Archive for los angeles


Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on November 10th, 2017

The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao (Oneworld Publications)

Euridice is young, beautiful and ambitious. For her parents’ sake, she sacrifices her own aspirations to marry Antenor, spending her days ironing his shirts and removing the lumps of onion from his food. But as his professional success grows, so does Euridice’s feeling of restlessness. Casting duty aside, she embarks on various secret projects, only to have each dream crushed in turn by her tradition-loving husband. Antenor eventually restores order in his household – until the day Euridice’s long-lost sister Guida appears at the door with a young child and a terrible story.

Praise for The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao

The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao encompasses not only a vast Rio de Janeiro, from North to South and across Downtown, but also spans for 80 years – from 1880 through 1960 – in order to tell the story of numerous families ruled by beautiful, stubborn women. Martha combines drama and humor with an unfailably modern savoir-faire.”—Ruy Castro, author of Bossa Nova and Garrincha

“In a clever and unusual way, Batalha takes the reader for a journey in the streets of the old Rio de Janeiro, filled with its array of memorable characters — a fun and delightful novel.”—Carlos Saldanha, director of the film RIO

“One of the writers to watch in 2017.”—Elle Magazine (Spain)

Martha Batalha studied journalism and literature in Brazil before moving to New York where she worked in publishing. The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao is her first novel. She lives in Santa Monica, California, with her husband and two kids.

Corinne Purtill is a journalist who has reported around the world for publications including GlobalPost (now PRI), CNN, Salon and Quartz, where she is currently a staff writer. She is the author of Ghosts in the Forest, a Kindle Single, and lives in California with her family.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on November 10th, 2017

Sometimes I Think About It (Graywolf Press)

Building on the extraordinary storytelling that characterized his breakout book, The Adderall Diaries, Stephen Elliott tells a powerful story about outsiders and underdogs. Elliott traces his childhood with an abusive and erratic father, his life on the streets as a teenager, and his growing interest in cross-dressing and masochism. His search for dignity and happiness leads him to write of a man who loses his family in a rock slide, of the vexing realities of life in Palestine, and of a young man caught in the prison-industrial complex. And his abiding interest in the spectacle of money in America takes him from pop music and pornography to publishing and the tech industry’s assault on West Los Angeles. Through personal essays, reportage, and profiles written over fifteen years, Stephen Elliott tells with great sympathy the stories of those who are broken and seek to be whole.

Praise for Sometimes I Think About It

“I love these essays so hard I want to chew on them. For the bite of it. Stephen Elliott has the uncanny ability to go out into the culture and locate a self set loose from consumer culture and money identity. When it comes to outsider bodies and lives and stories, Stephen Elliott is there to remind us that the edges are where our cultural shape comes from. Without the edges, the center doesn't even exist. Sometimes I Think About It is an outsider tour de force.”—Lidia Yuknavitch

“In lean, often heartbreaking prose, Stephen Elliott gives us an American landscape defined by lost opportunities for human connection. There are sons without fathers, left unprotected; fathers who cannot love their sons; grown men haunted by the absence of family. In intensely personal essays and intimate reported stories Elliott writes of this painful gap—between our need for closeness and our actual capacity to care for one another.”—Alex Mar

“I am among the many readers who have been waiting impatiently for a new book from Stephen Elliott. I devoured Sometimes I Think About It in a matter of hours and set about rereading it at once. I did this because I read to feel the presence of a wise, true friend on the page and because Stephen Elliott never fails to supply that, plus amazement and sorrow and every detail the rest of us miss. He is writing here in the tradition of Didion and Hunter Thompson. These are fierce meditations on outcasts and outlaws, on what it means to have your world slip out from under you. I cannot think of a writer who reveals to us the terrors and wonder of disequilibrium like Elliott. This is exquisite work from one of our finest writers.”—Steve Almond

“Stephen Elliott’s essays treat the darkest subjects with the lightest touch, showing humanity’s ugliness as one side of a spinning coin, with beauty on the other; how beauty is often suspect, brutality easier to trust. Frankly intimate and frequently funny, Elliott’s observations—on loneliness, on sex work, on the people of Silicon Valley—open distances that you sensed but couldn’t see until he showed you: there, there.”—Padma Viswanathan

Stephen Elliott is the author of The Adderall Diaries and Happy Baby, which was a finalist for the New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award. He is the founding editor of the Rumpus and the director of the movies About Cherry and After Adderall.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on November 10th, 2017

Conflict Is Not Abuse (Arsenal Pulp Press)

From intimate relationships to global politics, Sarah Schulman observes a continuum: that inflated accusations of harm are used to avoid accountability. Illuminating the difference between Conflict and Abuse, Schulman directly addresses our contemporary culture of scapegoating. This deep, brave, and bold work reveals how punishment replaces personal and collective self-criticism, and shows why difference is so often used to justify cruelty and shunning. Rooting the problem of escalation in negative group relationships, Schulman illuminates the ways in which cliques, communities, families, and religious, racial, and national groups bond through the refusal to change their self-concept. She illustrates how Supremacy behaviour and Traumatized behaviour resemble each other, through a shared inability to tolerate difference.

This important and sure to be controversial book brings insight into contemporary and historical issues of personal, racial and geo-political difference, as tools of escalation towards injustice, exclusion and punishment, whether the objects of dehumanization are other individuals in our families or communities, African Americans at the hands of police, people with HIV, and Palestinians. Conflict Is Not Abuse is a searing rejection of the cultural phenomenon of blame, cruelty, and scapegoating, revealing how those in positions of power exacerbate and manipulate fear of the "other" to avoid facing themselves.

Praise for Conflict Is Not Abuse

With awesome brilliance and insight, Sarah Schulman offers readers new strategies to intervene on all relations of domination both personal and political. The core of
this book provides ways to think and move beyond blaming and/or assuming victimhood -- so that each of us may come to understand the role we assume in creating and sustaining conflicts in all our relations. Sharing myriad ways, critical vigilance can help us all understand that conflict need not be viewed as abuse that essential distinctions may be made between the hurt we experience in conflict and the violence of abuse, Schulman offers a vision of mutual recognition and accountability that liberates. —bell hooks 

It's impossible to be invested in the world and not be invested in this groundbreaking and challenging book. From a position of artist and social critic, Sarah Schulman gives us a detailed and considered reading of some of our most overly determined and venomous conflicts. Conflict Is Not Abuse is a book to interrogate, ponder, and discuss. —Claudia Rankine

Schulman's book could not have come at a better time ... Conflict is a balm against comforting explanations for violence and abuse, ones we know aren't true, just easy. —Village Voice

Conflict's publication could not be timelier ... A sharply observant and relevant text that is already getting its wish for action granted. —Lambda Literary

Conflict is Not Abuse should prove to be essential reading for people interested in psychology, group dynamics, and social justice activism. —Global Comment

A compelling call out of call-out culture and everything that it messily dredges up, brings forward, and shunts away. —Canadian Art

Schulman"s new work is a provocative rethinking of intimate and civil discourse for a rapidly shrinking world ... a rallying cry for civil engagement and engaged civility.—Gay City News

Conflict Is Not Abuse presents a gestalt shift in thinking about conflict, power relations, harm and social responsibility. —The Globe and Mail

Sarah Schulman is a novelist, nonfiction writer, playwright, screenwriter, journalist and AIDS historian, and the author of eighteen books. A Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellow, Sarah is a Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island. Her novels published by Arsenal include Rat BohemiaEmpathyAfter Delores, and The Mere Future. She lives in New York.



Posted in , literature, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on November 10th, 2017

Glenn Gould's Chair (Eyewear Publishing)

Mandy Kahn’s wonderfully inventive and gloriously lyrical second collection of poems, Glenn Gould’s Chair, weaves composer biography and classical music terminology into a compelling, accessible, and unabashedly beautiful consideration of the creative life.

In the collection, Béla Bartók treks into remote villages to record folk songs on the world’s first phonograph, a dying Gustav Mahler is greeted in heaven by Mozart, Igor Stravinsky receives a letter from a music student who wonders what rules are left to break, and Glenn Gould’s chair defends its owner against claims of eccentricity. Kahn—who also works as an opera librettist—explores the challenges and exaltations of art-making in poems that explode with curiosity, incisiveness, and awe—and that build into a lush celebration of the creative process.

Kahn’s 2014 debut collection Math, Heaven, Time—also from Eyewear Publishing—prompted a reviewer from the Los Angeles Review of Books to write, “In using the word “remarkable,” I do mean that the collection is so extraordinary or exceptional as to invite comment. Or perhaps I should have called it striking, because it certainly impresses itself powerfully and deeply upon the observer’s mind or vision. From the moment I was first introduced to Mandy Kahn and her debut collection, I knew I had encountered a voice beyond the common realm...Of the influences she names, Thoreau seems to have left his transcendental nature print most prominently. There’s also a sense of Yeats’s splendor and, at times, the concision of Dickinson, but as with all true visionaries, her alchemy creates a completely new sound — a melopoeia that is both familiar and otherworldly.”

Mandy Kahn is the author of the poetry collection Math, Heaven, Time. Former Poet Laureate Ted Kooser featured Kahn’s poem “At the Dorm” in his newspaper column American Life in Poetry. She frequently collaborates with composers to create new works that combine poetry and classical music and was a librettist for Yuval Sharon’s acclaimed opera Hopscotch. Kahn is coauthor, with Aaron Rose, of the nonfiction bookCollage Culture, which was also released as a record with a score by No Age. She lives in Los Angeles.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on November 4th, 2017

ctober is National Reading Group Month. Celebrate the joy of reading!

Join WNBA/LA for a panel discussion at Skylight Books with critically-acclaimed authors Siel Ju (Cake Time), Abbi Waxman (The Garden of Small Beginnings), and Gabrielle Zevin (Young Jane Young). 

This event is free and open to all. 

About the authors:

Siel Ju is a writer in Los Angeles. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks: Feelings Are Chemicals in Transit (Dancing Girl Press, 2014), and Might Club (Horse Less Press, 2014). Her stories and poems appear in ZYZZYVA, The Los Angeles Review, Denver Quarterly, and other publications. She also edits Flash Flash Click, a weekly email lit zine for fast fiction. Siel is the recipient of a residency from The Anderson Center at Tower View and holds a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. Cake Time is her first novel-in-stories.

“Siel Ju’s Cake Time is sharply observed and wonderfully contemporary: these complex, flawed, and real characters live in our current world, with all its confusions and opportunity to connect—or disconnect. It’s about the perils and pleasures of intimacy, and its heroine feels as alive as you and I. A compelling and unflinching debut.” - Edan Lepucki, author of California

Born in England, Abbi Waxman has worked as a copywriter and then a creative director at various advertising agencies in London and New York, including Ogilvy and Mather, Y&R, Grey, and Wunderman. She now writes books, TV shows, and screenplays of her own. 

“It is Waxman’s skill at characterization that lifts this novel far above being just another “widow finds love” story. Clearly an observer, Waxman has mastered the fine art of dialogue as well. Characters ring true right down to Lilian’s two daughters, who often steal the show. This debut begs for an encore from Waxman.”-- Kirkus Reviews, STARRED review

Gabrielle Zevin is a New York Times bestselling author whose books have been translated into more than thirty languages. Her eighth novel, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, spent more than four months on the New York Times Bestseller list, reached #1 on the National Indie Bestseller list, and has been a bestseller all around the world. She has also written books for children and young adults, including the award-winning Elsewhere.

“This book will not only thoroughly entertain everyone who reads it; it is the most immaculate takedown of slut-shaming in literature or anywhere else.” --Kirkus Reviews, STARRED review



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on November 4th, 2017

Slow Writing: Thom Andersen on Cinema (Visible Press)

Slow Writing is a collection of articles by Thom Andersen that reflect on the avant-garde, Hollywood feature films, and contemporary cinema. His critiques of artists and filmmakers as diverse as Yasujirō Ozu, Nicholas Ray, Andy Warhol, and Christian Marclay locate their work within the broader spheres of popular culture, politics, history, architecture, and the urban landscape. The city of Los Angeles and its relationship to film is a recurrent theme. These writings, which span a period of five decades, demonstrate Andersen’s social consciousness, humour and his genuine appreciation of cinema in its many forms. Thom Andersen’s films include the celebrated documentary essays Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer (1975), Red Hollywood (1996), Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003), and The Thoughts That Once We Had (2015). Of the thirty-four texts included in the book, six are hitherto unpublished; others have been revised or appear in different versions to those previously available.

Praise for Slow Writing

“There are few writers and few filmmakers who make me rethink what cinema is more than Thom Andersen. Sometimes this is a matter of introducing fresh perspectives, such as making cinema and architecture more mutually interactive. It’s always a political matter of figuring out just who and where we are, and why.”----- Jonathan Rosenbaum

“In his disarmingly plainspoken introduction, Thom Andersen more or less apologizes for not becoming a film critic, and for not delivering a manifesto. Slow Writing shows us just how terrific a critic he hasn’t (mostly) bothered to be. This book belongs on a very small and special shelf of the most incisive and ungrandiose books by artists.”----- Jonathan Lethem

Thom Andersen has lived in Los Angeles for most of his life. His knowledge of and enthusiasm for the city has deeply informed his work, not least his widely praised study of its representation in movies, Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003), which was voted one of the 50 Best Documentaries of All Time in a Sight & Sound critics’ poll. Andersen made his first short films and entered into the city’s film scene as a student of USC and UCLA in the 1960s. His hour-long documentary Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer (1974) was realised under an AFI scholarship and has lately been restored by the UCLA Film and Television Archive. His research into the victims of the Hollywood Blacklist, done in collaboration with film theorist Noël Burch, produced the video essay Red Hollywood (1996) and book Les Communistes de Hollywood: Autre chose que des martyrs (1994). Andersen’s recent films include Reconversão (2012) on the work of Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura, and The Thoughts That Once We Had (2015), a personal history of cinema loosely inspired by Gilles Deleuze. A published writer since 1966, Andersen has contributed to journals such as Film Comment, Artforum, Sight and Sound and Cinema Scope. He has taught at the California Institute of the Arts since 1987, and was previously on faculty at SUNY Buffalo and Ohio State University. Also a respected film curator, he has acted as programmer for Los Angeles Filmforum and curated thematic retrospectives for the Viennale. Slow Writing: Thom Andersen on Cinema is the first collection of his essays. 

Tosh Berman is a writer and poet.  His two books are Sparks-Tastic (Rare Bird) and a book of poems, The Plum in Mr. Blum's Pudding (Penny-Ante Editions).  He is also the publisher and editor of his press, TamTam Books, which published the works of Boris Vian, Serge Gainsbourg, Guy Debord, Jacques Mesrine, Ron Mael & Russell Mael (Sparks) Gilles Verlant, and Lun*na Menoh. 



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on November 4th, 2017

Us Kids Know (Razorbill)

We all knew about Cullen Hickson. 

Siblings Bri and Ray O'Dell are lost. Anxious. Restless. Ray—bullied at his Catholic school for being small and timid—wants to be someone people respect or, even better, someone people fear. Meanwhile, Bri knows that something is off about her friendship with the shiny, happy, sophisticated blond girls on her field hockey team. They don't really understand Bri, and if Bri is being totally honest, she doesn't really understand them either.

When storied delinquent Cullen Hickson enters the orbit of the O'Dell siblings, though, everything changes. Bri and Ray find an alluring, addictive outlet in Cullen, who opens their eyes to a world they didn't know existed. For Ray, that means experiencing the singular thrill of crime—from breaking and entering to grand theft auto—while Bri quickly dives into an all-consuming romance with the enigmatic upperclassman.

As Bri and Ray become more and more entwined with Cullen's antics, and their once-thrilling experiences grow increasingly dangerous, a series of life-changing events
threatens to lead the teens down a dark path—one that could forever alter the course of their lives.

Praise for Us Kids Know

"A gripping, tragic debut novel that will fascinate and trouble sophisticated teen readers."—Kirkus Reviews

"Strong's debut novel is one that will resonate with those searching for meaning or a higher power in life....the alternating narratives of these three [characters] will give
readers much to ponder about romance, friendship, life and death, and all the ineffable spaces in between." —Booklist

“The twists and turns in this novel left me sweating with suspense. The story of a brother and sister and the older boy who comes into their lives very astutely shows how its teen characters catalyze each other’s lives, creating unpredictable chemical reactions in which each propels the others into a dangerous direction not one of them could have imagined. Unsentimental and gripping, this is a memorable debut.” —Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander and Paint it Black

“An unflinching exploration of teenagers hurtling toward a point of no return. A compelling, impressive debut that doesn’t shy away from the allure of danger.” —Latifah
Salom, author of The Cake House

"Us Kids Know is at once a page-turning adventure and a poignant exploration of the human heart. Strong renders these complex teenagers with deep empathy and insight as they quest for truth and meaning in an uncertain world. I fell in love with this funny, heartbreaking, and ultimately life-affirming book.” —Lindsey Lee Johnson, author of The Most Dangerous Place on Earth

JJ Strong received a creative writing degree from the University of Southern California, and a B.A. in English from Georgetown University. His writing has appeared in Fifth Wednesday, the Santa Monica Review, and LA Weekly. He taught for many years in the undergraduate writing program at USC, before relocating to the Washington, D.C. area with his wife and son.

Lindsey Lee Johnson holds a master of professional writing degree from the University of Southern California and a BA in English from the University of California at Davis. She's taught writing at USC, Clark College, and Portland State University. She is a native of Marin County, California, where she has served as a tutor and mentor at a private learning center, focusing on teaching writing to teenagers. She now lives with her husband in Los Angeles. The Most Dangerous Place on Earth (Random House 2017) is Lindsey's debut novel. The book was named a Barnes & Noble Discover Pick, an American Booksellers Association Indie Next Pick, a LibraryReads Pick, a Book of the Month Club Pick, and People Magazine's Book of the Week. Translations have been published or are forthcoming in Brazil, Germany, France, Italy, Israel, Turkey, and The Netherlands.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on November 4th, 2017

The Deaths of Henry King (Uncivilized Books)

In The Deaths of Henry King, the hapless Henry King, as advertised, dies. Not just once or even twice, but seven dozen times, each death making way for a new demise, moving from the comic to the grim to the absurd to the transcendent and back again. With text by Jesse Ball and Brian Evenson complimented by Lilli Carre's macabre, gravestone-rubbing-style art, Henry King's ends are brought to a vividly absurd life.

Praise for The Deaths of Henry King

“This unique experience of the macabre blends in plenty of humor; indeed, readers will laugh at Henry as he watches himself get beaten to death, perish trying to scream in space, be eaten by a bear, or focus so hard on avoiding an open manhole that he gets hit by a car.”—Publishers Weekly

Praise for Brian Evenson:
“Brian Evenson is one of the treasures of American story writing, a true successor both to the generation of Coover, Barthelme, Hawkes and Co., but also to Edgar Allan Poe.”—Jonathan Lethem

Praise for Jesse Ball’s A Cure for Suicide:
“Spellbinding . . . [Has] the simplicity of a fable and the drama of a psychological thriller.”—The New York Times Book Review

Praise for Lilli Carré:
“Lilli Carré’s work most piquantly recalls the great avant-garde narrative films, from Menilmontant (1926) to The Saddest Music in the World (2003). Her Wanda Gág–meets–Gene Deitch drawing style and new-weirdness literary bent make her work acutely interesting to both read and scrutinize.”—Ray Olson, Booklist

Brian Evenson is the author of a dozen books of fiction, most recently the story collection A Collapse of Horses and the novella The Warren. His novel Last Days won the ALA’s RUSA award for Best Horror Novel of 2009. His novel The Open Curtain was a finalist for an Edgar Award and an International Horror Guild Award.  He lives in Los Angeles, and teaches at CalArts.

Jesse Ball (1978-).  Born in New York. His prizewinning works of absurdity are beloved in a dozen languages.

Lilli Carré is an artist living in Los Angeles. She has created several books of comics, including Heads or Tails (Fantagraphics) and the children’s book Tippy and the Night Parade (Toon Books). Her comics and illustration work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, and Best American Comics.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on November 4th, 2017

Periods Gone Public (Arcade Publishing)

The first book to explore menstruation in the current cultural and political landscape and to investigate the new wave of period activism taking the world by storm. After millennia of being shrouded in taboo and stigma, periods have gone mainstream. A new, high-profile movement has emerged—one dedicated to bold activism, creative product innovation, and smart policy advocacy—to address the centrality of menstruation in relation to core issues of gender equality and equity.

In Periods Gone Public, Jennifer Weiss-Wolf—the woman Bustle dubbed one of the nation’s “badass menstrual activists”—explores why periods have become a prominent political cause. From eliminating the “tampon tax,” to enacting new laws that ensure access to affordable, safe products, menstruation is no longer something to whisper about. Weiss-Wolf shares her firsthand account in the fight for “menstrual equity,” introducing the leaders, pioneers, and everyday people who are making change happen. And she challenges readers to face stigma head-on and elevate an agenda that recognizes both the power—and the absolute normalcy—of menstruation.

Praise for Periodss Gone Public

“This book may be the beginning of liberation for us all.”—Gloria Steinem

Periods Gone Public gives powerful voice to one of the most ignored human rights issues around the globe. It’s required reading for every one of us.” —Abigail Jones, award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author

“Jennifer Weiss-Wolf’s passion and vision for menstrual equity continues in Periods Gone Public. While both inspiring and educating, she continues to keep menstruation on front pages and at the forefront of conversations across the globe.” —Elissa Stein, author of Flow: The Cultural Story of Menstruation

Periods Gone Public shows why menstrual stigma is not only a social justice issue but an economic and political one. The policy landscape is carefully outlined and bolstered by Jennifer Weiss-Wolf’s deep knowledge of the subject, making it even clearer why this issue has become a focal point of the modern fourth-wave feminist agenda today.” —Madame Gandhi, musician and activist

“One of the most important pieces of literature on women’s rights and health policy in decades. A game-changing blueprint for action.”—NYC Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland

Jennifer Weiss-Wolf is a leading voice and advocate for equitable menstrual policy in America. Newsweek deemed her the “architect of the U.S. policy campaign to squash the tampon tax.” Weiss-Wolf’s writing and work have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington PostTIME, Newsweek, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, the Nation, Bloomberg, and Ms. Magazine, among others. She is a lawyer and vice president for the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law. She lives in Maplewood, New Jersey.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on November 4th, 2017

Miraculum Monstrum (Red Hen Press)

Miraculum Monstrum is a hybrid narrative about fictitious female artist Tristia Vogel, who experiences a radical physical transformation, beginning with the excrescence of apparent wings. Though her affliction is possibly an anomalous mutation resulting from worldwide ecological upheaval, the bird/woman is co-opted by a religious cult and written as the central figure of their scriptural text. Miraculum Monstrum contains fragmentary verse, scraps of lore, cult propaganda, curatorial commentary and images in a catalog for an exhibit of Vogel's visual artifacts and writings that chronicle this speculative history.

Praise for Miraculum Monstrum

"Enter in: here is that familiar moment when someone on the sidewalk, someone we maybe call schizophrenic, or deranged, yells out to her (our?) demons, or to eternity, to just leave her the fuck alone, and for once you hear it, and for once you agree, and wonder what would happen if everyone yelled out what they really felt, and why don't they, and what's lost in the silence. Enter: here is sadness and resistance and wings--a life (re)created, pieced together from the fragments we all become."--Nick Flynn, author of The Reenactments

"Miraculum Monstrum by Kathline Carr is a remarkably inventive, audacious debut collection that unfolds as poems, stories, fragments, drawings, paintings, mixed media pieces, and quotes to document and illustrate the life of Tristia Vogel, a visual artist who transforms dramatically and traumatically into a bird, and becomes an unintentional prophet. . . . This book is a unique and brilliant contribution to contemporary dystopic literature."--Jan Conn, author of Tomorrow's Bright White Light

"Kathline Carr's Miraculum Monstrum joins ranks with Gabriel García Márquez's story 'A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings' and Remedios Varo's painting Creation of the Birds, among other significant works, in an artistic (oracular) tradition that invokes the artist-figure as bird, art-making as flight. The poetic voice and sheer inventiveness of this book as a response to our current environmental crisis is breathtaking. Its deft word-play tangles like filigree amid the heaviness of sickness. Miraculum Monstrum's architecture, in its interplay of word and image, post-apocalyptic Ovidian myth, documentary fiction, feminist magical realism, taxonomy, and sensuousness, is a tour de force of hybrid poetics."--Shira Dentz, author of door of thin skins

"A visionary's warning, a topographical map of the mind, a manual of survival in the face of apocalyptic odds. Kathline Carr's imagined curatorial chronicle of Tristia Vogel?s metamorphosis is devastating--and transcendent."--Jane Denitz Smith, playwright

"In Miraculum Monstrum, Kathline Carr chronicles the story of Tristia Vogel, an early twenty-first century painter who suffers a mutation that begins with a bony, feather-like protrusion from her scapula. Her condition defies diagnosis, and eventually brings her to full bird-body transformation, persecution and adoration, disaster and the joy of flight. Carr reaches far down and back into our deepest shared stories, of messianic hopes, apocalyptic-climactic disaster, and body-wracking metamorphosis, to move human imagination itself forward toward its own evolution and possible survival. Readers, like the pilgrims who flock to Tristia, will be leveled by a strange kindred impossible beauty in these pages which piece the story together with poems, pieces of Tristia's art, and all manner of records and responses to the story of her life. Miraculum Monstrum is truly visionary, an act of the imagination of mythic scope."--Diane Gilliam, author of Dreadful Wind & Rain

As Burning Leaves (Red Hen Press)

Gabriel will be reading from As Burning Leaves and from an in-progress hybrid work Entry for Exits, a book of interlocking prose poems with a floating essay. This new manuscript looks at trauma, trans* embodiment(s) and strategies for resilience and healing. 

As Burning Leaves offers spaciousness and breath. Both homesick and sick of home, it chronicles a landscape of longing scored with traces of film, contemporary art, and song. Vivid and vital, Jesiolowski's queer insight lends a critical voice to the fleeting: 'wind moves the leaves across the water / they do not gather / do not cling.' A brave and elegant debut.

Praise for As Burning Leaves

[W]hat if there is no ghost realm? asks Gabriel Jesiolowski in the quietly arresting, steadily confident As Burning Leaves. But what if a ghost realm does in fact exist, and we are the ghosts both haunting and haunted who wander those causeways between/fucking & nothingness that lie in the wake of betrayal, violation, abandonment? These poems speak from and into that very realm, sifting memory's restless evidence in a quest for answers to what leads / / devotion / astray. Add to this a harder quest, for belief itself, the belief that somehow, the body ceases grieving. These poems are at once the enactment and the proof of belief's healing power. They stir; they shine. Carl Phillips, author of The Rest of Love, finalist for the National Book Award

The geography of the body changes; its landmarks temporary; its border shifting, in Gabriel Jesiolowski's As Burning Leaves, a cartography of new forms, new ways of being. These poems constitute a healing atlas, a journey of utmost compassion, marked by both formal elegance and artful eloquence. What a remarkable book; it will astonish and enchant you. D. A. Powell, author of Lunch and A Guide for Boys

What Gabriel Jesiolowski is up to in their life their installation art and their photography and their writing too is built from a push and pull between a politics of accumulation that is full of abandoning and giving away. It makes sense then to think of As Burning Leaves as a sort of writing that takes a life and ties many parts of it together with a thin string to make a beautiful package. This is in many ways a book of love poems. But what it loves is all sorts of things, everything from bark to humans to folk songs to steam and smoke. It is a work that is quiet and a work that is attentive and one that is resonant with care and grace. Juliana Spahr, author of This Connection of Everyone With Lungs

From wordless, our bodies. From nameless, our memories. An image, a yearning every landscape, and certain people. The gesture, the wingspan, in quiet, and all across the page. Each scratch and smudge accrues the diary of As Burning Leaves, Gabriel Jesiolowski s wonderful, haunting, elementally human presence! Ralph Angel, author of Neither World, winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets

Kathline Carr is a visual artist and writer living in North Adams, Massachusetts. She has exhibited her work in New York City, New England, and Canada, and her writing and art appear in various publications and online at

Gabriel Jesiolowski works in a research-based practice that uses text, land, the body, installation, print, and film. They were a 2016 MacDowell writing fellow and have shown their work at The Alice Gallery, Flux Factory and Dumbo Arts Center. Their debut collection of poetry, As Burning Leaves, won the Benjamin Saltman Award. Their current work deals with accumulation and distribution, trauma/healing, and civic projects that tangle justice with beauty. New writing is out from VoltTerritory Milkweed Zine. They live and work in Los Angeles.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on November 4th, 2017

Real American: A Memoir (Henry Holt & Company)

Julie Lythcott-Haims, the New York Times bestselling author of How to Raise an Adult, has written a different kind of book this time out – a deeply personal, biting and affecting account of her life growing up as a biracial black woman in America in Real American: A Memoir

Bringing a brisk, poetic sensibility to her prose, Lythcott-Haims stirringly evokes her personal battle with the low self-esteem that American racism routinely inflicts on people of color. The only child of an African-American father and a white British mother, she shows indelibly how so-called "micro" aggressions in addition to blunt force insults can puncture a person's inner life with a thousand sharp cuts. Real American expresses also, through Lythcott-Haims’s path to self-acceptance, the healing power of community in overcoming the hurtful isolation of being incessantly  considered "the other" Real American is a fearless and powerful memoir. Lythcott-Haims’s eloquent words deserve to be studied, memorized, and repeated. Here is a book that should be read again and again, and then once more after that.

Praise for Real Americans

“A compelling, incisive and thoughtful examination of race, origin and what it means to be called an American. Engaging, heartfelt and beautifully written, Lythcott-Haims explores the American spectrum of identity with refreshing courage and compassion.” —Bryan Stevenson, New York Times bestselling author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

Real American is a courageous, achingly honest meditation on what it means to come to consciousness as a mixed race child and adult in a nation where Black lives weren't meant to matter.” —Michelle Alexander, New York Times bestselling author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness

“Breaks the silence on what it means to grow up mixed-race in America. Her spare but powerful prose has an emotional rawness that will profoundly resonate with all readers and help many feel a little less alone.” ―Heidi W. Durrow, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Fell from the Sky

“A cathartic and bold truth-telling.” ―Danzy Senna, bestselling author of Caucasia and New People

“A powerful, honest book that should be required reading for everyone.” —Anita Amirrezvani, author of The Blood of Flowers and Equal of the Sun

“To write with such an open heart about race and Blackness takes great courage. To do so in prose that is at once elegant and raw takes great talent.” —Ayelet Waldman, bestselling author of Bad Mother and of A Really Good Day

“A true achievement . . . so much more than a personal memoir . . . [Lythcott-Haims] channels the shrewdness of Eula Biss and the compassion of Ta-Nehisi Coates.” ―Lee Daniel Kravetz, international bestselling author of Strange Contagion and Supersurvivors

“Powerful . . . a memoir that [illuminates] the psychic cost of racism to those who are cast as ‘other.’ The journey of self-healing and the empowerment  . . .  is a story of triumph from which all of us can learn.” —Beverly Daniel Tatum, author of Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? and Can We Talk About Race?

“Stands for, and stands up for, Americans who are questioned, confronted, disregarded and unnerved by our citizen country . . . Real American will be one of those books that is passed from hand to hand, with passages marked where readers find strong words that speak truth.” ―A.J. Verdelle, author of The Good Negress

“. . . shows once again, plainly and unforgettably, that if you are Black in America, it does not matter who you are, racism will come knocking. Lythcott-Haims . . . . Real American is the story of that insidious harm and of a woman who became alert to the American racism within herself and fought back. . . . not only an excellent, satisfying read but a book that can help us “stay woke”—as we must—to the sometimes stealthy and always life-threatening danger of racism, so that we all can fight back.” —U.S.
Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA)

Julie Lythcott-Haims served as dean of freshmen and undergraduate advising at Stanford University, where she received the Dinkelspiel Award for her contributions to the undergraduate experience. She holds a BA from Stanford, a JD from Harvard Law School, and an MFA in writing from California College of the Arts. She is a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, and resides in the Bay Area with her husband, their two teenagers, and her mother.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on November 4th, 2017

Freeman's: The Future of New Writing (Grove Press)

Please join us for an evening with John Freeman and Hector Tobar and two contributors to the new issue of Freeman’s, drawing on recommendations from book editors, critics, translators, and authors from across the globe, Freeman’s: The Future of New Writing includes pieces from a select list of poets, fiction writers, and essayists whose work boldly breaks new ground against a climate of nationalism and siloed thinking, influenced by work from outside their region and genre. Aged twenty-five to seventy, the writers in the issue hail from almost twenty countries and writing in almost as many languages. They are shaping the literary conversation right now and will continue to have an impact for years to come.

Freeman will be joined by Hector Tobar, Garnette Cadogan, Diego Enrique Osorno, two contributors from the issue.

In three issues, the literary anthology from leading editor John Freeman has gained an international following and wide acclaim: "fresh, provocative, engrossing" (, "impressively diverse" (O Magazine), "bold, searching" (Minneapolis Star-Tribune). Freeman's: The Future of New Writing departs from the series' progression of themes. This special fourth installment instead introduces a list--to be announced just before publication--of more than twenty-five poets, essayists, novelists, and short story writers from around the world who are shaping the literary conversation right now and will continue to impact it in years to come.

Drawing on recommendations from book editors, critics, translators, and authors from across the globe, Freeman's: The Future of New Writing includes pieces from a select list of writers aged 25 to 70, from nearly twenty countries, and writing in almost as many languages. This will be a new kind of list, and an aesthetic manifesto for our times. Against a climate of nationalism and silo'd thinking, writers remain influenced by work from outside their region, genre, and especially age group. Serious readers, this special issue celebrates, have always read this way too--and Freeman's: The Future of New Writing brings them an exciting view of where writing is going next.

John Freeman was the editor of Granta until 2013. His books include How to Read a NovelistTales of Two Cities, and the forthcoming Tales of Two AmericasMaps, his debut collection of poems, is out from Copper Canyon in fall of 2017. He is the executive editor at Literary Huband teaches at the New School and New York University. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, and the Paris Review.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on October 24th, 2017

Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century (W.W. Norton & Company)

In recent years, many Americans have had to face tough new realities in the midst of massive changes in the economy and a widening wealth gap. One particularly hard-hit demographic is senior citizens, a proportion of whom saw their stable middle-class lives disappear in the wake of the Great Recession and suddenly, in their retirement years, found themselves in need of a job in a new economy low on steady manufacturing and retail jobs and high on short-term seasonal labor. As a result, to survive they join an expanding group of modern nomads: men and women who have given up the stability—and costs—of a home life and have hit the road in RVs, campervans, and trailers.

In Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, award-winning journalist Jessica Bruder delivers a comprehensive and compelling portrait of this set of fighters, idealists, and adventurers trying to carve out a peripatetic existence.

“Millions of Americans are wrestling with the impossibility of a traditional middle-class existence,” writes Bruder. “In the widening gap between credits and debits hangs a question: What parts of this life are you willing to give up, so you can keep on living?” The answer, Bruder finds, can vary tremendously, but for those who abdicate the
comforts of home for life on the road, there is both risk and reward in the undertaking, as well as an affirming side effect: an eclectic community that comes together both online and in person to commiserate over the struggles of living on the road, to tell jokes and share puns (their vans get names like “Vansion,” “Van Go,” “DonoVan,” and “Vantucket”), and to support one another in their alternative lifestyles.

They work for employers seeking them out for low-wage seasonal gigs, from picking fruit to staffing roadside stalls that sell Halloween pumpkins, Christmas trees, or Fourth of July fireworks; scrubbing toilets in National Forest campgrounds; guarding the gates of Texas oil fields and running the rides at theme parks. (Adventureland in Altoona, Iowa, made headlines last year after one workamper, a former pastor in his sixties, was killed in an on-the- job accident.) And some serve the community, by blogging or by arranging places to gather, organizing teach-ins and potluck meals.

To write this affecting book, Bruder immersed herself in this diverse community, buying a van she dubbed “Halen” and driving more than 15,000 miles over the course of two years, meeting modern nomads. She worked alongside them in Amazon’s CamperForce team of low-wage, seasonal workers at the company’s fulfillment centers and at the grueling annual sugar beet harvest in North Dakota. And she followed them through stints of precarious employment in national parks, where they served as campground custodians in exchange for a place to park their houses-on- wheels and a near-minimum wage.

As Bruder discovers, much of the population of Nomadland is made up of resourceful Americans with a strong spirit of independence, and many of them are single women, as well as senior citizens, reflecting some of the hardest-hit members of the middle class. They gather in places like Quartzsite, Arizona, where the land is vast and available, and the local authorities are generally tolerant of long-term campers and their vehicles. But these modern nomads can also be found living in Walmart parking lots, and even on city streets, hoping that no police officer will come knocking.

On her travels Bruder meets a fascinating collective of colorful itinerants, people like Linda, a 65-year- old grandmother who lives in a trailer called “the Squeeze Inn,” and LaVonne, a 67-year- old former journalist who “found her people” among the nomads, “a ragtag bunch of misfits who surrounded me with love and acceptance.”

They all have a story, a clear reason for their transition from middle-class lives to the open road, for living out of a traveling box, for driving and working and persevering in a permanent state of flux in a world where homelessness is frowned upon, if not actually considered criminal behavior.

Elegantly crafted and compassionate in its approach, Nomadland is a singular work of in-depth narrative journalism, a view from the inside of the new American heartland—a land without a physical center, scattered across the country, in nearly constant motion.

Praise for Nomadland

“What photographer Jacob Riis did for the tenement poor in How the Other Half Lives (1890) and what novelist Upton Sinclair did for stockyard workers in The Jungle (1906), journalist Bruder now does for a segment of today’s older Americans forced to eke out a living as migrant workers. . . . [A] powerhouse of a book. . . . Visceral and haunting reporting.”—Booklist, STARRED review

“Excellent. . . . Engaging, highly relevant immersion journalism.”—Kirkus Reviews, STARRED review

“A must-read that is simultaneously hopeless and uplifting and certainly unforgettable.”—Library Journal, STARRED review

“Tracing individuals throughout their journeys from coast to coast, Bruder conveys the phenomenon’s human element, making this sociological study intimate, personal, and entertaining, even as the author critiques the economic factors behind the trend.”—Publishers Weekly

“People who thought the 2008 financial collapse was over a long time ago need to meet the people Jessica Bruder got to know in this scorching, beautifully written, vivid, disturbing (and occasionally wryly funny) book. Nomadland is a testament both to the generosity and creativity of the victims of our modern-medieval economy, hidden in plain sight, and to the blunt-end brutality that put them there. Is this the best the wealthiest nation on earth can do for those who’ve already done so much?”—Rebecca Solnit, author of The Mother of All Questions

“In the early twentieth century, men used to ride the rails in search of work, sharing camps at night. Today, as Bruder brilliantly reports, we have a new class of nomadic workers who travel in their RVs from one short-term job to another. There’s a lot to cringe at here—from low pay and physically exhausting work to constant insecurity. But surprisingly, Nomadland also offers its residents much-needed camaraderie and adventure, which makes this book a joy to read.”—Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed

“The campsite as the home of last resort, the RV used not for vacation but for survival: these are the makings of a new dystopia. Nomadland is a smart road book for the new economy, full of conviviality and dark portent.”—Ted Conover, author of Rolling Nowhere and Immersion

Jessica Bruder is an award-winning journalist whose work focuses on subcultures and the dark corners of the economy. She teaches at the Columbia School of Journalism and is the author of Burning Book.



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on October 24th, 2017

Dead Girls and Other Stories (Dzanc Books)

With lyric artistry and emotional force, Emily Geminder’s debut collection charts a vivid constellation of characters fleeing their own stories. A teenage runaway and her mute brother seek salvation in houses, buses, the backseats of cars. Preteen girls dial up the ghosts of fat girls. A crew of bomber pilots addresses the ash of villagers below. And from India to New York to Phnom Penh, dead girls both real and fantastic appear again and again: as obsession, as threat, as national myth and collective nightmare.

Praise for Dead Girls 

“An eerie convergence of female identities and experiences across time and space. [...] Startling, far-reaching tales of women who haunt and are haunted.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Geminder’s stories are refreshing, surprising, and evocative.”—Publisher's Weekly

“Geminder showcases an acute sensitivity to worlds both inside and out. There’s real delicacy to the craft but underneath all the skill is a shaking sense of purpose, and a great love of the brokenness and beauty of humanity. This is a substantive, memorable debut.”—Aimee Bender, author of The Color Master and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

“An electrifying read. Written in dreamy prose, these stories take the world we know and turn it inside out, making us question everything we think we know about our places in it. But don’t let the dream-like quality fool you: These stories have teeth. Seductive but fierce, full of keen insights and tenacious questions, Geminder’s fearless and utterly original debut collection will haunt and nourish you.”—Dana Johnson, author of In the Not Quite Dark and Elsewhere, California

“The stories in Geminder’s mesmerizing Dead Girls seamlessly weave gender and geopolitics and the dreamlike worlds of characters struggling to find hope and reason within their near apocalypses. The thread of unease that runs through the collection is insightful, rebellious, and righteous.”—Paul Tremblay, author of A Head Full of Ghosts and Disappearance at Devil’s Rock

“Emily Geminder’s stirring collection explores death-haunted scenarios from unexpected angles. Whether the characters are caught in the currents of Cambodian history or the private mythologies of an American summer, they’re often plunged into moments that dissolve all certainties about identity, consciousness, and the body. Etched with a matter-of-fact lyricism, Dead Girls will haunt you, sure, but that’s barely half the story.”—Jeff Jackson, author of Mira Corpora

Emily Geminder’s short stories, poems, and essays have appeared in AGNI, American Short Fiction, Mississippi Review, New England Review, Prairie Schooner, Tin House Open Bar, Witness, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of an AWP Intro Journals Award and a Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award, and her work was noted in Best American Essays 2016. She has worked as a journalist in New York and Cambodia, and is a Provost’s Fellow in creative writing and literature at the University of Southern California.

Brandi Wells is the author of This Boring Apocalypse (Civil Coping Mechanisms), Please Don’t Be Upset (Tiny Hardcore Press), and Poisonhorse (Dzanc Books). Her writing appears in Denver Quarterly, Sycamore Review, Paper Darts, Folio, Chicago Review and other journals. She has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alabama, where she served as editor of the Black Warrior Review



Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books by skylightbooks on October 24th, 2017

The Consequences (DoppelHouse Press)

Dutch author Niña Weijers took the world of European literature by storm in 2014 with her debut novel The Consequences, which has sold over 30,000 copies in Holland and garnered critical praise for its maturity and ambition.

Using deft and captivating prose, Weijers tells the story of Minnie Panis, a young and talented conceptual artist, as she navigates love affairs, her unexpected success in the art world, and her relationship with an emotionally distant mother. Beginning with Minnie’s near-death experience falling through the ice during her ultimate artwork, Weijers takes readers on a rollercoaster ride as Minnie uncovers the truth behind her premature birth. The doctor who saves her life, twice, enters Minnie into his clinic, whose motto All the fish needs is to get lost in the water helps her arrive at the border of life’s ebb, where meaningful art and revelations occur. An intimate, often humorous exploration of the intertwining cycles of death, rebirth and coincidence, The Consequences is a Bildungsroman that echoes far beyond the last page.

Praise for The Consequences

The Consequences attempts something that's not easy, and succeeds. A person thinks about herself exhaustively, yet doesn’t become a bore. She writes about what she’s doing and you want to know all about it because it’s so vividly told. The temptation not to exist, to disappear from the world you're walking around in, the art you come upon and live with—when you write it down it sounds like heavy going; When you read it it’s light. So read it.” —Cees Nooteboom, Award-winning author of The Following Story and Rituals

“In this novel, tingling with ambition and fascinating ideas, the life and art of the main character revolve around loss, existence and disappearance. A determined tone characterizes this crazy book.” —NRC Handelsblad, 5 stars (Netherlands) 

“The novel grates and creaks, and is loaded with questions, leaps and side paths, but that is one of its charms. Up to the last disturbing sentence the writer holds the reader in her manipulative grip.” —De Groene Amsterdammer (Netherlands)

“Niña Weijers’ remarkable, inventive novel depicts a contemporary conceptual artist at the height of her fame whose blasé art project has unintended consequences. Weijers invokes Kurt Vonnegut in the course of the narrative, and this novel shares Vonnegut’s sense of how things can be simultaneously real and absurd. Movies and books notoriously fail to capture the social and spiritual atmosphere of the contemporary art world, but Weijers nails it. Her book is beautifully written, surprising and often profound.”
—Chris Kraus, author of I Love Dick, and Aliens and Anorexia

Niña Weijers studied literary theory in Amsterdam and Dublin. She has published short stories, essays and articles in various Dutch literary magazines. She is a regular contributor to the weekly magazine De Groene Amsterdammer, and an editor of De Gids.

Her debut novel The Consequences (De consequenties) was first published in Dutch in May 2014. It won the 2014 Anton Wachter Prize for best first novel, the Opzij Feminist Literature Prize, the Lucy B. & C.W. van der Hoogt Prize, and was shortlisted for the Libris Prize and the Golden Boekenuil, the two most important Dutch and Flemish literary awards. So far, it has sold over 30,000 copies, and has been published in five languages.

Meredith Alling is a writer based in Los Angeles. Her debut collection of short stories, Sing the Song, is available from Future Tense Books ( 


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