Archive for literature

SKYLIT: Shugri Said Salh, ”THE LAST NOMAD”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Memoir, nonfiction, skylit by skylightbooks on September 13th, 2021
Born in Somalia, a spare daughter in a large family, Shugri Said Salh was sent at age six to live with her nomadic grandmother in the desert. The last of her family to learn this once-common way of life, Salh found herself chasing warthogs, climbing termite hills, herding goats, and moving constantly in search of water and grazing lands with her nomadic family. For Salh, though the desert was a harsh place threatened by drought, predators, and enemy clans, it also held beauty, innovation, centuries of tradition, and a way for a young Sufi girl to learn courage and independence from a fearless group of relatives. Salh grew to love the freedom of roaming with her animals and the powerful feeling of community found in nomadic rituals and the oral storytelling of her ancestors.

As she came of age, though, both she and her beloved Somalia were forced to confront change, violence, and instability. Salh writes with engaging frankness and a fierce feminism of trying to break free of the patriarchal beliefs of her culture, of her forced female genital mutilation, of the loss of her mother, and of her growing need for independence. Taken from the desert by her strict father and then displaced along with millions of others by the Somali Civil War, Salh fled first to a refugee camp on the Kenyan border and ultimately to North America to learn yet another way of life.

Readers will fall in love with Salh on the page as she tells her inspiring story about leaving Africa, learning English, finding love, and embracing a new horizon for herself and her family. Honest and tender, The Last Nomad is a riveting coming-of-age story of resilience, survival, and the shifting definitions of home.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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

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




SKYLIT: Camille Roy, ”HONEY MINE” w/ Michelle Tea

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, LGBTQ, skylit by skylightbooks on September 8th, 2021
A content warning for this episode: discussions of sexual assault and incest.
 
Honey Mine unfolds as both excavation and romp, an adventure story that ushers readers into a lesbian writer's coming of age through disorienting, unsparing, and exhilarating encounters with sex, gender, and distinctly American realities of race and class. From childhood in Chicago's South Side to youth in the lesbian underground, Roy's politics find joyful and transgressive expression in the liberatory potential of subculture. Find here, in these new, uncollected and out-of-print fictions by a master of New Narrative, a record of survival and thriving under conditions of danger.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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

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




SKYLIT: Margret Grebowicz, ”MOUNTAINS AND DESIRE”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, nature, skylit by skylightbooks on September 5th, 2021
Today the question "why do this?" is included in nearly every mountaineering story or interview. Meanwhile, interest in climbing is steadily on the rise, from commercial mountaineering and climbing walls in university gyms and corporate workplaces to the flood of spectacular climbing imagery in advertising, cinema, and social media. Climbing has become the theater for imagining limits—of the human body and of the planet— and the nature of desire, motivation, and #goals.

Covering the degradation of Everest, the banning of climbing on Australia’s Uluru, UNESCO’s decision to name alpinism an Intangible Cultural Heritage, the sudden death of Ueli Steck, and the commercial and critical success of Free Solo, Mountains and Desire chases after what remains of this pursuit – marred by its colonial history, coopted by nationalistic chauvinism, ableism, and the capitalist compulsion to unlimited growth – for both climbers and their fans.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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

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




SKYLIT: Alix Ohlin, ”WE WANT WHAT WE WANT”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, Short Stories, skylit by skylightbooks on August 31st, 2021
Populated with imperfect families, burned potential, and inescapable old flames, the thirteen stories in Alix Ohlin's We Want What We Want are, each one, diamond-sharp--sparkling with pain, humor, and beauty.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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

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




SKYLIT: Keenan Norris, “THE CONFESSION OF COPELAND CANE” w/ Tongo Eisen-Martin

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on August 25th, 2021
Copeland Cane V, the child who fell outta Colored People Time and into America, is a fugitive... He is also just a regular teenager coming up in a terrifying world. A slightly eccentric, flip-phone loving kid with analog tendencies and a sideline hustling sneakers, the boundaries of Copeland's life are demarcated from the jump by urban toxicity, an educational apparatus with confounding intentions, and a police state that has merged with media conglomerates--the highly-rated Insurgency Alert Desk that surveils and harasses his neighborhood in the name of anti-terrorism.
 
Recruited by the nearby private school even as he and his folks face eviction, Copeland is doing his damnedest to do right by himself, for himself. And yet the forces at play entrap him in a reality that chews up his past and obscures his future. Copeland's wry awareness of the absurd keeps life passable, as do his friends and their surprising array of survival skills. And yet in the aftermath of a protest rally against police violence, everything changes, and Copeland finds himself caught in the flood of history.
 
Set in East Oakland, California in a very near future, The Confession of Copeland Cane introduces us to a prescient and contemporary voice, one whose take on coming of age in America becomes a startling reflection of our present moment.
 
Author Keenan Norris is in conversation with Tongo Eisen-Martin.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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

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




SKYLIT: Nawaaz Ahmed, “RADIANT FUGITIVES” w/ Natashia Deón

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on August 21st, 2021
Working as a consultant for Kamala Harris’s attorney general campaign in Obama-era San Francisco, Seema has constructed a successful life for herself in the West, despite still struggling with her father’s long-ago decision to exile her from the family after she came out as lesbian. Now, nine months pregnant and estranged from the Black father of her unborn son, Seema seeks solace in the company of those she once thought lost to her: her ailing mother, Nafeesa, traveling alone to California from Chennai, and her devoutly religious sister, Tahera, a doctor living in Texas with her husband and children. 
 
But instead of a joyful reconciliation anticipating the birth of a child, the events of this fateful week unearth years of betrayal, misunderstanding, and complicated layers of love—a tapestry of emotions as riveting and disparate as the era itself.
 
Told from the point of view of Seema’s child at the moment of his birth, and infused with the poetry of Wordsworth and Keats and verses from the Quran, Radiant Fugitives is a moving tale of a family and a country grappling with acceptance, forgiveness, and enduring love.
 
Author Nawaaz Ahmed discusses Radiant Fugitives with Natashia Deón.
 
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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

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




SKYLIT: Benjamin Hedin, “UNDER THE SPELL” w/ Maaza Mengiste

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on August 20th, 2021
Under the Spell is the first novel by Benjamin Hedin, a dazzling new voice in American fiction. Newly widowed Sandra is searching her husband’s email for financial information when she discovers a correspondence between him and a woman named Ryan. Rather than simply sharing the news of the death, Sandra, who is shocked and hungry for details, instead impersonates her husband as she writes back to Ryan. This bold course of action will expose the secrets and solitude within her marriage, prompting her to reconsider everything she once held dear.
 
Unmoored and seeking connection, Sandra also meets Lee, a single mother with a drinking problem, and begins babysitting her daughter. But Sandra can’t stop herself from continuing the correspondence with Ryan, in the process uncovering more about her husband—and Ryan herself.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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

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




SKYLIT: Pedro Mairal, “THE WOMAN FROM URUGUAY” w/ Jennifer Croft

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, translated, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on August 17th, 2021
Lucas Pereyra, an unemployed writer in his forties, embarks on a day trip from Buenos Aires to Montevideo to pick up fifteen thousand dollars in cash. An advance due to him on his upcoming novel, the small fortune might mean the solution to his problems, most importantly the tension he has with his wife. While she spends her days at work and her nights out on the town-with a lover, perhaps, he doesn't know for sure-Lucas is stuck at home all day staring at the blank page, caring for his son Maiko and fantasizing about the one thing that keeps him going: the woman from Uruguay whom he met at a conference and has been longing to see ever since.

But that woman, Magalí Guerra Zabala, is a free spirit with her own relationship troubles, and the day they spend together in this beautiful city on the beach winds up being nothing like Lucas predicted. The constantly surprising, moving story of this dramatically transformative day in their lives, The Woman from Uruguay is both a gripping narrative and a tender, thought-provoking exploration of the nature of relationships. An international bestseller published in fourteen countries, it is the masterpiece from Pedro Mairal, one of the most original voices in Latin American literature today.

 
Mairal is in conversation with the translator of The Woman from Uruguay, Jennifer Croft.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski.

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

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




SKYLIT: Marissa Levien, “THE WORLD GIVES WAY”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, latinx, skylit by skylightbooks on August 11th, 2021
In fifty years, Myrra will be free.

Until then, she's a contract worker. Ever since she was five, her life and labor have belonged to the highest bidder on her contract—butchers, laundries, and now the powerful, secretive Carlyles.

But when one night finds the Carlyles dead, Myrra is suddenly free a lot sooner than she anticipated—and at a cost she never could have imagined. Burdened with the Carlyles' orphaned daughter and the terrible secret they died to escape, she runs. With time running out, Myrra must come face to face with the truth about her world—and embrace what's left before it's too late.

A sweeping novel with a darkly glimmering heart, The World Gives Way is an unforgettable portrait of a world in freefall, and the fierce drive to live even at the end of it all.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski

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

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




SKYLIT: Beth Morgan, “A TOUCH OF JEN”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on August 6th, 2021

Remy and Alicia, a couple of insecure  service workers, are not particularly happy together. But they are bound by a shared obsession with Jen, a beautiful former co-worker of Remy’s who now seems to be following her bliss as a globe-trotting jewelry designer. In and outside the bedroom, Remy and Alicia's entire relationship revolves around fantasies of Jen, whose every Instagram caption, outfit, and new age mantra they know by heart.

Imagine their confused excitement when they run into Jen, in the flesh, and she invites them on a surfing trip to the Hamptons with her wealthy boyfriend and their group. Once there, Remy and Alicia try (a little too hard) to fit into Jen’s exalted social circle, but violent desire and class resentment bubble beneath the surface of this beachside paradise, threatening to erupt. As small disturbances escalate into outright horror, we find ourselves tumbling with Remy and Alicia into an uncanny alternate reality, one shaped by their most unspeakable, deviant, and intoxicating fantasies.  Is this what “self-actualization” looks like?

Part millennial social comedy, part psychedelic horror, and all wildly entertaining, Beth Morgan's A Touch of Jen is a sly, unflinching examination of the hidden drives that lurk just outside the frame of our carefully curated selves.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski

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

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




SKYLIT: UC Riverside MFA Panel

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, books, writing, skylit by skylightbooks on July 31st, 2021
Join Rachel WillBridgette Bianca, Kyle Raymond Fitzpatrick, and Sarah LaBrie as they discuss life before, during, and after the MFA, as well the current state of their careers.
 
Co-hosted by the UC Riverside MFA program.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski

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

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




SKYLIT: Christina Catherine Martinez, “AESTHETICAL RELATIONS” w/ Isabel Slone

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Memoir, nonfiction, essays, skylit by skylightbooks on July 29th, 2021
AESTHETICAL RELATIONS is a constellation of essays on art, fashion, cancer, comedy, Los Angeles, and your mom. Christina Catherine Martinez whips elements of fiction and stand up material into bits and pieces addressing both the critical and personal; including how many times you may kiss an art-world acquaintance, the theoretical stakes of sexting, and why German performance art is quite like French clowning. AESTHETICAL RELATIONS is titled after Martinez's ongoing conceptual comedy talk show of the same name.
 
Martinez is in conversation with Isabel Slone.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski

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

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




SKYLIT: Joie Davidow, “AN UNOFFICIAL MARRIAGE” w/ Esmerelda Santiago

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, historical fiction, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on July 21st, 2021
Set against the backdrop of the tumultuous events of 19th century Europe, An Unofficial Marriage dramatizes the equally tumultuous real-life love affair of two great artists—the famous Russian author, Ivan Turgenev, and the celebrated French opera singer, Pauline Viardot. From the moment he encounters her on the St. Petersburg stage, Ivan falls completely for Pauline. Though Pauline returns his feelings, she is bound by her singular passion for her art and her devotion to her gentle, older husband, Louis. Nevertheless, Ivan pursues Pauline across countries and continents—from Russia to France to Germany to Prussia—and in the decades that follow their fateful meeting, the lives of Pauline, Ivan, and Louis remain permanently intertwined as the lovers face jealousy, separation, the French Revolution of 1848, the cholera epidemic of 1849, the Franco-Prussian War, Turgenev’s arrest in Russia, Louis’s heartbreak and resignation, and the highs and lows of their artistic careers. “You know those unofficial marriages,” Turgenev would write almost thirty years after meeting Pauline, “They sometimes turn out more poisonous than the accepted form.”
 
With beautiful and compelling prose and employing multiple perspectives, Joie Davidow (who herself has a background in opera) illuminates not only the interior lives of these two intensely passionate artists, but also the grand historic moments that Pauline and Ivan experienced and the celebrated figures who moved in their circles—including George Sand, Leo Tolstoy, Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, and Ary Scheffer—providing insight into the dynamic worlds of 19th century opera, literature, art, and politics. Epic in the tradition of the Russian writers whom we encounter, and as romantic and tragic as the operas that Pauline Viardot performs in, An Unofficial Marriage brings to life with great scope and great humanity this captivating story from the past and explores timeless questions about the relationship between art and passion and the complex workings of the human heart.
 
Davidow is in conversation with Esmerelda Santiago.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski

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

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




SKYLIT: Miriam Feldman, “HE CAME IN WITH IT” w/ Jen Pastiloff

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Memoir, nonfiction, biography, skylit by skylightbooks on July 19th, 2021

In an idyllic Los Angeles neighborhood, where generations of families enjoy deep roots in old homes, the O'Rourke family fits right in. Miriam and Craig are both artists and their four children carry on the legacy. When their teenage son, Nick, is diagnosed with schizophrenia, a tumultuous decade ensues in which the family careens permanently off the conventional course.

Like the ten Biblical plagues, they are hit by one catastrophe after another, violence, evictions, arrests, a suicide attempt, a near-drowning...even cancer and a brain tumor...play against the backdrop of a wild teenage bacchanal of artmaking and drugs. With no time for hand-wringing, Miriam advances, convinced she can fix everything, while a devastated Craig retreats to their property in rural Washington State as home becomes a battlefield.

It is while cleaning out a closet, that Miriam discovers a cache of drawings and journals written by Nick throughout his spiral into schizophrenia. She begins a solitary forensic journey into the lonely labyrinth of his mind.

This is the story of how mental illness unspools an entire family. As Miriam fights to reclaim her son from the ruthless, invisible enemy, we are given an unflinching view into a world few could imagine. It exposes the shocking shortfalls of our mental health system, the destructive impact of stigma, shame and isolation, and, finally, the falsity of the notion of a perfect family. Throughout the book, it is the family's ability to find humor in the absurdities of this life that saves them. It is a parable that illustrates the true definition of a good life, allowing for the blemishes and mistakes that are part of the universal human condition. He Came In With It is the legacy of, and for, her son Nick.

Author Miriam Feldman is in conversation with Jen Pastiloff.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski

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

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




SKYLIT: Emma Ramadan, “IN CONCRETE”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on July 17th, 2021

Garr ta's first novel in a decade, In Concrete, follows the mania that descends upon a family when the father finds himself in possession of a concrete mixer. As he seeks to modernize every aspect of their lives, disaster strikes when the younger sister is subsumed by concrete.

 

Through puns, wordplay, and dizzying verbal effect, Garr ta reinvents the novel form and blurs the line between spoken and written language in an attempt to confront the elasticity of communication.

 
Translator Emma Ramadan talks with Skylight's Mike Jeffrey about her experience translating Garr ta's work.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo, Lance Morgan, & Michael Kowaleski

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

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





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