A Silent Fury is an act of restitution for the victims and their families, bringing his full force of evocation to bear on the injustices that suffocated this horrific event into silence.

Herrera is in conversation with John Gibler, author of TORN FROM THE WORLD

 

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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




LIVE ON ZOOM: Bethany C. Morrow, “A SONG BELOW WATER” w/ Mark Oshiro

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Y/A, Young Adult, Fantasy, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on June 26th, 2020

Bethany C. Morrow's A Song Below Water is the story for today’s readers — a captivating modern fantasy about black mermaids, friendship, and self-discovery set against the challenges of today's racism and sexism. In a society determined to keep her under lock and key, Tavia must hide her siren powers.

Meanwhile, Effie is fighting her own family struggles, pitted against literal demons from her past. Together, these best friends must navigate through the perils of high school’s junior year. But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice at the worst possible moment.

Soon, nothing in Portland, Oregon, seems safe. To save themselves from drowning, it’s only Tavia and Effie’s unbreakable sisterhood that proves to be the strongest magic of all.

Morrow is in conversation with Mark Oshiro, the author of Anger is a Gift.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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




Pedro Jiménez & Matthew Gleeson, “EARTHLY DAYS BY JOSÉ REVUELTAS”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, translated, novels, Mexico, latinx by skylightbooks on June 24th, 2020

Publisher Pedro Jiménez and translator Matthew Gleeson get together to discuss the first-ever English translation of José Revueltas's "most accomplished and controversial novel," Earthly Days.

Like Joyce, Revueltas allows the reader to view the inner depths of his characters; like Proust, he meticulously examines memories, thoughts, and feelings; like Dostoyevsky, he focuses his gaze on the darkest passages of the soul; like Sartre, he dwells on the nausea of existence; and like Simone de Beauvoir, he reflects on the possibility of a new woman, leftist and liberated. Revueltas preceded writers of the Latin American boom such as Cort zar, Garc a M rquez, and even Juan Rulfo, authors who achieved the reputation and fame that Revueltas was denied. If one may have differences with his style or ideology, the structure of the book is impeccable. Each chapter is a perfect story, woven together by an Ariadne-like thread that unites all parts. To conceptually define the book, I would have to coin the oxymoronic term "existentialist Marxism," because Revueltas never ceased to be a disciple of Marx; nevertheless, his vision of humanity is brutally negative and ferocious. In a world bereft of God, all that was left for him to describe was our earthly days, "atrocious human life.




LIVE ON ZOOM: Meredith Talusan, “FAIREST” w/ Amber Tamblyn

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Memoir, transgender, LGBTQ, biography, trans by skylightbooks on June 22nd, 2020

Fairest is a memoir about a precocious boy with albinism, a “sun child” from a rural Philippine village, who would grow up to become a woman in America. Coping with the strain of parental neglect and the elusive promise of U.S. citizenship, Meredith Talusan found childhood comfort from her devoted grandmother, a grounding force as she was treated by others with special preference or public curiosity. As an immigrant to the United States, Talusan came to be perceived as white. An academic scholarship to Harvard provided access to elite circles of privilege but required Talusan to navigate through the complex spheres of race, class, sexuality, and her place within the gay community.

She emerged as an artist and an activist questioning the boundaries of gender. Talusan realized she did not want to be confined to a prescribed role as a man, and transitioned to become a woman, despite the risk of losing a man she deeply loved. Throughout her journey, Talusan shares poignant and powerful episodes of desirability and love that will remind readers of works such as Call Me By Your Name and Giovanni’s Room. Her evocative reflections will shift our own perceptions of love, identity, gender, and the fairness of life.

Talusan is joined in conversation by Amber Tamblyn, an Emmy and Golden globe nominated actress, writer, director, and the author of six books.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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




Handsell, Ep. 11, “Juneteenth & Lambda Lit’s William Johnson”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Handsell by skylightbooks on June 20th, 2020

Happy belated Juneteenth everyone! Mick and Maddie are joined by Yves to talk about the holiday and give an update on Skylight's new browsing policy. Later, Maddie interviews Lambda Literary's Deputy Director, William Johnson.

What We're Reading:

Maddie: Luster by Raven Leilani

Mick: Beloved by Toni Morrison

Yves: Whore Foods by L.A. Warman

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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




Jean Kyoung Frazier, “PIZZA GIRL”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on June 17th, 2020

In the tradition of audacious and wryly funny novels like The Idiot and Convenience Store Woman comes the wildly original coming-of-age story of a pregnant pizza delivery girl who becomes obsessed with one of her customers.**

Eighteen years old, pregnant, and working as a pizza delivery girl in suburban Los Angeles, our charmingly dysfunctional heroine is deeply lost and in complete denial about it all. She's grieving the death of her father (whom she has more in common with than she'd like to admit), avoiding her supportive mom and loving boyfriend, and flagrantly ignoring her future.

Her world is further upended when she becomes obsessed with Jenny, a stay-at-home mother new to the neighborhood, who comes to depend on weekly deliveries of pickled-covered pizzas for her son's happiness. As one woman looks toward motherhood and the other toward middle age, the relationship between the two begins to blur in strange, complicated, and ultimately heartbreaking ways.

Bold, tender, propulsive, and unexpected in countless ways, Jean Kyoung Frazier's Pizza Girl is a moving and funny portrait of a flawed, unforgettable young woman as she tries to find her place in the world.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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




Tess Taylor, “RIFT ZONE” w/ Stephanie Danler

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, poetry by skylightbooks on June 15th, 2020

Tess Taylor’s previous book of poetry, Work & Days, was named one of the best books of poetry of 2016 by the New York Times. Now, with her extraordinary new collection, Rift Zone, Taylor presents her most powerful and timely work yet. Rift Zone shows a critically acclaimed poet—known to many as the on-air Poetry Reviewer for NPR’s “All Things Considered”—at work on a one-of-a-kind endeavor, mapping a California and a country at the brink. Addressing issues of gun violence, homelessness, and climate change, Taylor reveals the fault lines, literal and figurative, in her Northern California hometown and our country as a whole. At the same time, Rift Zone is a deeply intimate and tender book about parenting, specifically about becoming a parent in a fraught time.

Taylor is in conversation with novelist, memoirist, and screenwriter Stephanie Danler.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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




Handsell, Ep. 10, “Harry Potter Alternatives & Anji Williams”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Fantasy, Hardcore/Punk, Handsell by skylightbooks on June 13th, 2020

For the tenth episode of the Handsell, Mick & Maddie talk about an incredibly busy week in the world, including J.K. Rowling's controversial comments. Maddie handsells Ursula K. Le Guin's stellar Earthsea series for people who are looking for a new, more inclusive fantasy series. 

Our main event is a fantastic conversation with Anji Williams, founder of nonprofit Punk Rock Marthas. Don't miss it!

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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




Harry Dodge, “MY METEORITE”

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Memoir, art, biography by skylightbooks on June 12th, 2020

Is love a force akin to gravity? A kind of invisible fabric which enables communications through space and time? Artist Harry Dodge finds himself contemplating such questions as his father declines from dementia and he rekindles a bewildering but powerful relationship with his birth mother. A meteorite Dodge orders on eBay becomes a mysterious catalyst for a reckoning with the vital forces of matter, the nature of consciousness, and the bafflements of belonging.

Structured around a series of formative, formidable coincidences in Dodge’s life, My Meteorite journeys with stylistic bravura from Barthes to Blade Runner, from punk to Pale Fire. It is a wild, incandescent book that creates a literary universe of its own. Blending the personal and the philosophical, the raw and the surreal, the transgressive and the heartbreaking, Harry Dodge revitalizes our world, illuminating the magic just under the surface of daily life.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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




LIVE ON ZOOM: Tin House Poetry Night

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, poetry by skylightbooks on June 8th, 2020

Join us for the best reading in all of time and space, featuring the poets of Tin House: Jenny Zhang, Tommy Pico, Morgan Parker and Khadijah Queen!

Find their works on the Event Page, here.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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





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