Archive for literature

Alvin Orloff, “DISASTERAMA!” w/ Trebor Healy

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Addie Tsai, “DEAR TWIN” w/ C.B. Lee

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, Y/A, Young Adult, LGBTQ by skylightbooks on November 25th, 2019

Poppy wants to go to college like everyone else, but her father has other ideas. Ever since her mirror twin sister, Lola, mysteriously vanished, Poppy’s father has been depressed and forces her to stick around. She hopes she can convince Lola to come home, and perhaps also procure her freedom, by sending her twin a series of eighteen letters, one for each year of their lives.
 
When not excavating childhood memories, Poppy is sneaking away with her girlfriend Juniper, the only person who understands her. But negotiating the complexities of queer love and childhood trauma are anything but simple. And as a twin? That’s a whole different story.

Dear Twin author Addie Tsai is in conversation with C.B. Lee, a Lambda Literary Award nominated writer of young adult science fiction and fantasy.




Jung Young Moon, “SEVEN SAMURAI SWEPT AWAY IN A RIVER”

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

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




Dan Goldman, “CHASING ECHOES”

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, Comics/Graphic Novels by skylightbooks on November 20th, 2019

Malka, the black sheep of her family, learns that her relatives are making a decades-in-the-planning pilgrimage to their grandfather's pre-Holocaust home in Poland...and she wasn't invited. After guilt-tripping herself a ticket as the self-appointed "Keeper of the Family Archives," it becomes clear that everyone's brought more baggage than just their suitcases.

Chasing Echoes is a heartfelt tale about dysfunctional family dynamics, the ghosts of war and what brings us back together. 




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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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




Molly Lambert, Geoff Dyer and Tosh Berman discuss “I USED TO BE CHARMING: THE REST OF EVE BABITZ”

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, nonfiction, essays, journalism, biography by skylightbooks on November 1st, 2019

Eve Babitz knew everyone, tried everything (at least once), and was never shy about sharing her thoughts on any subject, be it sex, weight loss, drug use, or her ambivalence toward New York City. From the 1970s through the 1990s, Babitz wrote on a wild variety of topics for some of the biggest publications around, from Esquire to Vogue to The New York Times Book ReviewI Used to Be Charming brings together this nonfiction work. All previously uncollected, these pieces range from sharp personal essays on body image and the male gaze to playful meditations on everything from ballroom dancing to kissing to perfume. There are breathtaking celebrity profiles, too. In one, Nicolas Cage takes her for a ride in his '67 Stingray and in another she dishes about dragging Jim Morrison to bed before the Doors had even settled on a band name ("Jim was embarrassing because he wasn't cool, but I still loved him," she writes). In another essay, the author ponders her earliest days in the spotlight, posing nude with Marcel Duchamp, and in another, the never-before-published title essay, she writes about the tragic accident that compelled her to leave that spotlight behind forever.




Aziza Barnes, “THE BLIND PIG” w/ Yesika Salgado

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, LGBTQ, novels, queer by skylightbooks on October 30th, 2019

the blind pig is an afro surrealist excavation of a gender queer blk millennial’s formal introduction to their ancestral point of Mecca and No Return; the American South. In essayistic prose, this book weaves and unbraids the synapses of a blk American falling in and out of time.

Author Aziza Barnes is in conversation with Yesika Salgado, a Los Angeles based Salvadoran poet who writes about her family, her culture, her city, and her brown body.




Jen Wang, “STARGAZING”

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

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

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

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

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




DRAWING POWER Discussion

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

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

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




Annalee Newitz, “THE FUTURE OF ANOTHER TIMELINE” w/ Sean Carroll

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, fiction, novels, sci-fi by skylightbooks on October 8th, 2019

In a modern-day United States just a step away from our own, time travel is possible – in fact, it has existed for as long as humanity itself. Jumping into the past is simple, and scientists say that altering the timeline is almost impossible. But Tess, an idealistic geology professor, has figured out how to use time travel to try to undo a horrible injustice in the past whose effects are still being felt in her own time. Meanwhile, in 1992, teenage riot grrl Beth’s ordinary life is about to become a tangle of toxic friendship and murder. And across the timeline, a secret war is brewing as a group of men attempt to destroy time travel. If they succeed, only a small elite will have the power to shape past, present, and future. Tess and Beth are part of this hidden war that stretches back millions of years. But with the help of unlikely allies from times past and times yet to come, they may be able to save each other—and build a different future.

The Future of Another Timeline author Annalee Newitz is in conversation with Sean Carroll, Research Professor of theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology.




Zenobia Neil, “THE QUEEN OF WARRIORS”

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction by skylightbooks on October 7th, 2019

Alexandra of Sparta vowed her sword and her heart to the goddess Artemis. And the goddess blessed her. But no warrior lives at peace, and soon, Alexandra loses her title, her troops, and all she holds dear, including the man who holds her heart.

Cursed by a Babylonian witch, she is forced to return to a city she once conquered to make amends, but is captured by the powerful Persian rebel, Artaxerxes. As his prisoner, she awaits judgment for her crimes. But Artaxerxes is not what he seems. With death approaching, Alexandra must face her violent past and discover the truth of her captor’s identity before it’s too late.




Carolina De Robertis, “CANTORAS”

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, LGBTQ, novels by skylightbooks on October 2nd, 2019

In 1977 Uruguay, a military government has crushed political dissent with ruthless force. In an environment where citizens are kidnapped, raped, and tortured, homosexuality is a dangerous transgression. And yet Romina, Flaca, Anita "La Venus," Paz, and Malena--five cantoras, women who "sing"--somehow, miraculously, find one another and then, together, discover an isolated, nearly uninhabited cape, Cabo Polonio, which they claim as their secret sanctuary. Over the next thirty-five years, their lives move back and forth between Cabo Polonio and Montevideo, the city they call home, as they return, sometimes together, sometimes in pairs, with lovers in tow, or alone. And throughout, again and again, the women will be tested--by their families, lovers, society, and one another--as they fight to live authentic lives. 

A genre-defining novel and Carolina De Robertis's masterpiece, Cantoras is a breathtaking portrait of queer love, community, forgotten history, and the strength of the human spirit




Susan Steinberg, “MACHINE” w/ Sarah Manguso

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, fiction, novels by skylightbooks on September 23rd, 2019

Susan Steinberg’s first novel, Machine, is a dazzling and innovative leap forward for a writer whose most recent book, Spectacle, gained her a rapturous following. Machine revolves around a group of teenagers—both locals and wealthy out-of-towners—during a single summer at the shore. After a local girl drowns, the narrator tries to piece together what happened and struggles to find mooring in the aftermath. In formally daring prose, Steinberg captures the violence of desire and its reverberations. The restless rhythm of the novel propels a sharply drawn narrative that ferociously interrogates gender, class, privilege, and the disintegration of identity in the shadow of trauma. Machine is the kind of novel--relentless and bold--that only Susan Steinberg could have written. 

Steinberg is in conversation with Sarah Manguso, the author of seven books including OngoingnessThe Guardians, and The Two Kinds of Decay.





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