Archive for literature

CHRISTA FAUST AND GARY PHILLIPS READ FROM THEIR COMIC PEEPLAND

Posted in literature, los angeles, book stores, books, Comics/Graphic Novels, Crime, New York by skylightbooks on April 17th, 2018

Times Square, 1986: the home of New York’s red light district where strip clubs, porno theatres and petty crime prevails. 

When a chance encounter for Peepbooth worker Roxy Bell leads to the brutal murder of a public access pornographer, the erotic performer and her punk rock ex-partner Nick Zero soon find themselves under fire from criminals, cops, and the city elite, as they begin to untangle a complex web of corruption leading right to city hall.

Like The Naked City, there are eight million stories in The Deuce. This is one of them.

Praise for Peepland 

 "Don’t let the bright lights in PEEPLAND’s pages fool you into thinking this story is sweet. This graphic novel is rife with pain, suffering and death. There are some moments of rightful justice, tender warmth, and laugh-out-loud humor. PEEPLAND is a story that I would not hesitate to call beautiful. However, it’s not for the faint of heart. This story is surprisingly honest, realistic and harsh in how it handles the fate of its characters. Writers Christa Faust and Gary Phillips, along with artist Andrea Camerini, craft a beautiful work of art together. So, cash in your token and sit down. You’re about to read something you won’t forget."--Mya Nunnelly, Comicverse 

Gary Phillips has published various crime novels, short stories, edited anthologies, written comics and radio scripts and whatever else he can to forestall his appointment at the crossroads.

Christa Faust a hardboiled crime writer who has worked in the Times Square peep booths, as a professional dominatrix, and in the adult film industry both behind and in front of the cameras. Born and raised in NYC, she is now living as an ex-pat in La La Land. 

 

Event date: 
Wednesday, August 2, 2017 - 7:30pm
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RYAN GATTIS READS FROM HIS NEW NOVEL SAFE

Posted in literature, los angeles, book stores, books, Crime by skylightbooks on April 16th, 2018

A gritty, fast-paced thriller, Safe hurtles readers toward a shocking conclusion that asks the toughest question of all: how far would you go to protect the ones you love?

Ricky 'Ghost' Mendoza, Jr. is trying to be good. In recovery and working as a freelance safecracker for the DEA, the FBI, and any other government agency willing to pay him, Ghost is determined to live clean for the rest of his days. And maybe he could, if the most important person in his life hadn't gotten into serious financial trouble. To fix it, all Ghost has to do is crack a safe and steal drug money from under the noses of the gangs and the Feds without getting caught. Or killed.

Rudy 'Glasses' Reyes runs drugs and cleans up messes for the baddest of bad men. When Ghost hits one of his safes, Glasses must hunt him down or be held accountable. But Glasses is worried about more than just money. The heist puts everything in his life at risk--his livelihood, his freedom, even his family.

Ryan Gattis is the author of Kung Fu High School and All Involved, a novel about the 1992 L.A. riots. He lives in Los Angeles.

Event date: 
Tuesday, August 1, 2017 - 7:30pm
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ADITI KHORANA READS FROM HER NEW NOVEL THE LIBRARY OF FATES

Posted in literature, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on April 10th, 2018

A romantic coming-of-age fantasy tale steeped in Indian folklore, perfect for fans of The Star-Touched Queen and The Wrath and the Dawn.

No one is entirely certain what brings the Emperor Sikander to Shalingar. Until now, the idyllic kingdom has been immune to his many violent conquests. To keep the visit friendly, Princess Amrita has offered herself as his bride, sacrificing everything—family, her childhood love, and her freedom—to save her people. But her offer isn't enough.

The palace is soon under siege, and Amrita finds herself a fugitive, utterly alone but for an oracle named Thala, who was kept by Sikander as a slave and managed to escape amid the chaos. With nothing and no one else to turn to, Amrita and Thala are forced to rely on one another. But while Amrita feels responsible for her kingdom and sets out to warn her people, the newly free Thala has no such ties. She encourages Amrita to go on a quest to find the fabled Library of All Things, where it is possible for each of them to reverse their fates. To go back to before Sikander took everything from them. 

Stripped of all that she loves, caught between her rosy past and an unknown future, will Amrita be able to restore what was lost, or does another life—and another love—await?

Praise for The Library of Fates:

"[R]ich, beautiful worldbuilding and thought-provoking questions on the power of experience, stories, and fate..."—Kirkus Reviews

"Khorana's dazzling second book features a sweeping quest, sumptuous romance and complex heroines. This is the kind of book that lingers in your dreams."—Roshani Chokshi, New York Times bestselling author of The Star-Touched Queen

"The Library of Fates transported me to a magical kingdom where troubled oracles, irreverent goddesses, and megalomaniacal kings battle for control of love and fate. With a rich, real mythology and a stunning twist, it's basically everything I ever wanted in a book."—Heidi Heilig, author of The Girl from Everywhere

“I was swept away by this unique, tantalizing tale. The Library of Fates spins a spell that breaks the heart and utterly enchants. An essential addition to any library—magical or not.”—Jessica Khoury, author of the Corpus Trilogy and The Forbidden Wish

Aditi Khorana spent part of her childhood in India, Denmark and New England. She has a degree in International Relations from Brown University and an MA in Global Media and Communications from the Annenberg School for Communication. She has worked as a journalist at ABC News, CNN, and PBS, and most recently as a marketing executive consulting for various Hollywood studios including FOX, Paramount and SONY.  Mirror in the Sky is her first novel. Her second book, Library of Fates, a feminist historical fantasy set in fictional ancient India, about a louche misogynistic dictator overthrowing a tiny, idyllic kingdom and the women who must wrench it back from him is out July, 2017.

Event date: 
Sunday, July 30, 2017 - 5:00pm
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TAMARA SHOPSIN DISCUSSES HER GRAPHIC MEMOIR ARBITRARY STUPID GOAL

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, Greenwich Village, New York Memoir, Memoir by skylightbooks on April 7th, 2018

In Arbitrary Stupid Goal, Tamara Shopsin takes the reader on a pointillist time-travel trip to the Greenwich Village of her bohemian 1970s childhood, a funky, tight-knit small town in the big city, long before Sex and the City tours and luxury condos. The center of Tamara’s universe is Shopsin’s, her family’s legendary greasy spoon, aka “The Store,” run by her inimitable dad, Kenny—a loquacious, contrary, huge-hearted man who, aside from dishing up New York’s best egg salad on rye, is Village sheriff, philosopher, and fixer all at once. All comers find a place at Shopsin’s table and feast on Kenny’s tall tales and trenchant advice along with the incomparable chili con carne.

Filled with clever illustrations and witty, nostalgic photographs and graphics, and told in a sly, elliptical narrative that is both hilarious and endearing, Arbitrary Stupid Goal is an offbeat memory-book mosaic about the secrets of living an unconventional life, which is becoming a forgotten art.

Praise for Arbitrary Stupid Goal

Arbitrary Stupid Goal is a completely riveting world—when I looked up from its pages regular life seemed boring and safe and modern like one big iPhone. This book captures not just a lost New York but a whole lost way of life.” —Miranda July

“Tamara Shopsin's illustrations are instantly recognizable: economical, seemingly simple and straightforward, but always working on a few different levels. Tamara the person is similar: quiet but charming and warm and tough and determined. Now it turns out her prose is the same way: funny and playful but revealing, and making us see the world we thought we knew with fresh eyes.” —Christoph Niemann, author of I Lego N.Y.

“Tamara Shopsin’s new memoir is hilarious. Just in like the West Village itself, you zigzag along on a fun adventure, never knowing who you are going to meet. What a fun read!” —Amy Sedaris

“Tamara Shopsin’s memoir is a funny and absorbing portrait of the city in a grubbier, less corporate incarnation. If you believe, as she does—and I do—that New York is, ‘matter-of-fact, the best place on earth,’ then read this book. And if you don’t believe that, after you read this book, you will.” —Roz Chast

"[Shopsin] weaves a marvelous patchwork quilt of stories about a Manhattan that doesn’t exist anymore . . [Arbitrary Stupid Goal is] an artistic ode to a way of life that people now living in New York City might never experience." —Publishers Weekly (Pick of the Week, Starred Review)

"A warm evocation of a quirky life and exuberant times." —Kirkus

"Deeply nostalgic but not at all mawkish, Shopsin’s supremely charming and affecting memoir of growing up in a pre-gentrified Greenwich Village will enchant fans of restaurant lore and postwar New York historyalike. In short, impressionistic chapters illustrated with photos, ephemera, and Shopsin’s own adorably insouciant line drawings, the book conjures a vanished bohemia without any hint of the irritating pedantry that dogs so many of its kind. Shopsin’s parents—familiar to fans of the writer Calvin Trillin and those who’ve seen the documentary I Like Killing Flies—opened Shopsin’s General Store in 1973 and turned it into a restaurant shortly thereafter, one beloved by local weirdos, celebrities, models, artists, and everyone in between. Shopsin, who still works there sometimes, recalls her unconventional childhood and those who shaped it with considerable warmth; she pays special attention to her dad’s late friend, Willy, an outsize personality whom Shopsin cares for in his dotage. Gumball machines, meat slicers, Nazi bunkers, and pancake methodologies all make cameo appearances, much to the reader’s delight.— Eugenia Williamson, Booklist

Tamara Shopsin is a well-known cook at the distinctly New York City eatery Shopsin's, a New York Times and New Yorkerillustrator, and the author of 5 Year Diary and What Is This?, as well as the coauthor of This Equals That and Mumbai New York Scranton. She lives in New York City with her husband.

Event date: 
Thursday, July 27, 2017 - 7:30pm
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BOOKWOMEN SPEAK: WNBA CENTENNIAL VISIONARIES SERIES FEATURING JADE CHANG, NATASHIA DEON AND LISA MECHAM

Posted in literature, los angeles, book stores, books, WNBA, Women's National Book Association by skylightbooks on March 30th, 2018

In honor of Women’s National Book Association’s 2017 centennial anniversary, WNBA/LA is proud to present: Bookwomen Speak: WNBA Centennial Visionaries Series Jade Chang and Natashia Deón In Conversation with Lisa Mecham.

Writer, poet, and literary enthusiast Lisa Mecham will engage critically acclaimed authors Jade Chang (The Wangs vs. The World) and Natashia Deón (Grace) in a discussion on writing, stories, and community and inclusion in literary spaces. All are welcome to attend.

​​ABOUT WOMEN'S NATIONAL BOOK ASSOCIATION, LOS ANGELES CHAPTER: Women's National Book Association, Los Angeles is a nonprofit organization that promotes literacy and supports the role of women in the book community. WNBA/LA brings together individuals with diverse backgrounds to share knowledge of the book industry and to support local reading initiatives. ​www.wnba-books.org/la

Event date: 
Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 7:30pm
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RICHARD LANGE READS FROM HIS NEW NOVEL THE SMACK

Posted in literature, los angeles, book stores, books, Reno by skylightbooks on March 30th, 2018

Rowan Petty is a conman down on his luck. He's flat broke, living out of cheap hotels, and wondering how it all went wrong. His car quits on him in Reno, and he takes a job there on the bottom rung of a lousy phone scam. When he's not swindling lonely widows, he tries to turn nickels into dimes at the poker table. One snowy night, he crosses paths with a sweet-talking hooker who's tired of the streets, and sparks fly.

When an old friend of his turns up spreading a rumor about two million dollars in army money smuggled out of Afghanistan and stashed in an apartment in Los Angeles, it seems like a chance at the score of a lifetime. So Petty and the hooker head south, and straight into trouble. A wounded vet, a washed-up actor, and Petty's estranged daughter are all players in the dangerous game they find themselves caught up in. For the winner: a fortune. For the loser: a bullet to the head.

Praise for Richard Lange

"Lange writes of the disaffections and bewilderments of ordinary lives with as keen an anger and searing lyricism as anybody out there today. He is Raymond Carver reborn in a hard cityscape. Read him and be amazed." -- T.C. Boyle, author of The Harder They Come

"When you find yourself rooting for the killer in a grisly crime novel, you know you're in the hands of a real writer. Every character feels like flesh and bone."-- Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review

"Lange is incapable of creating a character that isn't memorable. Even the most minor are indelibly sketched.... The zone where literary fiction meets genre fiction is a crowded borderland these days. Lange proves himself comfortable on both sides of the line."-- Antoine Wilson, Los Angeles Times

"Richard Lange is a natural-born storyteller."-- Ron Rash, author of Above the Waterfall

"Make all the comparisons you like-Cormac McCarthy, Dennis Lehane, Martin Scorsese-but Richard Lange is a force of his own, the high standard for crime fiction." -- Benjamin Percy, author of Red Moon, The Wilding, andRefresh, Refresh

"Lange stands out as the greatest young crime writer of his generation, precisely because he doesn't write crime - he writes literature." -- Jerry Stahl, author of Permanent Midnight and Bad Sex on Speed

"The Smack just might be Mr. Lange's best yet, and that's saying something. His Los Angeles tableau of concrete and graffiti and neon is as sharp as razor wire. The characters are authentic down to the bone, the dialogue pitch-perfect believable, the desperation palpable, the situation urgent, the story riveting. Simply put, The Smack wallops you upside the head with its bad-ass-ness."-- Tom Cooper, author of The Marauders

"If Elmore Leonard and Dennis Cooper collaborated on a novel, they might produce something as exciting, harrowing and emotionally powerful as The Smack. Call it a literary thriller or call it thrilling literature--Richard Lange is emerging as the master of a new kind of novel: One that delivers breathless, gripping action while anchored in the authentic troubles of the real world. The Smack arrives like a genuine miracle--that rare thriller that will jack your pulse even as it breaks your heart."-- Adam Sternbergh, author of Shovel Ready

"The Smack is much more than a crime novel. It is a novel about life itself. The secret to great writing isn't just to observe. It's to create a world that readers understand at least as well as they do their own. Richard Lange has accomplished this, and more. His sensitivity and pacing are reminiscent of Raymond Carver, Charles Willeford, and Jim Thompson." -- Gerald Petievich, author of To Live and Die in L.A. and The Sentinel

"It's hard to imagine Richard Lange wasn't, in some previous life, a hustler from Reno with a girlfriend named Tinafey he met on a professional date who goes to LA to steal a fortune from a one-legged soldier home from Afghanistan and a host of other terrifying individuals. The characters are real and satisfying, the relationships will warm your heart and break it at the same time. The Smack is convincing, hectic and terrific fun."-- Joe Ide, author of IQ

Event date: 
Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 7:30pm
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PAUL MADONNA DISCUSSES HIS BOOK ON TO THE NEXT DREAM

Paul Madonna's popular comic, "All Over Coffee" had been running for twelve years in the San Francisco Chronicle when he was evicted from his longtime home and studio in the Mission District, ground-zero in the "tech wars" transforming the city. Suddenly finding himself yet another victim of San Francisco's overheated boomtown housing market, with its soaring prices and rampant evictions, Madonna decided to use his comic as a cathartic public platform to explore the experience, and to capture the complex, highly charged atmosphere of a city—and a life—being forced through a painful transition.

In a series of drawings and stories, Madonna evokes the sense of vertigo induced by being forced from his home, and the roil of emotions that ensue as he enters into the city's brutal competition for a place to live. The line between reality and surreality begins to blur almost immediately, in real life and in his comic. Absurd, maddening, and all-too-poignant, these drawings and stories capture the spirit of not just San Francisco, but a cultural epidemic that has now spread to cities around the world.

Praise for On to the Next Dream:

"For years I've been intrigued and charmed by Paul Madonna's careful and thoughtful drawings of overlooked nooks and by-ways of San Francisco. In his new book he now combines them with manic, delirious, and increasingly paranoid writings as he struggles with the all-consuming City dilemma of gentrification; of who came first, who gets to stay, which wave of usurpers is more 'real' and deserving than the next, and finally, what happens when someone decides it's your turn to go. Beautiful and engaging."—Sandow Birk, visual artist

"Madonna has created a kind of San Francisco Realism, details so absurd, cruel, and beautiful that they can only come from our infuriating home. If Charlie Kaufman squatted in an illegal sublet in Armistead Maupin's mind, this would be the lovely tenant."—Joshua Mohr, author of All This Life

"Paul Madonna's On to the Next Dream is bleak, terrifying, hilarious and lovely."—MariNaomi, author and illustrator of Turning Japanese

"Simply delightful. I really don't like much out there, I really don't, but On to the Next Dream I couldn't put down. It was sharp, clever, honest, and maybe the funniest book on eviction ever written."—New Yorker cartoonist and New York Times bestselling author, Bob Eckstein, Footnotes from the World's Greatest Bookstores

Paul Madonna is a San Francisco-based artist and writer. He is the creator of the comic series "All Over Coffee" and the author of two books, All Over Coffee and Everything is its own reward. His drawings and stories have appeared in numerous books and journals as well as galleries and museums, including the San Francisco Contemporary Jewish Museum and the Oakland Museum of California.

Event date: 
Wednesday, July 19, 2017 - 7:30pm
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JENNIFER BRODY DISCUSSES HER NEW YOUNG ADULT NOVEL THE UNITED CONTINUUMS, WITH ELIZABETH BRIGGS AND XACH FROMSON

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Y/A, Young Adult, Sci-Fi/Fantasy by skylightbooks on March 27th, 2018

In the epic conclusion to the award-winning Continuum Trilogy, Aero leads a group insurgents from the Second Continuum to overthrow his rival Supreme General Vinick and unite his space colony’s military forces, while Seeker takes on a secret mission back to her home colony to reinforce Earth's defenses and protect the First Continuum against an even greater threat. Meanwhile, Myra’s nightmares have become a reality as the Dark Thing hurtles toward Earth with designs on eradicating the planet’s fledgling populace. The only thing standing in the way are the three Carriers and those who would join them to fight against a second coming of the Doom.

Praise for The United Continuums

"Dystopian done right! Jennifer Brody takes readers on an incredible journey filled with new worlds, life altering decisions, and the human spirit's need to persevere. Fast paced and brilliantly written! Five stars!"—Kelly Anne Blount, USA Today bestselling author

"Wow. Jennifer Brody has done it again, creating another spectacular read that had me on the edge of my seat—I simply couldn't turn the pages fast enough! The United Continuums is a breath-taking and satisfying conclusion to The Continuum Trilogy, packed to the brim with characters of great emotional depth, stunning world-building, and beautiful writing. A must-read for science fiction fans. Brody is now one of my auto-buy authors."—Madeline Dyer, author of the Untamed series

"Jennifer Brody just keeps getting better and better! Packed with non-stop action and a sweeping, intricate world, The United Continuums delivers a satisfying conclusion to a sci-fi adventure that you don't want to miss."—Pintip Dunn, New York Times bestselling author of Forget Tomorrow

Jennifer Brody’s award-winning novel The 13th Continuum sold in a 3-book deal and is being packaged into a feature film. The book is a Gold Medal Winner (Young Adult – Sci-Fi/Fantasy) from the Independent Publisher‘s Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards. Return of the Continuums and The United Continuums complete this epic trilogy. She is a graduate of Harvard University, a creative writing instructor at the Writing Pad, and a volunteer mentor for the Young Storytellers Foundation. After studying film at Harvard University, she began her career in Hollywood. Highlights include working on The Lord of the Rings films and The Golden Compass. Find her online at http://www.jenniferbrody.com/.

Elizabeth Briggs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Future Shock trilogy and the Chasing The Dream series. She graduated from UCLA with a degree in Sociology and has worked for an international law firm, mentored teens in writing, and volunteered with dog rescue groups. Now she's a full-time geek who lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a pack of fluffy dogs. Find her online at www.elizabethbriggs.net.

Xach Fromson is a Los Angeles native who has been obsessed with horror and dark fiction from a very young age. After a brief and ill-advised attempt at being a theater major, he received his BA in Creative Writing from California State University Northridge in 2009. He earned his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California Riverside’s Palm Desert program. He appeared on stage at Dirty Laundry Lit in February, 2013, and has a short story in the anthology Halloween Tales, out in 2014. He is currently in various stages of working on a ton of projects. Asking him his favorite book will earn you as blank a stare as asking him his favorite wine or whiskey. And once, he slew a dragon. Find him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @_mythogenesis_.

Event date: 
Sunday, July 16, 2017 - 5:00pm
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ZINZI CLEMMONS READS FROM HER DEBUT NOVEL WHAT WE LOSE

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on March 23rd, 2018

From an author of rare, haunting power, a stunning novel about a young African-American woman coming of age--a deeply felt meditation on race, sex, family, and country. 

Raised in Pennsylvania, Thandi views the world of her mother's childhood in Johannesburg as both impossibly distant and ever present. She is an outsider wherever she goes, caught between being black and white, American and not. She tries to connect these dislocated pieces of her life, and as her mother succumbs to cancer, Thandi searches for an anchor--someone, or something, to love. In arresting and unsettling prose, we watch Thandi's life unfold, from losing her mother and learning to live without the person who has most profoundly shaped her existence, to her own encounters with romance and unexpected motherhood. Through exquisite and emotional vignettes, Clemmons creates a stunning portrayal of what it means to choose to live, after loss. An elegiac distillation, at once intellectual and visceral, of a young woman's understanding of absence and identity that spans continents and decades, What We Lose heralds the arrival of a virtuosic new voice in fiction.

Praise for What We Lose

"Penetratingly good and written in vivid still life, What We Lose reads like a guided tour through a melancholic Van Gogh exhibit--wonderfully chromatic, transfixing and bursting with emotion. Zinzi Clemmons's debut novel signals the emergence of a voice that refuses to be ignored." --Paul Beatty, author of The Sellout 

"An intimate narrative that often makes another life as believable as your own." --John Edgar Wideman, author of Writing to Save a Life 

"The narrator of What We Lose navigates the many registers of grief, love and injustice, moving between the death of her mother and the birth of her son, as well as an America of blacks and whites and a South Africa of Coloreds. What an intricate mapping of inner and outer geographies! Clemmons's prose is rhythmically exact and acutely moving. No experience is left unexamined or unimagined." --Margo Jefferson, author of Negroland 

"Zinzi Clemmons' first book heralds the work of a new writer with a true and lasting voice--one that is just right for our complicated millennium. Bright and filled with shadows, humor, and trenchant insights into what it means to have a heart divided by different cultures, What We Lose is a win, just right for the ages." --Hilton Als, author of White Girls 

"I love how Zinzi Clemmons complicates identity in What We Lose. Her main character is both South African and American, privileged and outsider, driven by desire and gutted by grief. This is a piercingly beautiful first novel." --Danzy Senna, author of New People 

"It takes a rare, gifted writer to make her readers look at day-to-day aspects of the world around them anew. Zinzi Clemmons is one such writer.What We Lose immerses us in a world of complex ideas and issues with ease. Clemmons imbues each aspect of this novel with clear, nuanced thinking and emotional heft. Part meditation on loss, part examination of identity as it relates to ethnicity, nationality, gender and class, and part intimate look at one woman's coming of age, What We Lose announces a talented new voice in fiction." --Angela Flournoy, author of The Turner House 

"Wise and tender and possessed of a fiercely insightful intimacy, What We Lose is a lyrical ode to the complexities of race, love, illness, parenthood, and the hairline fractures they leave behind. Zinzi Clemmons has gifted the reader a rare and thoughtful emotional topography, a map to the mirror regions of their own heart." --Alexandra Kleeman, author of You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine 

Zinzi Clemmons was raised in Philadelphia by a South African mother and an American father. She is a cofounder and former publisher of Apogee Journal, a contributing editor to Literary Hub, and deputy editor for Phoneme Media. Her writing has appeared in Zoetrope, The Paris Review Daily, Transition, and the Common. She has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Bread Loaf, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, and the Kimbilio Center for African American Fiction. Clemmons lives in Los Angeles with her husband.

Event date: 
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 - 7:30pm
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VICTORIA REDEL DISCUSSES HER NOVEL BEFORE EVERYTHING, WITH SETH GREENLAND

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on March 21st, 2018

Before Everything is a celebration of friendship and love between a group of women who have known each another since they were girls. They’ve faced everything together, from youthful sprees and scrapes to mid-life turning points. Now, as Anna, the group’s trailblazer and brightest spark, enters hospice, they gather to do what they’ve always done—talk and laugh and help each other make choices and plans, this time in Anna’s rural Massachusetts home. Helen, Anna’s best friend and a celebrated painter, is about to remarry. The others face their own challenges—Caroline with her sister’s mental health crisis; Molly with a teenage daughter’s rebellion; Ming with her law practice—dilemmas with kids and work and love. Before Everything is as funny as it is bittersweet, as the friends revel in the hilarious mistakes they’ve seen each another through, the secrets kept, and adventures shared. But now all sense of time has shifted, and the pattern of their lives together takes on new meaning. The novel offers a brilliant, emotionally charged portrait, deftly conveying the sweep of time over everyday lives, and showing how even in difficult endings, gifts can unfold. Above all it is an ode to friendship, and to how one person shapes the journeys of those around her.

Praise for Before Everything 

“Gorgeous, a heartbreaker, a non-stop dazzler, a major achievement. Thank you, Victoria Redel.”—Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Hours

“Before Everything is a riveting, timely story that explores  the unsettlingly beautiful and emotionally-charged landscape that is revealed  when old friends embrace what they have never before admitted: the limits of mortality and the boundlessness of friendship.”—Ruth Ozeki, bestselling author of A Tale for the Time Being 
 
“Victoria Redel bears witness to a remarkable group of women, effortlessly weaving back and forth through time, each thread revealing the cracks and secrets of their complex lives, while also drawing them closer. . . . Redel proves that female friendship is the quiet, steady engine that truly runs the world.”—Hannah Tinti, bestselling author of The Good Thief

Before Everything is, well, everything you want a novel about life, death, and friendship to be—smart, moving, sweeping, poetic, stinging, just beautiful. I loved these women (and their men) and this elegy to their long-reaching bonds.”—Dani Shapiro, author of Slow MotionDevotion: A Memoir, and Still Writing

Victoria Redel is the critically acclaimed author of four previous works of fiction and three collections of poetry. Her debut novel, Loverboy, was named one of the best books of the year by the Los Angeles Times and won the Sister Mariella Gable Prize from Graywolf Press and the Forward Silver Literary Fiction Prize. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts and has contributed to The New York Times, theLos Angeles TimesElleO, the Oprah MagazineGrantaOne Story, and the Harvard Review. She received her MFA in poetry from Columbia University and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.

Seth Greenland is a novelist, an award-winning playwright, and a screenwriter. He is the author of the novels I Regret Everything, The Angry Buddhist, The Bones, and Shining City, which was named a Best Book by the Washington Post. He was a writer-producer on the Emmy-nominated HBO seriesBig Love and executive produced the film, No Pay, Nudity. Until recently he was the co-host of the LARB Radio Hour on KPFK. Born in New York City, Greenland currently lives with his wife in Los Angeles. www.SethGreenland.com

Event date: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - 7:30pm

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JANELLE BROWN READS FROM HER NEW NOVEL WATCH ME DISAPPEAR

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on March 17th, 2018

How well can you ever really know another person—even the woman that you sleep beside, night after night?

It's been a year since Billie Flanagan--a Berkeley mom with an enviable life--went on a solo hike in Desolation Wilderness and vanished from the trail. Her body was never found; just a shattered cellphone and a solitary hiking boot. Her husband and teenage daughter have been coping with Billie's death the best they can: Jonathan drinks as he works on a loving memoir about his marriage; Olive grows remote, from both her father and her friends at the all-girls school she attends. But then Olive starts having strange visions of her mother, still alive. Jonathan worries about Olive's emotional stability, until he starts unearthing secrets from Billie's past that bring into question everything he thought he understood about his wife. Who was the woman he knew as Billie Flanagan? 

Together, Olive and Jonathan embark on a quest for the truth--about Billie, but also about themselves, learning in the process about all the ways that love can distort what we choose to see. Janelle Brown's insights into the dynamics of intimate relationships will make you question the stories you tell yourself about the people you love, while her nervy storytelling will keep you guessing until the very last page. 

Praise for Watch Me Disappear

"Clever and compelling, this ricocheting tale reveals that even in the closest families, how little we know of the ones we love, and how our own secrets are often the hardest to bear, can cost us dearly in the end." --Lisa Gardner, author of Right Behind You 

"Tantalizing and twisty, Watch Me Disappear is both a spider's web of a thriller and a moving exploration of the deeper mysteries of marriage and family. You won't be able to put it down, but you won't forget it either." --Megan Abbott, author of You Will Know Me 

"A riveting, seductive read about the secret, protected places within even the most intimate relationships . . . Janelle Brown has written a novel that provokes thought as her story twists and turns. I loved it." --Sara Gruen, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants 

"Watch Me Disappear is at once a riveting page-turner and a thoughtful meditation on what it means to know other people--and ourselves." --Edan Lepucki, New York Times bestselling author of Woman No. 17 and California 

"I devoured Watch Me Disappear in one sitting. In this poignant and captivating story of a missing woman and the family she left behind, Brown deftly peels away the layers of a loving marriage to reveal a haunting mystery and a devastating truth: that no matter how much you love someone, you can never truly know them." --Laura McHugh, author of The Weight of Blood and Arrowood

"The real magic of Watch Me Disappear is Brown's gift for evoking familial love in all its mad permutations--and the more intensely for the high stakes of what has been taken, and what is yet to be found. This is a story you simply don't want to end--but then, lord, what an ending!" --Tim Johnston, author of Descent

Janelle Brown is the New York Times bestselling author of All We Ever Wanted Was Everything and This Is Where We Live. An essayist and a journalist, she has written for Vogue, The New York Times, Elle, Wired, Self, the Los Angeles Times, Salon, and numerous other publications. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their two children.

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LITERARY PACHANGA PRESENTS JESUS TREVINO, ALICIA GASPAR DE ALBA AND CHRISTINE GRANADOS

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on March 15th, 2018

Literary Pachanga showcases three Chicano authors. Skylight Books will host a trio of authors to celebrate Southern California’s ties to the Ellis Island of the West – El Paso, Texas.

Chicano writers Jesús Treviño, Alicia Gaspar de Alba and Christine Granados will read from their collective works.

All artists were born or raised in El Paso, Texas and two (Treviño and de Alba) make their home in Southern California.

Jesús Salvador Treviño is writer/director whose television directing credits include Criminal Minds, Law & Order Criminal Intent and many others. He has written, directed and produced several PBS documentaries about Latinos. Trevino’s latest effort is a video website showcasing Latino history, art, music, theater, literature, cinema and food. He will read from his most recent collection of short stories Return to Arroyo Grande which was published in 2015 and won the 2016 American Book Award.

Alicia Gaspar de Alba, a native of the El Paso/Juárez border has published 11 books, among them award-winning novels and collections of poetry and short fiction. Since 1994, she has been a professor of Chicana/o Studies, English, and Gender Studies at UCLA, and is currently Chair of the LGBTQ Studies program. She will read from Calligraphy of the Witch published by St. Martin’s Press in 2007, released in paperback by Arte Público Press in 2012.

Christine Granados has been a Spur Award finalist and received Sandra Cisneros’ literary prize the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation Award in 2006 for her first book of fiction Brides and Sinners in El Chuco, published by the University of Arizona Press and her stories have been in many anthologies. She will read from and discuss her second book, a novella and short stories about strong Mexican American women who live along the border, titled Fight Like a Man and Other Stories We Tell Our Children.

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CHELSEA MARTIN DISCUSSES CACA DOLCE WITH MIRA GONZALEZ

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on December 6th, 2017

Caca Dolce: Essays from a Lowbrow Life (Soft Skull Press)

From a cult favorite and indie-press bestseller who has been called “the preeminent chronicler of Internet-age malaise” (Lena Dunham) and “an exquisite original” (Chloe Caldwell), a candid, tender, and very funny book about relationships, class, art, sex, money, and family.

In a fresh, subversive voice that charts her trajectory from a dead-end California town to a burgeoning career as an author and illustrator, cult favorite Chelsea Martin returns with her debut essay collection, Caca Dolce: Essays from a Lowbrow LIfe. Blending the poignant wit of David Sedaris in his bestseller Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim with the feminist candor of Melissa Broder’s So Sad Today and Jessi Klein’s You’ll Grow Out of It, CACA DOLCE is a book about relationships, class, art, sex, money, and family—and about growing up weird, and poor, in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Chelsea examines her varied experiences: as an eleven-year- old atheist, trying to will an alien visitation to her neighborhood; fighting with her stepfather and grappling with a Tourette’s diagnosis as she becomes a teenager; falling under the sway of frenemies and crushes in high school; going into debt to afford what might be a meaningless education at an expensive art college; navigating the messy process of falling in love with a close friend; and struggling for independence from her emotionally manipulative father and her hometown family and friends.

Praise for Caca Dolce:

“Martin’s honest writing exists above the confines of fear and social norms. She is a breath of pure oxygen in a literary environment that often shies away from female grit. . . her writing is sweaty, uncomfortable, and enchanting. She taps into the consciousness of her past selves with precision and care, respecting the integrity and desires of those younger women. A sure hit for fans of Sara Benincasa’s Agorafabulous! and Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl.” —Booklist (starred review)

“A wild ride of a memoir, and a true glimpse into the mind of an artist as she’s figuring out what life is all about.” —Nylon

“Martin, a writer who’s earned a cult following with her books Mickey and Even Though I Don’t Miss You, turns to nonfiction in her debut essay collection, bringing her irreverent voice to tales of childhood, crushes, art school and the California town she grew up in where people just can’t seem to leave.” —Huffington Post

“The arc of growing self-awareness lends the story both gravity and an odd appeal.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Deeply human—it’s a lonely book that made me feel less alone.” —Melissa Broder, author of So Sad Today

“I highly enjoyed Caca Dolce—a weird, funny, moving, complex memoir that’s excitingly like if Diane Williams edited a 500-page novel down to 200 pages.” —Tao Lin, author of Taipei

“Chelsea Martin is one of the best American writers alive. Savage and sharp, tender and hilarious, Martin’s Caca Dolce is a book like she’s never written before. You’ll only think one thing after reading it. Chelsea Martin can do anything.” —Scott McClanahan, author of The Sarah Book

“Chelsea Martin delivers neon electric jolts of reality in deadpan perfection. Refreshing, hilarious, self-deprecating, as far from pretentious as you can get.” —Molly Brodak, author of Bandit

“I’m probably not Chelsea Martin’s biggest fan because I’m sure she has legitimate stalkers, but I’m way up there. Gold, gold I tell ya.” —Mary Miller, author of The Last Days of California

“If David Sedaris were younger, hipper, and had once subscribed to Cat Fancy, he might write like this.”—Elizabeth Ellen, author of Person/a

Chelsea Martin is the author of Everything Was Fine Until Whatever;The Really Funny Thing About ApathyEven Though I Don’t Miss You, which was named one of the Best Indie Books of 2013 by Dazed magazine; and Mickey. Her work has appeared in publications including Buzzfeed, Hobart, Lenny Letter, Vice, and Catapult, and chosen as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2016. She is a comic artist and illustrator and the creative director of Universal Error and currently lives in Washington State.

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FRAN KRAUSE DISCUSSES HIS NEW COMIC THE CREEPS

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on December 6th, 2017

The Creeps (Ten Speed Press)

A follow-up to the New York Times best-selling Deep Dark Fears: a second volume of comics based on people’s quirky, spooky, hilarious, and terrifying fears. 

Illustrator, animator, teacher, and comic artist Fran Krause has touched a collective nerve with his wildly popular web comic series–and subsequent New York Times best-selling book–Deep Dark Fears. Here he brings readers more of the creepy, funny, and idiosyncratic fears they love illustrated in comic form–such as the fear that your pets will tell other animals all your embarrassing secrets, or that someone uses your house while you’re not home–as well as two longer comic short-stories about ghosts.

Fran Krause is an animator and cartoonist. He is currently a teacher in the character animation program at CalArts, creator of several cartoons, and the creator of the Deep Dark Fears webcomic series and book.

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DAVID ROCKLIN READS FROM HIS NEW NOVEL THE NIGHT LANGUAGE

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on December 6th, 2017

The Night Language (Rare Bird Books)

The Night Language tells the story of a young man, Prince Alamayou of Abyssinia (present day Ethiopia), who is taken from his home and the Abyssinian war to the court of Queen Victoria—a world he knows nothing about.

With him is Philip Layard, a young apprentice to one of the doctors on the battlefield in Abyssinia, who becomes Alamayou's guardian, only friend, and eventually, the love of his life. When Parliament accuses Alamayou of murder, the young prince is sentenced to return to Abyssinia, where he will be executed.

His only hope comes from the very thing that cannot be uttered: the unexpected and forbidden love between Alamayou and Philip.

Inspired by true events, The Night Language is a unique novel of love, loss, and the consequences of repressive societies.

Praise for The Night Language

"The Night Language is a rare achievement: lush language and classic storytelling with a contemporary feel that renders its history palpable. It is also a love letter to the artist, the outcast, the othered. Keep it by your bedside, read it in the early hours—it will not fail to inspire you."
Garrard Conley, author of Boy Erased

"Not since Michael Ondaatje’s The English Patient have I read a novel in which a character—the story and skinsong of Alamayou—has haunted language, history, and heart so intensely. David Rocklin's novel The Night Language is a book of longing. Longing for history to unravel and retell itself around those whose buried voices and bodies truly mattered, longing for time to reverse and make decolonization possible, power giving way to intimacy, longing for art to bring a body back home, longing for language to unmoor itself and bring us back to life. If you read one novel this year, let it be The Night Language. It is still possible for a reader’s heart to be broken back open." 
Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Book of JoanThe Small Backs of Children, and The Chronology of Water

"The Night Language is a postcard sent from a lost time and place but postmarked today. As he surveys the crisscross borders of gender and race in a troubled past, David Rocklin draws a line around the heart of our troubled present: the price of war, the privilege of wealth, the poison of xenophobia. Also: the wordless power of love. The shadows of two black men, an African prince and a British apprentice, dance together out of a forgotten history right into the here and now."
Martin Pousson, author of Black Sheep Boy

David Rocklin is the author of The Luminist and the founder/curator of Roar Shack, a monthly reading series in Los Angeles. He was born and raised in Chicago and now lives in LA with his wife, daughters, and a 150 lb Great Dane who seriously needs to stay on his own bed. He’s currently at work on his next novel, The Electric Love Song of Fleischl Berger.

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