Archive for literature

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.




SKYLIT: Claire Boyles, “SITE FIDELITY” w/ Zac Hug

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, Short Stories, skylit by skylightbooks on July 14th, 2021

Firmly rooted in the modern American West, Site Fidelity follows women and families who feel the instinctual, inexplicable pull of a home they must work to protect from the effects of economic inequity and climate catastrophe. A seventy-four-year-old nun turns to eco-sabotage to stop a fracking project. A woman delivers her own baby in a Nevada ghost town. A young farmer hides her chicken flock from the government during a bird flu epidemic. An ornithologist returns home to care for her rancher father and gets caught up trying to protect a breeding group of endangered Gunnison sage grouse.

In lean, lyrical prose, Claire Boyles evokes the bleakness and beauty of our threatened western landscapes. Spanning the decades from the 1970s to a plausible near future, this knockout debut introduces unforgettable characters who must confront the challenges of caregiving and loss alongside the very practical impacts of fracking, water rights law, and other agricultural policies. Site Fidelity is a vivid, intimate, and deeply human exploration of life on the shifting terrain of our changing planet.

Boyles is in conversation with Zac Hug.
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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: David Leo Rice, “DRIFTER” w/ Matthew Spellberg

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, Short Stories, novels by skylightbooks on July 7th, 2021
Collecting a decade's worth of stories by acclaimed author David Leo Rice, Drifter is a wild trip through the occult and surreal undercurrents of contemporary life. Ever in pursuit of illumination and unholy opportunity, the characters in these stories roam from blighted Western settlements to eerie New England circuses, from the backwoods of Austria to the remotest reaches of Japan, and from seedy Caribbean islands to the shadow of the Swiss Alps.
 
Rice is in conversation with Matthew Spellberg
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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: Brittany Ackerman, “THE BRITTANYS”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on July 1st, 2021
They're not the most popular freshmen at their Florida prep school, but at least everyone knows their name(s). The Brittanys.

 

Brittany Rosenberg: drives her golf cart around her subdivision to meet boys. Brittany Gottlieb: insists you can't lose your virginity if you haven't gotten your period. (She heard it somewhere ) Brittany Tomassi: is from New York. Brittany Jensen: once threw her tampon into a stranger's swimming pool. A brash, bold, unapologetic tomboy. And the greatest person in the whole wide world.

 

At least as far as the fifth Brittany--our narrator--is concerned. Even within their friend group, she and Jensen are a duo: with their matching JanSport backpacks, Tiffany chokers, and Victoria's Secret push-up bras, they are unstoppable. And now that they're finally growing up, they're going to do everything: dye their hair, attend no-parent parties, try pot . . . maybe even lose their virginities. 2004 is totally going to be their year

 

Except Jensen's interests may be diverging from her friends'. And within our narrator's own family--in the lives of her exhausted mother and beloved, genius older brother--life-changing events may be taking shape. Events that only years later, looking back, she has the perspective to see.

 
Enjoy this conversation with The Brittanys author Brittany Ackerman.
 
SPONSORED EPISODE:
 
This episode is brought to you by Rare Bird Lit and Unstoppable by Joshua M. Greene.
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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.




LIVE ON CROWDCAST: Rosecrans Baldwin, “EVERYTHING NOW” w/ Charles Yu

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, live on crowdcast by skylightbooks on June 29th, 2021

America is obsessed with Los Angeles. And America has been thinking about Los Angeles all wrong, for decades, on repeat. Los Angeles is not just the place where the American dream hits the Pacific. (It has its own dreams.) Not just the vanishing point of America’s western drive. (It has its own compass.) Functionally, aesthetically, mythologically, even technologically, an independent territory, defined less by distinct borders than by an aura of autonomy and a sense of unfurling destiny―this is the city-state of Los Angeles.

Deeply reported and researched, provocatively argued, and eloquently written, Rosecrans Baldwin's Everything Now approaches the metropolis from unexpected angles, nimbly interleaving his own voice with a chorus of others, from canonical L.A. literature to everyday citizens. Here, Octavia E. Butler and Joan Didion are in conversation with activists and astronauts, vampires and veterans. Baldwin records the stories of countless Angelenos, discovering people both upended and reborn: by disasters natural and economic, following gospels of wealth or self-help or personal destiny. The result is a story of a kaleidoscopic, vibrant nation unto itself―vastly more than its many, many parts.

Baldwin is in conversation with Charles Yu.

SPONSORED EPISODE:
 
This episode is brought to you by Rare Bird Lit and Unstoppable by Joshua M. Greene.
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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: Rupert Thomson, “BARCELONA DREAMING”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on June 28th, 2021
Barcelona Dreaming is narrated, in turn, by an English woman who runs a gift shop, an alcoholic jazz pianist, and a translator tormented by unrequited love, all of whose lives will be changed forever. Underpinning the novel, and casting a long shadow, is a crime committed against a young Moroccan immigrant.
 
Exploring themes of addiction, racism, celebrity, immigration, and self-delusion, and fueled by a longing for the unattainable and a nostalgia for what is about to be lost, Rupert Thomson's Barcelona Dreaming is a love letter to one of the world’s most beautiful cities and a powerful and poignant fable for our uncertain times.
 
SPONSORED EPISODE:
 
This episode is brought to you by Rare Bird Lit and Unstoppable by Joshua M. Greene.
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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: Liz Brown, “TWILIGHT MAN” w/ Alex Ross

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, history, biography, skylit by skylightbooks on June 19th, 2021
In the booming 1920s, William Andrews Clark Jr. was one of the richest, most respected men in Los Angeles. The son of the mining tycoon known as "The Copper King of Montana," Clark launched the Los Angeles Philharmonic and helped create the Hollywood Bowl. He was also a man with secrets, including a lover named Harrison Post. A former salesclerk, Post enjoyed a lavish existence among Hollywood elites, but the men's money--and their homosexuality--made them targets, for the district attorney, their employees and, in Post's case, his own family. When Clark died suddenly, Harrison Post inherited a substantial fortune--and a wealth of trouble. From Prohibition-era Hollywood to Nazi prison camps to Mexico City nightclubs, Twilight Man tells the story of an illicit love and the battle over a family estate that would destroy one man's life.
 
Author Liz Brown discusses her book with Alex Ross.
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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: Illana Masad, “ALL MY MOTHER’S LOVERS” + Jean Kyoung Frazier, “PIZZA GIRL”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, novels, skylit by skylightbooks on June 7th, 2021
Join Illana Masad (All My Mother's Lovers) and Jean Kyoung Frazier (Pizza Girl) as they discuss their respective books.
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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: X LA Poets Group Read

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, poetry, skylit by skylightbooks on June 2nd, 2021
The anthology X LA Poets highlights the work of ten women poets defining what it means to call Los Angeles home, while at the same time, envisioning a futuristic, multitudinous Los Angeles. The panoply of poetic voices contained in this anthology will inspire and astound, celebrate and eviscerate the written word and the emotive breath.
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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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