Archive for Memoir

SKYLIT: Darrel J. McLeod, ”PEYAKOW”

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, native authors, Memoir, nonfiction, biography, skylit by skylightbooks on September 18th, 2021
In Mamaskatch, Darrel J. McLeod captured an early childhood full of the stories, scents, and sensations of his great-grandfather's cabin, as well as the devastating separation from family, ensuing abuse, and eventual loss of his mother that permeated his adolescence. In the equally potent Peyakow, McLeod follows a young man through many seasons of his life, navigating an ever-turbulent personal and political landscape filled with loss, love, addiction, and perseverance.
Weaving together the past and the present through powerful, linked chapters, McLeod confronts how both the personal traumas of his youth and the historical traumas of his ancestral line impact the trajectory of his life. With unwavering and heart-wrenching honesty, Peyakow--Cree for "one who walks alone"--recounts how one man carries the spirit of his family through the lifelong process of healing.
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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: Shugri Said Salh, ”THE LAST NOMAD”

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

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

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

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

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

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




SKYLIT: 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: 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: Katie Love, “TWO TICKETS TO PARADISE”

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Memoir, Humor, nonfiction, religion, skylit by skylightbooks on July 12th, 2021
Two Tickets to Paradise is a memoir about growing up Jehovah’s Witness , leaving religion and finding truth and healing through humor. Two Tickets to Paradise has been lauded by peers and early reviewers as, “hauntingly funny, heartbreaking, and bold.”
 
Author Katie Love discusses her book with Skylight's Christine Blackburn.
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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: Laura LeMoon, “A THOUSAND LITTLE DEATHS”

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, poetry, Memoir, Feminism, essays, skylit, sponsored by skylightbooks on July 3rd, 2021
A Thousand Little Deaths is a story molded from experience and thrown into verse. For many, poetry is a method of healing, a method of activism, a method of releasing all the pain you've held inside of you in a single burst. Laura LeMoon offers us this brief chapbook of her life in an attempt to share a journey not many are familiar with, taking on existential issues such as death and how absurd life can be when it throws the impossible at you. It's a test of endurance, throwing readers into a world most have probably only seen through television or stereotyped novels. It's a hard read. It's an essential read. And the moment you open up it's pages, LeMoon's words will go right for your gut, sending you spiraling as you move along with her journey.
 
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: Danielle Henderson, “THE UGLY CRY” w/ Ann Friedman

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Memoir, nonfiction, biography, live on crowdcast by skylightbooks on July 2nd, 2021
Abandoned at ten years old by a mother who chose her drug-addicted, abusive boyfriend, Danielle Henderson was raised by grandparents who thought their child-rearing days had ended in the 1960s. She grew up Black, weird, and overwhelmingly uncool in a mostly white neighborhood in upstate New York, which created its own identity crises. Under the eye-rolling, foul-mouthed, loving tutelage of her uncompromising grandmother—and the horror movies she obsessively watched—Danielle grew into a tall, awkward, Sassy-loving teenager who wore black eyeliner as lipstick and was struggling with the aftermath of her mother’s choices. But she also learned that she had the strength and smarts to save herself, her grandmother gifting her a faith in her own capabilities that the world would not have most Black girls possess.

With humor, wit, and deep insight, Danielle shares how she grew up and grew wise—and the lessons she’s carried from those days to these. In the process, she upends our conventional understanding of family and redefines its boundaries to include the millions of people who share her story.

 
Here, Danielle discusses her book The Ugly Cry with Ann Friedman.
 
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: Jess Phoenix, “MS. ADVENTURE” w/ Branwen Williams

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Memoir, nonfiction, science, skylit by skylightbooks on May 1st, 2021
As a volcanologist, natural hazards expert, and founder of Blueprint Earth, Jess Phoenix has dedicated her life to scientific exploration. Her career path—hard earned in the male-dominated world of science—has led her into still-flowing Hawaiian lava fields, congressional races, glittering cocktail parties at Manhattan’s elite Explorers Club, and numerous pairs of Caterpillar work boots. It has also inspired her to devote her life to making science more inclusive and accessible.
 
Ms. Adventure skillfully blends personal memoir, daring adventure, and scientific exploration, following Phoenix’s journey from reality television sites deep in Ecuadorian jungles to Andean glaciers, university classrooms to Death Valley in summer. She has even chased down members of a Mexican cartel to retrieve a stolen favorite rock hammer. Readers will delight in her unbelievable adventures, all embarked on for the love of science.
 
Phoenix is in conversation with Branwen Williams.
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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: Jana Larson, “REEL BAY” & Jazmina Barrera, “ON LIGHTHOUSES”

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, Memoir, nonfiction, essays, skylit by skylightbooks on April 25th, 2021
 
What was Takako Konishi really doing in North Dakota, and why did she end up dead? Did she get lost and freeze to death, as the police concluded, while searching for the fictional treasure buried in a snowbank at the end of the Coen Brothers' film Fargo? Or was it something else that brought her there: unrequited love, ritual suicide, a meteor shower, a far-flung search for purpose? The seed of an obsession took root in struggling film student Jana Larson when she chanced upon a news bulletin about the case. Over the years and across continents, the material Jana gathered in her search for the real Takako outgrew multiple attempts at screenplays and became this remarkable, genre-bending essay that leans into the space between fact and fiction, life and death, author and subject, reality and delusion.
 

Far from home, in the confines of a dim New York apartment where the oppressive skyscrapers further isolate her, Jazmina Barrera offers a tour of her lighthouses--those structures whose message is "first and foremost, that human beings are here."

Starting with Robert Louis Stevenson's grandfather, an engineer charged with illuminating the Scottish coastline, On Lighthouses artfully examines lighthouses from the Spanish to the Oregon coasts and those in the works of Virginia Woolf, Edgar Allan Poe, Ingmar Bergman, and many others.

In trying to "collect" lighthouses by obsessively describing them, Barrera begins to question the nature of writing, collecting, and how, by staring so intently at one thing we are only trying to avoid others. Equal parts personal memoir and literary history, On Lighthouses takes the reader on a desperate flight from raging sea to cold stone--from a hopeless isolation to a meaningful one--concluding at last in a place of peace: the home of a selfless, guiding light.

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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: Joshua Mohr, “MODEL CITIZEN” w/ Gina Frangello

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Memoir, biography, skylit by skylightbooks on March 15th, 2021

After years of hard-won sobriety, while rebuilding a life with his wife and young daughter, thirty-five-year-old Joshua Mohr suffers a stroke—his third, it turns out— which uncovers a heart condition requiring surgery. Which requires fentanyl, one of his myriad drugs of choice. This forced “freelapse” should fix his heart, but what will it do to his sobriety? And what if it doesn’t work?

Told in stunning, surreal, time-hopping vignettes, Model Citizen is a raw, revealing portrait of an addict. Mohr shines a harsh spotlight into all corners of his life, throwing the wild joys, tragedies, embarrassments, and adventures of his past into bold relief.

Mohr is in conversation with Gina Frangello.

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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: Eileen Myles, “FOR NOW” w/ Adam Fitzgerald

Posted in literature, skylight books, book stores, books, Memoir, nonfiction, essays, writing, LGBTQ, biography, live on crowdcast by skylightbooks on January 27th, 2021
In this raucous meditation, Eileen Myles offers an intimate glimpse into creativity’s immediacy. With erudition and wit, Myles recounts their early years as an awakening writer; existential struggles with landlords; storied moments with neighbors, friends, and lovers; and the textures and identities of cities and the country that reveal the nature of writing as presence in time.
 
For Myles, time’s “optic quality” is what enables writing in the first place—as attention, as devotion, as excess. It is this chronologized vision that enables the writer to love the world as it presently is, lending love a linguistic permanence amid social and political systems that threaten to eradicate it. Irreverent, generous, and always insightful, For Now is a candid record of the creative process from one of our most beloved artists.
 
Myles is in conversation with Adam Fitzgerald, professor of creative writing at Rutgers University.
 
This episode was recorded on Monday, October 19 during a live Crowdcast event hosted by Skylight Books. Visit us at www.crowdcast.io/skylightbooks to RSVP for future events.
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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & 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: Jared Milrad & Jan West, “BELIEVE IN YOU”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Memoir, nonfiction, biography, skylit by skylightbooks on December 7th, 2020

In Believe In You, an intimate and revealing conversation between a mother and son, Jared Milrad and Jan West take a fascinating look at the experiences, moments, and people that have shaped their lives - both together and apart. From Childhood to Marriage to Family, Animals, Activism, Movies, Politics and just about everything in between, Jared and Jan hold no punches as they explore how life, love, and loss shaped their lives and fueled their connections with others. A former staffer for President Barack Obama and a filmmaker who has worked with leaders across Hollywood and beyond, Jared reflects on growing up in a single parent household, coming out as a gay man, pursuing multiple creative passions, and working at the highest levels of politics, nonprofit advocacy, and entertainment. In a free-flowing interview style, Jared explores his mom's remarkable life: growing up in a dysfunctional household, marching for civil and human rights, working through a divorce and difficult relationships, and raising two kids as a single mother on a secretary's salary. It's a conversation rarely had - and even less often recorded - between a parent and child, particularly with such raw honesty, thoughtful reflection, and considered insight into what makes a family's bond truly eternal.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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

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




SKYLIT: Riva Lehrer, “GOLEM GIRL: A MEMOIR” w/ Terry Myers

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Memoir, nonfiction, health, biography, skylit by skylightbooks on November 23rd, 2020

What do we sacrifice in the pursuit of normalcy? And what becomes possible when we embrace monstrosity? Can we envision a world that sees impossible creatures?

In 1958, amongst the children born with spina bifida is Riva Lehrer. At the time, most such children are not expected to survive. Her parents and doctors are determined to fix her, sending the message over and over again that she is broken. That she will never have a job, a romantic relationship, or an independent life. Enduring countless medical interventions, Riva tries her best to be a good girl and a good patient in the quest to be cured.

Everything changes when, as an adult, Riva is invited to join a group of artists, writers, and performers who are building Disability Culture. Their work is daring, edgy, funny, and dark--it rejects tropes that define disabled people as pathetic, frightening, or worthless. They insist that disability is an opportunity for creativity and resistance. Emboldened, Riva asks if she can paint their portraits--inventing an intimate and collaborative process that will transform the way she sees herself, others, and the world. Each portrait story begins to transform the myths she's been told her whole life about her body, her sexuality, and other measures of normal.

 

Written with the vivid, cinematic prose of a visual artist, and the love and playfulness that defines all of Riva's work, Golem Girl is an extraordinary story of tenacity and creativity. With the author's magnificent portraits featured throughout, this memoir invites us to stretch ourselves toward a world where bodies flow between all possible forms of what it is to be human.

Lehrer is in conversation with writer and editor Terry Myers. 

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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

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




SKYLIT: Hayley Gene Penner, “PEOPLE YOU FOLLOW” w/ Kathryn Borel

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Memoir, music, skylit by skylightbooks on October 23rd, 2020

Singer-songwriter Hayley Gene Penner's memoir takes a brutally honest yet humorous look at the dark, intimate truths we spend our lives running from. Like a map of beautiful mistakes, Hayley's stories of questionable sexual encounters, artistic aspirations, and emotional abuse trace her coming of age in the music industry.

Hayley explores all her relationships -- from her childhood as the daughter of a celebrity, to the destructive and coercive relationship with her boss, to her encounter with the actor we all know but who mustn't be named -- and brings them together in a series of sharp, touching vignettes. People You Follow straddles the delicate boundary between ethical and unethical behaviour, self-protection and self-destruction, power and weakness, giddiness and despair.

Penner is in conversation with writer, editor and radio producer Kathryn Borel.

Stream "People You Follow," Penner's title track from her upcoming album, here.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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

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




SKYLIT: Ken Kwapis, “BUT WHAT I REALLY WANT TO DO IS DIRECT” w/ David Ulin

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Memoir, Film, film/tv, skylit by skylightbooks on October 7th, 2020

He is among the most respected directors in show business, but getting there wasn’t easy. He struggled just like everyone else. With each triumph came the occasional faceplant. Using his background and inside knowledge, But What I Really Want To Do is Direct tackles Hollywood myths through Ken Kwapis’s highly entertaining experiences. It’s a rollercoaster ride fueled by brawls with the top brass, clashes over budgets, and the passion that makes it all worthwhile.

This humorous and refreshingly personal memoir is filled with inspiring instruction, behind-the-scenes hilarity, and unabashed joy. It’s a celebration of the director’s craft, and what it takes to succeed in show business on your own terms.

Kwapis is in conversation with critic David Ulin.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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

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





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