Archive for literature

HENRIETTA ROSE-INNES LAUNCHES HER NEW NOVEL NINEVEH AND JULIE SHIGEKUNI LAUNCHES HER NOVEL IN PLAIN VIEW

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on April 2nd, 2017

Nineveh (Unnamed Press)                     In Plain View (Unnamed Press)

Join Skylight Books and Unnamed Press for a celebration of another year of fantastic independent literature and new novels by Henrietta Rose-Innes and Julie Shigekuni

Known throughout the world as one of the new voices of South African writing, Henrietta Rose-Innes is presenting her US debut, Nineveh, alongside Julie Shigekuni, whose brand new novel In Plain View takes readers from Los Feliz to Japan.

In Nineveh, Katya Grubbs, proprietor of Painless Pest Relocations, expertly wrangles every manner of wild critter, creature or beast with the help of her unwitting nephew, Toby. When she is hired to remove the exotic beetles that have overrun Nineveh, a new luxury housing development on the coast, Katya finds that bugs aren’t the only unwelcome creatures hiding in the new, and supposedly vacant, apartments. As she investigates further, it becomes clear that Nineveh is fast becoming an environmental, not to mention architectural, blunder. 

With marshlands encroaching on its borders, and the nearby seaside more menace than attraction, Katya becomes immersed in the world of Nineveh’s few residents—the mysterious caretakers and scavenger crews that survive in its shadow. It is only when her estranged father—a professional exterminator fallen on hard times—reappears in her life, that Nineveh’s deeper secrets are exposed.

Henrietta Rose-Innes is a South African writer based in Cape Town and currently based in Norwich, UK. Nineveh was shortlisted for the M-Net Literary Award and the Sunday Times Fiction Prize, and in 2015 (in French translation, Ninive) it won the François Sommer Literary Prize. She's previously published a collection of short stories, Homing, and the novels Green Lion, Shark's Egg and The Rock Alphabet. She was the winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2008. In 2012 her story “Sanctuary” came second in the BBC International Short Story Prize.
 

In In Plain view, Daidai befriends Satsuki, one of her husband Hiroshi’s graduate students who has recently arrived from Japan.  New to Los Angeles, Satsuki clings to her Japanese heritage and introduces Daidai, who is half-Japanese and raised in America, to many traditions. But soon, Satsuki is appearing at their home uninvited, and when news that Satsuki’s estranged mother has been found dead at a nearby monastery emerges, Daidai is suspicious of her new friend’s intentions.

Daidai begins to investigate the death of Satsuki’s mother—an apparent suicide, but Hiroshi is appalled, and Satsuki feels betrayed. To smoothe things over, Daidai accompanies Satsuki to Mito, Japan to visit her wealthy father. Daidai struggles to better comprehend Satsuki’s troubled past and dysfunctional family, and the trip proves increasingly disastrous. Rattled by the events, Satsuki moves in to Daidai and Hiroshi’s apartment and her dangerous and erratic behavior forces Daidai to uncover the secrets of Satsuki’s past. When Hiroshi is suddenly very seriously ill, Daidai finds herself in a fight to save not just her marriage but her husband’s life.

Julie Shigekuni is the author of four novels: A Bridge Between Us, Invisible Gardens, Unending Nora, and most recently In Plain View. Shigekuni was a finalist for the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award and the recipient of the PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature. She has received a Henfield Award and an American Japanese Literary Award for her writing. She teaches in the creative writing program at the University of New Mexico. 

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MEREDITH ALLING READS FROM HER DEBUT COLLECTION OF STORIES SING THE SONG WITH SIEL JU

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on April 2nd, 2017

Sing the Song (Future Tense Books)

After steadily garnering attention and gaining fans with her appearances in various magazines and websites, Meredith Alling comes out with her debut collection of stories, Sing the Song. For fans of writers like Diane Williams, Amy Hempel, Lydia Davis, Ben Marcus, and Amelia Gray, Alling’s debut will signal the arrival of a new unique voice in fiction. Featuring 27 stories in 100 pages, Alling’s collection is propulsive, dangerous, often funny, and powered by a language that wrestles with anxiety and the unexpected surrealism of modern life. With an ancient ham crawling out from a sewer to tell fortunes, a lone blonde at a party for redheads, and a mother outsmarting a masked criminal,Sing the Song bleeds and breathes with dreamlike surprise.

Meredith Alling lives and works in Los Angeles. Her short fiction has appeared in Tin House, No Tokens, The Fanzine, Spork, The Guardian, and elsewhere. 

Siel Ju's novel-in-stories, Cake Time, is the winner of the 2015 Red Hen Press Fiction Manuscript Award and will be published in April 2017. Siel is also the author of two poetry chapbooks. Her stories and poems appear in ZYZZYVA, The Missouri Review (Poem of the Week), The Los Angeles Review, Denver Quarterly, and other places.

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UC RIVERSIDE MFA STUDENTS READ FROM THEIR WORK

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on April 2nd, 2017

Please join us this afternoon as students in the University of California, Riverside Master of Fine Arts writing program will read from their work. Readers include Samantha Reid Avina, Kate Burns, Chloe Cole, Joshua Rigsby, Jason Schachat and Miranda Tsang

Samantha Reid Aviña is pursuing her MFA in Creative Nonfiction at UCR. Her writing is influenced by life, love, family, food, and secrets.

Kate Burns is a 2nd-year MFA candidate in fiction at UC Riverside.  She lives in Los Angeles. 
 
Chloe Cole has lived for many years on both coasts, and she prefers one over the other. She has written about fandom, feminism and flatulence for Dorkly, The Mary Sue, CollegeHumor and Reductress. She enjoys consuming true-crime media and buying the same striped shirt over and over again.
 
Joshua Rigsby grew up in the famous little town of Roswell, New Mexico. He enjoys writing about the history of tea (among other things). He does not believe in weather balloons.
 
Jason Schachat is a 2nd-year MFA candidate in the UCR Creative Writing program with a focus on fiction. He has worked as a journalist, editor, tutor, screenwriter, director, video game writer, and finder of stray shopping carts.
 
Miranda Tsang grew up in San Francisco. She teaches writing as a Gluck Fellow while in the MFA program at UC Riverside. Tsang has received support from Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, Bread Loaf Writers'
Conference, and Kearny Street Workshop. Her writing is published or forthcoming in The Offing, Lumen, and the HYSTERIA anthology. She is the Poetry Editor at SARR.
 

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DAVID FRANCIS DISCUSSES HIS NEW NOVEL WEDDING BUSH ROAD, WITH DAN SMETANKA

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on March 26th, 2017

Wedding Bush Road (Counterpoint) 

When he learns of his mother’s ailing health, Daniel Rawson must leave Los Angeles and travel half a world away to the family’s horse farm on Wedding Bush Road, one hundred miles outside of Melbourne. Estranged from his parents, Daniel is hesitant to revisit their history: long divorced, his mother still maintains the farm having put out her cheating, rakish husband, and even in these later years her anger burns brightly.

Daniel arrives at the farm in the heat of his parents’ conflict with Sharen, an alluring tenant and ex-lover of his father now perched on family land. Sharen and her unstable son Reggie complicate an already difficult family dynamic while Daniel has to tend to his mother’s condition, his father’s contentious behavior, and the swell of memory that strikes whenever he visits the farm. As Daniel is increasingly drawn to Sharen, the various tensions across the farm will spark events that cannot help but change them all.

With a keen eye for the rugged and beautiful Australian landscape, infused with aboriginal history, and set against the workings of a rural horse farm, Wedding Bush Road is a stunning novel about the choices we make, the regrets that linger, and the unquestionable, inevitable pull of home.

"David Francis is a human rights lawyer in Los Angeles, and he somehow finds time to write terrific books every few years." – KPCC’s “Take Two”

“Francis proves that this reckless landscape also has a darkly seductive pull . . . Domestic drama with an offbeat, rural flavor.” —Kirkus

“Compelling and honest, Wedding Bush Road is a masterful feat.” —Mary Rakow, author of This Is Why I Came

“David Francis writes with precision and sensitivity about that most complicated of subjects: Home. Amid unforgettable landscapes and characters that are both beautiful and violent, Wedding Bush Road grapples with discontent and restlessness. Francis turns a sharp but generous eye on those who won't leave and those who can't stay, reminding us that family can be the most dangerous place of all.” —Mark Sarvas, author of Harry, Revised

“Here’s an Australia so tactile that the page itself begins to feel textured. Francis ably tells a story of a man’s internal struggle as expressed through conflicts as rooted and primal as the soil. A dynamic and inviting read.” —Aimee Bender, author of The Color Master

“I have known David Francis and his work for a long time, and I think Wedding Bush Road is his best book yet!” —Jane Smiley

“With an eye for the transcendent detail, and a pitch perfect ear, David Francis gorgeously summons a farm in rural Australia. The wonderfully complex relationships among its inhabitants reflect nothing less than the tensions wrought by the country’s fractious history of colonialism. Who belongs to the land and to whom does the land belong? These are the uneasy questions raised by this searching, lovely novel.” —Marisa Silver, author of Mary Coin

“A psychologically acute tale of the decline of a patrician Australian family and the forces arrayed against them. Class, sex and land knit together in this compellingly modern take on a timeless struggle. Gorgeous, dangerous and utterly captivating.”—Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander and Paint It Black

“Who hasn't packed a bag and headed home? Wedding Bush Road is a beautiful, intelligent book about love, loss, and the unforgettable landscapes that made us who we are.” —David Ebershoff, author of The Danish Girl and The 19th Wife

David Francis, based in Los Angeles where he works for the Norton Rose Fulbright law firm, spends part of each year back on his family’s farm in Australia. He is the author of The Great Inland Sea, published to acclaim in seven countries, and Stray Dog Winter, Book of the Year in The Advocate, winner of the American Library Association Barbara Gittings Prize for Literature, and a LAMBDA Literary Award Finalist. He has taught creative writing at UCLA, Occidental College, and in the Masters of Professional Writing program at USC. His short fiction and articles have appeared in publications including Harvard ReviewThe Sydney Morning HeraldThe AgeSouthern California ReviewBest Australian StoriesAustralian Love Stories, and The Rattling Wall. He is Vice President of PEN Center USA.

 Dan Smetanka is a Vice President and Executive Editor at Counterpoint Press.

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SARAH PAPPALARDO AND BETH NEWELL DISCUSS THEIR BOOK HOW TO WIN AT FEMINISM

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on March 26th, 2017

How to Win At Feminism: The Definitive Guide to Having It All—And Then Some! (HarperOne)

Feminism is all about demanding equality and learning to love yourself. But not too much – men hate that! From the writers of Reductress, the subversive, satirical women’s magazine read by over 2.5 million visitors a month, comes How to Win At Feminism: The Definitive Guide to Having It All—And Then Some!

This ultimate guide to winning feminism—filled with four-color illustrations, bold graphics, and hilarious photos—teaches readers how to battle the patriarchy better than everybody else. From the herstory of feminism to how to apologize for having it all, readers will learn how to be a feminist at work and at home with tips that include:

  • How to Do More with 33 Cents Less
  • How to Be Sex-Positive Even When You’re Bloated
  • How to Love Your Body Even Though Hers Is Better
  • The 9 Circles of Hell for Women Who Don’t Help Other Women
  • Designer Handbags to Hold All Your Feminism
  • How to Get Catcalled For Your Personality

How to Win At Feminism is a fresh take on women's rights through the lens of the funniest women in comedy today. With this book as your wo-manual, you’ll shatter that glass ceiling once and for all (but you’ll still need to clean up the mess).

Reductress is a fast-growing satirical website that delivers mischievously hilarious, on-point criticism wrapped in hilarious headlines and feature articles. Referred to as the “feminist Onion,” it pokes fun at the messages fed to women from an early age and throughout adulthood. Since its creation in 2013, it has exploded in popularity, with over 2.5 million monthly visitors. Reductress was founded by Beth Newell and Sarah Pappalardo, the authors of this book.

Sarah Pappalardo is the co-founder and managing editor of Reductress, and a writer, performer and playwright who has written and performed at The Second City and The Upright Citizens Brigade. 

Beth Newell is the creator, co-founder, and editor of Reductress, and an improvisational stand-up comedian who has performed at The Upright Citizen’s Brigade and contributed to McSweeney’s and The Onion News Network.

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LEO BRAUDY DISCUSSES HIS BOOK HAUNTED

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on March 26th, 2017

Haunted: On Ghosts, Witches, Vampires, Zombies, and Other Monsters of the Natural and Supernatural Worlds (Yale University Press)

Leo Braudy, a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, has won accolades for revealing the complex and constantly shifting history behind seemingly unchanging ideas of fame, war, and masculinity.

Continuing his interest in the history of emotion, in Haunted: On Ghosts, Witches, Vampires, Zombies, and Other Monsters of the Natural and Supernatural Worlds, he explores how fear has been shaped into images of monsters and monstrosity.

From the Protestant Reformation to contemporary horror films and fiction, he explores four major types: the monster from nature (King Kong), the created monster Frankenstein), the monster from within (Mr. Hyde), and the monster from the past (Dracula). Drawing upon deep historical and literary research, Braudy discusses the lasting presence of fearful imaginings in an age of scientific progress, viewing the detective genre as a rational riposte to the irrational world of the monstrous.

Haunted is a compelling, incisive work by an awardwinning scholar and author that charts four hundred years of monsters and how they reflect the culture that created them.

Leo Braudy is University Professor and Leo S. Bing Chair in English and American Literature at the University of Southern California. He is the author of numerous books, including Jean Renoir: The World of His Films (Doubleday, 1972), a finalist for the National Book Award; The Frenzy of Renown: Fame and Its History (Oxford University Press, 1986), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; From Chivalry to Terrorism (Knopf, 2003), a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; and The Hollywood Sign: Fantasy and Reality of an American Icon (Yale, 2011). He lives in Los Angeles, CA.

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ILLEANA DOUGLAS READS FROM HER MEMOIR I BLAME DENNIS HOPPER, WITH SPECIAL GUESTS JENNIFER TILLY, MATT OSWALT, ANNETTE O’TOOLE, BEN MANKIEWICZ, STEVEN WEBER, AND KATE MICUCCI

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on March 26th, 2017

I Blame Dennis Hopper: And Other Stories From A Life Lived In and Out of the Movies (Flatiron Books)

From award-winning actress Illeana Douglas comes a memoir about learning to survive in Hollywood while staying true to her quirky vision of the world.

In 1969 Illeana Douglas' parents saw the film Easy Rider and were transformed. Taking Dennis Hopper's words, "That's what it's all about man" to heart, they abandoned their comfortable upper middle class life and gave Illeana a childhood filled with hippies, goats, free spirits, and free love. Illeana writes, "Since it was all out of my control, I began to think of my life as a movie, with a Dennis Hopper-like father at the center of it."

I Blame Dennis Hopper is a testament to the power of art and the tenacity of passion. It is a rollicking, funny, at times tender exploration of the way movies can change our lives. With crackling humor and a full heart, Douglas describes how a good Liza Minnelli impression helped her land her first gig and how Rudy Valley taught her the meaning of being a show biz trouper. From her first experience being on set with her grandfather and mentor-two-time Academy Award-winning actor Melvyn Douglas-to the moment she was discovered by Martin Scorsese for her blood-curdling scream and cast in her first film, to starring in movies alongside Robert DeNiro, Nicole Kidman, and Ethan Hawke, to becoming an award winning writer, director and producer in her own right, I Blame Dennis Hopper is an irresistible love letter to movies and filmmaking. Writing from the perspective of the ultimate show business fan, Douglas packs each page with hilarious anecdotes, bizarre coincidences, and fateful meetings that seem, well, right out of a plot of a movie.

I Blame Dennis Hopper is the story of one woman's experience in show business, but it is also a genuine reminder of why we all love the movies: for the glitz, the glamor, the sweat, passion, humor, and escape they offer us all.

Praise for I Blame Dennis Hopper

"In this sublime series of essays, Douglas revels in her dual roles as both participant and observer, never losing her awe of the actors and directors she has met along the way. Funny, candid, juicy, gossipy, Douglas insider look at the film industry charms with its pinch me, I m dreaming sweetness while imparting hard-won and valuable lessons about following one s true calling." -Booklist, Starred Review

"In other words, she's got seriously good stories to tell in these chatty, heartfelt essays" - Kim Hubbard, "People" Magazine

"It's Douglas head-over-heels madness for the movies that illuminates the text like a projector bulb through a filmstrip, from her parents decision to run a hippie commune after being bewitched by Dennis Hopper in Easy Rider, to Douglas own obsession with actors like Lee Marvin and Richard Dreyfuss, to her sometimes delusional confidence that she was born to be a star. Douglas recounts her life and work with a perfect mix of self-deprecation and glowing pride. Reading it feels like listening to the magnetic storyteller herself and it s enough to make you fall in love too. A " - Entertainment Weekly

"Humorous, delightful, and wholly entertaining. Douglas delves into all the wonderfully serendipitous tales that got her to the place she as a child always wanted to be, all while charming the hell out of us."- Elle Magazine

Illeana Douglas takes you through her years in Hollywood and beyond the same way she experienced them - by happy, hilarious accident. The revelations fly off the pages of this book are cringe-inducing, gut-busting and terrifying, usually all at once."--Patton Oswalt, New York Times bestselling author of ZOMBIE, SPACESHIP, WASTELAND

"I've talked to Illeana Douglas about her life. Her family roots are crazy, groovy, harsh and a bit glamorous. I'm thrilled she's wrangled that into prose form. She's quirky, hilarious and deep. I love her. I've always loved her. Haven't we all?"--Marc Maron, Comedian and bestselling author of Attempting Normal

"Illeana Douglas is an incredibly talented, smart and funny storyteller. This book is compelling to read from start to finish. She either knows or has worked with so many significant names in film, that in researching, she broke my IMDB."--Bob Saget, actor and author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Dirty Daddy

"Illeana has done what no other movie memoir has ever achieved; she takes us on a journey through the personal, the chaotic, the droll, the ecstatic, the hilarious, the surreal and moving life in moving pictures, hers, and ours. As beautiful as it is exhilarating, I Blame Dennis Hopper not only gives us a rich texture of the life of an American girl coming of age in a wild time, but the most perfect look I've ever read of life on the set through a filmmakers eye. Gorgeous."-- Allison Anders, Award-winning director of Grace of My Heart and Gas Food Lodging

"I Blame Dennis Hopper is genius. I couldn't put it down. It was like having a great companion. Illeana completely captures the enchantment of film in a charming and hilarious way. More than that, it reminded me of my own passion for movies and of acting. Very, very inspirational." --Jeff Goldblum

"I devoured this book as if it were a giant box of popcorn! It isn't easy to put your thoughts, hopes, dreams, and disappointments into words, but Illeana Douglas has done it with equal parts candor and humor. Best of all, she details the special relationship she had with her grandfather, the great Melvyn Douglas-including the time she got to visit him on the set of Being There. I thoroughly enjoyed this disarming memoir."--Leonard Maltin, film critic and bestselling author

Illeana Douglas is an actress, writer, director and host of Trailblazing Women on Turner Classic Movies. She’s appeared in classic films like Cape Fear, Grace of My Heart, and Ghost World, and is often described as “quirky” which is odd because the look she is going for is “skanky."

Jennifer Tilly was in many films including Bound, Bullets over Broadway, and the extremely dramatic Bella Mafia, that she starred in with Illeana Douglas. These days she plays poker and continues to churn out Chucky movies.

Matt Oswalt is a writer and director, he created the hit web series Puddin' starring Eddie Pepitone.  He does punch-up on lots of movies and award shows you've probably seen and is currently writing on Mystery Science Theater 3000. 

Annette O’Toole is an actress who has been around forever. She also sings, knits, and sometimes plays the mandolin. Her favorite actor is Michael McKean. That’s pretty much all you need to know. 

Ben Mankiewicz is a host of Turner Classic Movies. He moved to LA 75 years after his grandfather Herman Mankiewicz arrived. He cohosts the online film review show What The Flick.

Steven Weber is known for playing comedy and drama, he's a national treasure and a good man.

Kate Micucci is one half of the comedy duo Garfunkel and Oates. Lately you may have seen her in Mike Birbilgia's movie Don't Think Twice, or Joe Swanberg's Netflix series Easy.

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JENNIFER BRODY READS FROM HER NEW YA NOVEL RETURN OF THE CONTINUUMS WITH ROMINA RUSSELL

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on March 26th, 2017

Return of the Continuums (Turner Publishing)

One thousand years after a cataclysmic event leaves humanity on the brink of extinction, the descendants of the chosen survivors take refuge in thirteen contingency shelters buried deep underground, at the bottom of the ocean, and in the far reaches of outer space. In the underwater 13th Continuum, sixteen-year-old Myra Jackson has heard rumors and whisperings all her life of a magical place called "The Surface” where people could breathe fresh air, feel the warmth of something called sunlight on their skin, and see things known as stars and trees and mountains. Myra has never dared to ask whether the stories are true, since the act of speaking such words aloud is an offense punishable by death. But after she discovers that the air supply aboard her underwater colony is running out, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to find this mysterious place. To get there, she must first recover the only guide to the Surface—the Beacon, an ancient device that also connects her to Captain Aero Wright, a dashing young soldier from one of the only remaining space colonies. With the fate of all humankind depending on them, Myra and Aero must escape the tyrannical forces that rule their colonies, journey through the black depths of the ocean and across the cold void of space, to find each other on the Surface that their ancestors once called home.  

Praise for The 13th Continuum

"Likeable characters, an intricate world, and imaginative settings combine to make a satisfying young-adult read in Jennifer Brody’s Return of the Continuums, the second book of the dystopian Continuum series."--Foreword Reviews

"Non-stop excitement and strong world-building combine to make The 13th Continuum a fantastic read for science fiction and dystopian fans alike. The story sucked me in from the very beginning, and had me pulling for Myra and Aero to break free from their very different, but equally oppressive governments. Eagerly awaiting the next in this series!" ―Rysa Walker, author of The Chronos Files

"A fascinating premise and compulsively readable debut. It totally sucked me in." - Robin Talley, author of Lies We Tell Ourselves

"I tore through Jennifer Brody's The 13th Continuum at light speed. This fresh, fast-paced novel featuring a post-doom Earth will hook readers with its likable characters and thrilling stakes. But it's the book's action and hope for a better future that will keep readers turning the page and leave eager for the next installment." ―Mindee Arnett, critically acclaimed author of Avalon and the Arkwell Academy series

"The 13th Continuum manages to be smart, surprising, and a good time, all at once. That's hard magic to pull off, but Jennifer Brody makes it seem easy. Swift and surprising, this novel is such a confident debut. Here's to many more." - Victor LaValle, author of New York Times Notable Book of the Year, The Devil in Silver

"This gripping read is recommended not only for advanced teen readers, but for adults who enjoy solid sci-fi dystopian settings." -Donovan's Bookshelf

"Fans clamoring for a new dystopian science fiction series may appreciate this latest addition to the genre." - School Library Journal

After studying film at Harvard University, Jennifer Brody began her career in Hollywood. Highlights include working for Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes and New Line Cinema, most notably on “The Lord of the Rings” films and “The Golden Compass”. In 2008, she produced the film “Make It Happen” for The Weinstein Company. She is an alumni of the Sirenland Writers Conference, Tin House Summer Writers Workshop, The Lemon Tree House Residency for Writers, and has been accepted for a residency at the Helen R. Whiteley Center, run by the University of Washington. She founded and runs BookPod, a social media platform for authors. She’s also a volunteer mentor for the Young Storytellers Foundation and a writing instructor at The Writing Pad.  Jennifer Brody’s debut novel The 13th Continuum sold to Turner Publishing in a 3-book deal and is being packaged into a feature film. Return of the Continuums, the second book in the trilogy, is set to come out on November 1, 2016. She is a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. She lives and writes in LA. 

Romina Russell is a Los Angeles based author who originally hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a teen, Romina landed her first writing gig—College She Wrote, a weekly Sunday column for the Miami Herald that was later picked up for national syndication—and she hasn’t stopped writing since. When she’s not working on the ZODIAC series, Romina can be found producing movie trailers, taking photographs, or daydreaming about buying a new drum set. She is a Virgo to the core.

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WENDY C. ORTIZ READS FROM HER NEW BOOK BRUJA AND HENRY HOKE READS FROM HIS BOOK THE BOOK OF ENDLESS SLEEPOVERS WITH OTHER SPECIAL GUESTS

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on March 26th, 2017

Bruja (Civil Coping Mechanism) Book of Endless Sleepovers (Civil Coping Mechanism)

CCM is pleased to announce Bruja by Wendy C. Ortiz, the author of the critically acclaimed Excavation: A Memoir and Hollywood Notebook. With Bruja, Ortiz continues to upend and reinvent the memoir in inventive and deeply emotional ways to better fit the terms and trajectory of her exploration. 

Behold the “dreamoir”–the details from the most malleable and revelatory portions of one’s dreams, catalogued in bold detail. Ortiz has created a new literary form, a parallel plane where the cast of characters are the people that occupied one’s waking life; Bruja is a narrative that’s equal parts delicate and bold, a literary adventure through the boundaries of memoir, where the self is viewed from a position anchored into the deepest recesses of the mind. 

The end result is perhaps one of the most candid expressions of personal history, the subconscious bared in full, revealing the part of oneself that is often the most difficult to see. Bruja will be released as part of the Quarter Four 2016 CCM Catalogue. We can’t wait to show you more. We’re coping. 

Guests are encouraged to come dressed as a character/person/animal/object from their dreams. 

Praise for Bruja 

"In Bruja, Wendy C. Ortiz deftly navigates the land of dreams in what she calls a dreamoir. By telling us her dreams, by revealing her most unguarded and vulnerable self, Ortiz is, truly, offering readers the most intimate parts of herself–how she loves, how she wants, how she lives, who she is. Bruja is not just a book–it is an enigma and a wonder and utterly entrancing." -- Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist and An Untamed State

"Bruja calls into question not only what is a memoir, but what is a life. Politics, books, mass media, random encounters, work, relationships tumble into the depths of consciousness, and the self spirals open, huge and passionate. Ortiz’s dreamoir is a multidimensional love story with the whole mess of existence. I loved it."--Dodie Bellamy, author of When the Sick Rule the WorldThe TV SutrasCunt-Ups, and many more

"Wendy C. Ortiz has invented her own genre, in her sleep, no less. Bruja is at once lush and spare, funny and weird, disturbing and sometimes even beautiful in the way that dreams can be. She’s crafted an absurdly real and compelling story here, one dream at a time." - Elizabeth Crane, author of The History of Great Things

Wendy C. Ortiz is the author of Excavation: A Memoir and Hollywood Notebook. Her work has been profiled or featured in the Los Angeles Times, the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, and the National Book Critics Circle Small Press Spotlight blog. Her writing has appeared in such places as The New York Times, Hazlitt, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Nervous Breakdown, Fanzine, and a year-long series appeared at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. Wendy lives in Los Angeles.

Book of Endless Sleepovers

Bring your favorite stuffed animal, hold it tight, and stay awake as long as you can. The Book of Endless Sleepovers tosses and turns with telepathic campfire stories, crypto-zoological memoir and Mark Twain slash fiction. It’s fourteen interconnected tales of haunted childhood identity and exploded imagination. Nobody wants to fall asleep first.

Praise for Book of Endless Sleeovers

“I love how Henry Hoke plays fast and loose with autobiography and genre. His Book of Endless Sleepovers is wry and finely-wrought, a philosophical fever dream studded with the pleasure of proper names and surprising turns of phrase, a lyric page-turner.”-Maggie Nelson, author of The Argonauts

“In his atmospheric debut, Henry Hoke maps the wild country of adolescence, the murky realm of childhood and its mysterious stirrings, where the names of cities are always changing along with our own, as we swap them for those of our favorite characters: The Hardy Boys or Huck Finn or Peter Pan. A land where pet bunnies are eaten by owls in the night and cats change owners at their own will. The Book of Endless Sleepovers is beguiling and evocative and sometimes sad. It is not to be missed.”-Kate Durbin, author of E! Entertainment

“The Book of Endless Sleepovers is hot and cool, fine and blunt, new and ancient, puzzling and cannily revealing. Hoke's sharp, funny fictions are like shards of the books I hope to find lying around in Borges' garden of forking paths.”-Mark Childress, author of Crazy in Alabama

“Hoke’s book dazzles. Beneath the surface of linguistic playfulness and narrative experimentation are real truths about love and brotherhood and especially about childhood: wild and thrilling and, as all childhoods are, full of terror. Worth reading for the brilliant reimaginings of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn alone, there is so much here that will astonish, surprise, and delight.”-Rahul Mehta, author of No Other World

Henry Hoke was a child in the South and an adult in New York and California. He's the author of Genevieves (winner of the Subito Press prose contest, forthcoming 2017) and The Book of Endless Sleepovers (Civil Coping Mechanisms, 2016). Some of his stories appear in The Collagist, Gigantic, Winter Tangerine and Carve. He co-created and directs Enter>text, a living literary journal. 

Ashley Perez lives, writes, and causes trouble in Los Angeles. She has a strong affinity for tattoos, otters, cat mystery books, and actual cats, but has mixed feelings about pants. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles. She runs the literary site Arts Collide and does work of all varieties for Jaded Ibis Press, and Midnight Breakfast.

Iris De Anda is a Guanaca Tapatia poet who hosts The Writers Underground Open Mic at the Eastside Cafe every third Thursday of the month and the author of CODESWITCH: Fires From Mi Corazonwww.irisdeanda.com.

Myriam Gurba is a writer, artist, and low key bon vivant living at the southern most tip of LA County. Her memoir Mean is forthcoming from Coffee House Press.

Amanda Yates Garcia is an artist, writer, witch, healer and the Oracle of Los Angeles. Recent performance rituals include Capitalism Exorcism at Human Resources and Devouring Patriarchy at the Women’s Center for Creative Work. Her writing has been featured in publications such as Black Clock, the Rough Magick anthology, Entropy, Synema Publikationen (Cinema Magazine), and WITCH. Amanda hosts her bi-monthly show The Oracle Hour on KCHUNG radio; teaches the Magical Praxis monthly mystery school; and performs private rites of healing and empowerment at her magical studio in West Adams.

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RAMESH SRINIVASAN DISCUSSES HIS BOOK WHOSE GLOBAL VILLAGE? WITH RIGO 23

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on March 26th, 2017

Whose Global Village: Rethinking How Technology Shapes Our World (NYU Press)

In Whose Global Village?, Ramesh Srinivasan explores how new technologies often reinforce the inequalities of globalization because developers rarely take into account communities outside the Western world. By sharing stories of collaboration with Native Americans in California and New Mexico, revolutionaries in Egypt, and villages in rural India, Srinivasan urge us to re-imagine social media, the Internet, and even mobile phones from the perspective of these diverse cultures.  

Praise for Whose Global Village? 

“The 2016 election showed us what happens when technologies like Facebook, that are supposed to connect us, actually leave us in bubbles and oblivious to the world that doesn’t agree with us. Whose Global Village?shows that another technology is possible, and in fact exists, through examples across the world that are all about furthering cultural voices and conversations.” --The Yes Men

“In the age of video streaming and the internet, indigenous peoples can fight for their rights as we see with the Dakota Pipeline and across the world today. Whose Global Village? points the way forward to a digital world that recognizes the dignity and voices of indigenous peoples.”--Winona La Duke,  Executive Director of Honor the Earth

“Upstart successes like The Young Turks are becoming less common, partially as a result of the increasing corporatization and monopolization of social media. Whose Global Village? offers an alternate path, out of the self-selected echo chambers that marginalize non-western and indigenous voices, and into a future where new technology operates in greater harmony with grassroots concerns and culturally diverse populations across the world.”--Cenk Uygar,  Founder of The Young Turks

Ramesh Srinivasan isthe Director of the Digital Cultures Lab and Associate Professor of Information Studies and Design and Media Arts at UCLA. His work has been featured by Al JazeeraThe Washington PostThe Young Turks, National Public Radio, and The Huffington Post.  

Rigo 23 is an artist living in Los Angeles and working globally. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at REDCAT and Fowler Museum in Los Angeles; the New Museum and Artists Space, in New York City and Museu de Arte Contemporanea, Rio de Janeiro in Brasil. His work has been included in the First Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India; 2nd Aichi Triennial in Japan; 3rd Shenzhen Hong-Kong Bi-City Biennial of Urbanism and Architecture, in China; 5th Auckland Triennial in New Zealand; 10th Lyon Biennale in France; the 2006 Liverpool Biennial in the UK, and the 2004 California Biennial, among others.

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NIA KING AND ELENA ROSE PRESENT QUEER & TRANS ARTISTS OF COLOR VOLUME 2 WITH SPECIAL GUESTS

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on March 14th, 2017

Queer & Trans Artists of Color Vol 2

A celebration of queer and trans black and brown genius...building on the groundbreaking first volume, Queer and Trans Artists of Color: Stories of Some of Our Lives, Nia King is back with a second archive of interviews from her podcast We Want the Airwaves. She maintains her signature frankness as an interviewer while seeking advice on surviving capitalism from creative folks who often find their labor devalued.

In this collection of interviews, Nia discusses biphobia in gay men's communities with Juba Kalamka, helping border-crossers find water in the desert with Micha Cardenas, trying to preserve Indigenous languages through painting with Grace Rosario Perkins, revolutionary monster stories with Elena Rose, using textiles to protest police violence with Indira Allegra, trying to respectfully reclaim one's own culture with Amir Rabiyah, taking on punk racism with Mimi Thi Nguyen, the imminent trans women of color world takeover with Lexi Adsit, queer life in WWII Japanese American incarceration camps with Tina Takemoto, hip-hop and Black Nationalism with Ajuan Mance, making music in exile with Martin Sorrondeguy, issue-based versus identity-based organizing with Trish Salah, ten years of curating and touring with the QTPOC arts organization Mangos With Chili with Cherry Galettte, raising awareness about gentrification through games with Mattie Brice, self-publishing versus working with a small press with Vivek Shreya, and the colonial nature of journalism school with Kiley May. The conversation continues. Bear witness to QTPOC brilliance.

Included in the evening will be performances by: 

Ryka Aoki is the author of Seasonal Velocities, He Mele a Hilo (A Hilo Song) and Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul. She has been honored by the California State Senate for her “extraordinary commitment to free speech and artistic expression, as well as the visibility and well-being of Transgender people. Ryka was the inaugural performer for the first ever Transgender Stage at San Francisco Pride, and has performed in venues including the San Francisco Pride Main Stage, the Columbus National Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival, the National Queer Arts Festival, and Ladyfest South. Ryka also appears in the recent documentaries “Diagnosing Difference” and “Riot Acts.” She has MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University and is the recipient of a University Award from the Academy of American Poets. She is a professor of English at Santa Monica College.

Winner of the People Before Profits Poetry Prize, Meliza Bañales aka Missy Fuego is the author of Say It With Your Whole Mouth (Poems) and the Xicana-Punk-Rock-Coming-of-Age novel Life Is Wonderful, People Are Terrific which was a 2016 Lambda Literary Award Finalist. She was a fixture in the San Francisco Bay Area spoken-word and slam communities from 1996-2010, where she became the first Xicana to win a poetry slam championship in 2002. She is a Visiting Professor of Literature and Counter-Culture at UC San Diego and the feature film of her novel is currently in pre-production in Los Angeles.

Nadia Ann Abou-Karr is an artist, writer and practitioner of holistic healing arts. She has been self publishing her own zines since middle school, with the most recent being THE ICONOCLAST Revolutionary Love series which highlights the complexities and confusion that arise from loving in the 5th dimension. Ultimately she always come back to the realization that self love is the best kind, and she uses all of her creative production to create an optimal climate for free love.

Kim Tillman is an LA-based singer/songwriter, lead singer of the band Tragic Gadget and half of the music duo Kim Tillman & Silent Films. Her songs have been featured in film and television including American Girl: Saige Paints the Sky, the 2014 documentary feature Off the Floor, on Love & Hip Hop Atlanta and the ABC Family series Switched at Birth. Armed with a honey-velvet voice and precise, evocative lyrics, she aims simply to move you.

Praise for Queer & Trans Artists of Color Vol 2

“Nia King’s essential project is about demystifying the artist’s life, and centering expression at the heart of radically diverse QTPOC lives. This second volume of artists’ voices is full of heart and wisdom, struggle and triumph. Another must-read for anyone dedicated to living creatively.” —Jeff Chang, author of Who We Be and We Gon’ Be Alright

“With all the talk in the entertainment industry about a lack of diverse voices in our media, Nia King does the big work that is necessary to rescue the entertainment industry from itself. She is going out there to highlight these voices, not because they are diverse, but because they are absolutely necessary.” —W. Kamau Bell, host of United Shades of America

Queer and Trans Artists of Color, Volume 2 continues to amplify beautiful voices that need to be heard. Refreshingly honest and illuminating, these interviews combine to form a powerful statement on the journey of the artist, and the person behind the art, towards creating a world where we can all thrive as our true selves.” —Mat Johnson, author of Loving Day and Pym

“Nia King once again provides a vital space where LGBTQ artists of color can share their unique experiences working in their creative fields. This volume, like its predecessor, will be a must-read for years to come.” —Hari Kondabolu, writer and comedian

“This book shines a spotlight on QTPOC artists, activists and self-proclaimed weirdos, a group who rarely receive such attention. Through fluid and compelling conversations with King, readers learn about the creative processes, identities, organizing, and politics that inform their art. This is a beautiful archive as well as a rich source of information for creative people seeking inspiration.” —Farzana Doctor, author of All Inclusive and Six Metres of Pavement

“In this new volume Nia King continues the invaluable work of amplifying the voices and interrogating the ideas of a new generation of joyous, committed creators. If you want to know who is shaping the culture of the next century, this is a book you must have: a book brimming with honesty, intelligence and heart.” —Nayland Blake, artist and professor

“This book is a revolutionary literary gesture, providing both practical information to artists and also doing the work of expanding the archive. I love the way that King brings interviews to the page, disseminating artists’ knowledge while also creating a window into their language and lives. The honesty of the unscripted conversations feels both intimate and subversive.”—Virgie Tovar, author of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion

Nia King is a queer Black, Lebanese, Hungarian, and Jewish artist and activist from Canton, Massachusetts living in Oakland, California. She is the author of Queer & Trans Artists of Color: Stories of Some of Our Lives and the host and producer of We Want the Airwaves podcast. Her writing and comics have been published in Colorlines, East Bay Express and Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory. She has spoken about her work at schools and conferences such as Stanford University, Swarthmore College, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Facing Race, the Allied Media Conference, and the National Association for Ethnic Studies Conference. You can find more of her work at artactivistnia.com and contact her at NiaKing@zoho.com.

Elena Rose, a Filipina-Ashkenazi trans lesbian mestiza, rode stories out of rural Oregon and hasn’t stopped telling since. As an ordained minister, writer, and organizer, she has been published in magazines including Aorta and Make/shift, co-founded the Speak! Radical Women of Color Media Collective, co-curated the acclaimed National Queer Arts Festival show Girl Talk: A Trans and Cis Women’s Dialogue, works as a nationally-recognized interfaith educator on justice issues, and serves on the boards of the Solar Cross Temple and the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples. She can be contacted at takingsteps@gmail.comand on Twitter @burnlittlelight.

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CYLIN BUSBY READS FROM HER NEW YA NOVEL THE STRANGER GAME

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on March 13th, 2017

The Stranger Game (Balzer & Bray/HarperTeen)

The Stranger Game is a dark, suspenseful, and twisty novel that is Gone Girl for teens. Perfect for fans of Lauren Oliver and E. Lockhart.

When Nico Morris's older sister mysteriously disappears, her parents, family, and friends are devastated. But Nico can never admit what she herself feels: relief at finally being free of Sarah's daily cruelties. Then the best and worst thing happens: four years later, after dozens of false leads, Sarah is found.

But this girl is much changed from the one Nico knew. She's thin and drawn, when Sarah had been golden and athletic; timid and unsure, instead of brash and competitive; and strangest of all, sweet and kind, when she had once been mean and abusive. Sarah's retrograde amnesia has caused her to forget almost everything about her life, from small things like the plots of her favorite books and her tennis game to the more critical where she's been the last four years and what happened at the park on the fateful day she vanished. Despite the happy ending, the dark details of that day continue to haunt Nico, and it becomes clear that more than one person knows the true story of what happened to Sarah. . . .

Praise for The Stranger Game

"[Cylin] Busby has skillfully constructed a plot with enough suspenseful twists to keep readers on their toes from start to finish. An unusual, captivating mystery.” — Kirkus Reviews

“[Cylin] Busby’s tense mystery alternates between Nico and Sarah’s points of view, using the tactic of an unreliable narrator to great effect while exploring how tragedy can alter every detail of a family’s existence. A final twist leads to a surprising and utterly satisfying conclusion.” — Publishers Weekly

Cylin Busby is the author of numerous articles and several teen books, including the acclaimed memoir The Year We Disappeared and the novel Blink Once. A former editor with Teen magazine, she now lives in Los Angeles with her family. You can visit her online at www.cylinbusby.com.

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SAM MCPHEETERS DISCUSSES HIS NEW BOOK EXPLODED VIEW

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on March 13th, 2017

Exploded View (Sky Horse Publishing)

It's 2050, and LAPD Detective Terri Pastuzka has drawn the short straw with her first assignment of the new decade. Someone has executed one of the city's countless immigrants, and no one (besides the usual besieged advocacy groups) seems to much care. Even Terri herself is already looking ahead to her next case before an unexpected development reveals there s far more to this corpse than meets the eye. 

And a lot already meets the eye. In a city immersed in augmented reality, the LAPD have their own superior network of high-tech eyewearPanOpts, the ultimate panopticonallowing Terri instant access to files and suspects and literal insertion into the crime scene using security footage captured from every angle the day the murder occurred. What started as a single homicide turns into a string of unsolved murders that tie together in frightening ways, leading Terri down a rabbit hole through Los Angeles s conflicting realitiesaugmented and virtual, fantastically rumored and harrowingly truetowards an impossible conclusion. 

Exploded View is the story of a city frozen in crisis, haunted by hardship and overwhelmed by refugees, where technology gives everyday citizens the power to digitally reshape news in real time, and where hard video evidence is impotent against the sheer, unrelenting power of belief. After all, when anyone can forge their own version of the truth, what use is any other reality? 

Praise for Exploded View

"A police procedural that says as much about the present day as it does about the culture of the near-future. With an ending that will leave you reeling, Exploded View forces you to question everything you think you know about reality."--Richard Cox, author of The Boys of Summer 

"The book's powerful themes, the relationship of police to policed, trust in governmental authority, trust in the media, immigrant tensions, and generational changeare sharply executed . . . [Exploded View] might just leave you hesitating before taking the next reblogged video at face value."--Kirkus 

"The writing is raw and the dialogue is real; Exploded View is not a story of what could be, but what may well be, and in the not-too-distant future, at that."--Steven John, author of Outrider and Three A.M.

Sam McPheeters was born in 1969 and raised in Albany, NY. Starting in 1989, he led several punk bands, including NY's Born Against. In the following 15 years, he sold nearly 100,000 records and toured 17 times across the US, Europe, and Japan. Since 2009, he has written for The Believer, Chicago Reader, Criterion, The Stranger, Vice, and The Village Voice. His first novel, The Loom of Ruin, was published in 2012.

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LAURENCE RICKELS DISCUSSES HIS NEW BOOK THE PSYCHO RECORDS

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on February 28th, 2017

The Psycho Records (Wallflower Press)

Skylight Books and Villa Aurora are proud to present Laurence A. Rickels, reading from his newest book The Psycho Records.

The Psycho Records follows the influence of the primal shower scene within subsequent slasher and splatter films. American soldiers returning from World War II were called “psychos” if they exhibited mental illness. Robert Bloch and Alfred Hitchcock turned the term into a catch-all phrase for a range of psychotic and psychopathic symptoms or dispositions. They transferred a war disorder to the American heartland. Drawing on his experience with German film, Hitchcock packed inside his shower stall the essence of schauer, the German cognate meaning “horror.” Later serial horror film production has post-traumatically flashed back to Hitchcock’s shower scene. In the end, though, this book argues the effect is therapeutically finite. This extensive case study summons the genealogical readings of philosopher and psychoanalyst Laurence Rickels. The book opens not with another reading of Hitchcock’s 1960 film but with an evaluation of various updates to vampirism over the years. It concludes with a close look at the rise of demonic and infernal tendencies in horror movies since the 1990s and the problem of the psycho as our most uncanny double in close quarters.

Laurence A. Rickels is professor in art and theory at the Academy of Fine Arts Karlsruhe. He is the author of Aberrations of Mourning (1988), The Case of California (2001), Nazi Psychoanalysis (2002), The Vampire Lectures (1999), The Devil Notebooks (2008), Ulrike Ottinger: The Autobiography of Art Cinema (2008), I Think I Am: Philip K. Dick (2010), and Germany: A Science Fiction (2015).

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JESS ROTTER LAUNCHES HER NEW BOOK I’M BORED

Posted in , literature, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on February 28th, 2017

I'm Bored (Hat & Beard Press)

Jess Rotter: I'm Bored is a Gary-Larson-meets-The Muppets variety show, a terrific trip composed of drawings filled with recurring characters--ranging from walruses to wizards to life warriors, who are all, like the rest of us, seeking their daily salvation. A wizard paddles on a lonely sea, his flag proclaiming "I'm trying." An ostrich hitchhikes in the desert, holding up a sign with her destination--"Bliss." A walrus wearing an AC/DC shirt looks mellowly at the viewer underneath the refrain "I'm bored."

Part art book, part comic book compilation, and partly a skeptical but loving take on those Successories motivational posters for the office, this book (designed by the artist and with a foreword by Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte) features the whimsical, wonderfully whacked-out work of artist and illustrator Jess Rotter.

Informed by a deep knowledge and love for the world of 1970s rock 'n' roll, the work of Jess Rotter was inspired by her father's vinyl covers and comic books growing up. "Part Peter Max, part Fritz the cat" (as Rotter described an early aesthetic influence), Rotter's illustrations have appeared on everything from public murals to album covers (to name a few: Best Coast, Linda Perhacs, Wooden Shjips, Country Funk Volumes I & II and This Record Belongs To), and on projects for clients including MTV, Converse, Target, Red Bull, Indiewire and Lena Dunham's Lenny Letter. Her T-shirt label, Rotter and Friends (launched in 2006) resulted in collaborative capsule collections for The Gap and Urban Outfitters, and official band merchandising for acts such as the Grateful Dead, Sly Stone, Rodriguez, Big Star, Kurt Vile and more.

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