Archive for nonfiction

LIVE ON ZOOM: Porochista Khakpour, “BROWN ALBUM” w/ Myriam Gurba

Posted in , literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Memoir, nonfiction, biography by skylightbooks on May 25th, 2020

Novelist Porochista Khakpour's family moved to Los Angeles after fleeing the Iranian Revolution, giving up their successes only to be greeted by an alienating culture. Growing up as an immigrant in America means that one has to make one's way through a confusing tangle of conflicting cultures and expectations. And Porochista is pulled between the glitzy culture of Tehrangeles, an enclave of wealthy Iranians and Persians in LA, her own family's modest life and culture, and becoming an assimilated American. Porochista rebels--she bleaches her hair and flees to the East Coast, where she finds her community: other people writing and thinking at the fringes. But, 9/11 happens and with horror, Porochista watches from her apartment window as the towers fall. Extremism and fear of the Middle East rises in the aftermath and then again with the election of Donald Trump. Porochista is forced to finally grapple with what it means to be Middle-Eastern and Iranian, an immigrant, and a refugee in our country today.

Brown Album is a stirring collection of essays, at times humorous and at times profound, drawn from more than a decade of Porochista's work and with new material included. Altogether, it reveals the tolls that immigrant life in this country can take on a person and the joys that life can give.

Khakpour is in conversation with Myriam Gurba, a writer, spoken-word artist, and visual artist.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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




Handsell, Ep. 6, “Yves and Mandy Harris Williams”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Feminism, nonfiction, LGBTQ by skylightbooks on May 19th, 2020

In this special early edition of the Handsell podcast, Yves talks to Mandy Harris Wiliams (@idealblackfemale), the Programming Director at the Women's Center for Creative Work. Williams is launching the Algorithms of Oppression Book Club, co-hosted by WCCW and FeministAI, in alliance with The Free Black Women's Library LA. 

The first meeting of the book club is tonight (5/19), and will occur monthly! Please use the following link to find out more:

https://womenscenterforcreativework.com/events/algorithms-of-oppression/

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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




LIVE ON ZOOM: Chelsea Bieker, Aja Gabel, Nina Renata Aron

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, Short Stories, nonfiction, novels by skylightbooks on May 15th, 2020

Join us for a Skylight virtual event! Chelsea Bieker, Aja Gabel and Nina Renata Aron will talk about their journeys to publication, the current literary landscape, and moms in all their forms.

Order Godshot by Chelsea Bieker

Order The Ensemble by Aja Gabel

Order Good Morning, Destroyer of Men's Souls by Nina Renata Aron

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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




Lane Moore, “HOW TO BE ALONE”

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Memoir, nonfiction, biography by skylightbooks on May 11th, 2020

Lane Moore is a rare performer who is as impressive onstage—whether hosting her iconic show Tinder Live or being the enigmatic front woman of It Was Romance—as she is on the page, as both a former writer for The Onion and an award-winning sex and relationships editor for Cosmopolitan. But her story has had its obstacles, including being her own parent, living in her car as a teenager, and moving to New York City to pursue her dreams. Through it all, she looked to movies, TV, and music as the family and support systems she never had.

From spending the holidays alone to having better “stranger luck” than with those closest to her to feeling like the last hopeless romantic on earth, Lane reveals her powerful and entertaining journey in all its candor, anxiety, and ultimate acceptance—with humor always her bolstering force and greatest gift.

How to Be Alone is a must-read for anyone whose childhood still feels unresolved, who spends more time pretending to have friends online than feeling close to anyone in real life, who tries to have genuine, deep conversations in a roomful of people who would rather you not. Above all, it’s a book for anyone who desperately wants to feel less alone and a little more connected through reading her words.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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




Lulu Miller, “WHY FISH DON’T EXIST”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, journalism by skylightbooks on April 29th, 2020

David Starr Jordan was a taxonomist, a man possessed with bringing order to the natural world. In time, he would be credited with discovering nearly a fifth of the fish known to humans in his day. But the more of the hidden blueprint of life he uncovered, the harder the universe seemed to try to thwart him. His specimen collections were demolished by lightning, by fire, and eventually by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake--which sent more than a thousand of his discoveries, housed in fragile glass jars, plummeting to the floor. In an instant, his life's work was shattered.

Many might have given up, given in to despair. But Jordan? He surveyed the wreckage at his feet, found the first fish he recognized, and confidently began to rebuild his collection. And this time, he introduced one clever innovation that he believed would at last protect his work against the chaos of the world.

When NPR reporter Lulu Miller first heard this anecdote in passing, she took Jordan for a fool --a cautionary tale in hubris, or denial. But as her own life slowly unraveled, she began to wonder about him. Perhaps instead he was a model for how to go on when all seemed lost. What she would unearth about his life would transform her understanding of history, morality, and the world beneath her feet.

Part biography, part memoir, part scientific adventure, Why Fish Don't Exist reads like a fable about how to persevere in a world where chaos will always prevail.

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Produced by Maddie Gobbo & Michael Kowaleski

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




Katie Orphan, “READ ME, LOS ANGELES” w/ Liska Jacobs

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction by skylightbooks on April 13th, 2020

Read Me, Los Angeles is a colorful, lively, and informed celebration of all things bookish in L.A. past and present, including interviews with current L.A. writers; day trips in search of favorite fictional characters, from Marlowe to Weetzie Bat; author quotes galore; curated lists of the must-read L.A. books, from fiction to history to poetry; a look at where writers have lived and worked in the City of Angels; and insight into the city’s literary festivals, bookstores, publishers, literacy nonprofits, libraries, and more. Rich with photographs, book images, and vintage maps.

Author Katie Orphan is in conversation with Liska Jacobs, the author of Catalina.




Bernice Steinhardt, “MEMORIES OF SURVIVAL”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, nonfiction, art, biography by skylightbooks on April 8th, 2020

This stunning collection of fabric and embroidered panels depicts Esther Nisenthal Krinitz’s remarkable journey of living through the Holocaust in Poland. At the age of fifteen, she and her thirteen-year-old sister separated from their family and went into hiding, assuming the identities of Catholic farmgirls. Though untrained as an artist but a skilled seamstress, Esther picked up needle and thread forty years later to retell her childhood memories. At once naïve and infinitely complex, these images reveal both the extreme horrors of war, and the cherished family memories shared before the war began. Told in Esther’s own words, with commentary written by her daughter, Bernice Steinhardt, this is an unforgettable look back to a time and events that must never be forgotten.

 




Steffie Nelson, “SLOUCHING TOWARDS LOS ANGELES” w/ Contributors

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, nonfiction, anthology by skylightbooks on April 7th, 2020

In The White Album, Joan Didion wrote that “a place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively…loves it so radically that he remakes it in his image.” Cruising the freeways in her Daytona yellow Corvette, taking it all in behind dark glasses, Joan Didion claimed California for all time. Slouching Towards Los Angeles is a multi-faceted portrait of the literary icon who, in turn, belongs to us. This collection of original essays covers the turf that made Didion a sensation—Hollywood and Patty Hearst; Malibu, Manson and the Mojave; the Summer of Love and the Central Park Five—while bringing together some of the finest voices of today’s Los Angeles and beyond. Slouching Towards Los Angeles is a love letter and thank you note; personal memoir and social commentary; cultural history and literary critique. Fans of Didion, lovers of California, and fellow writers alike will all find something to dig into, in this rich exploration of the inner and outer landscapes Joan Didion traveled, coloring our own journeys in the process.

This evening's event will feature contributors DAN CRANE, JESSICA HUNDLEY, TRACY MCMILLAN, CAROLINE RYDER and MARGARET WAPPLER along with editor STEFFIE NELSON reading and discussing the book and Joan Didion's life and work.




Sarah Gailey, “WHEN WE WERE MAGIC”, & Mallory O’Meara, “THE LADY FROM THE BLACK LAGOON”

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, fiction, nonfiction by skylightbooks on April 6th, 2020

A moving, darkly funny novel about six teens whose magic goes wildly awry from Magic for Liars author Sarah Gailey, who Chuck Wendig calls an "author to watch."

Keeping your magic a secret is hard. Being in love with your best friend is harder.

Alexis has always been able to rely on two things: her best friends, and the magic powers they all share. Their secret is what brought them together, and their love for each other is unshakeable--even when that love is complicated. Complicated by problems like jealousy, or insecurity, or lust. Or love.

That unshakeable, complicated love is one of the only things that doesn't change on prom night.

When accidental magic goes sideways and a boy winds up dead, Alexis and her friends come together to try to right a terrible wrong. Their first attempt fails--and their second attempt fails even harder. Left with the remains of their failed spells and more consequences than anyone could have predicted, each of them must find a way to live with their part of the story.

Mallory O’Meara is the bestselling author of The Lady from the Black Lagoon, along with being a screenwriter and film producer.




Erin Khar, “STRUNG OUT” w/ Jen Pastiloff

Posted in skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Memoir, nonfiction, biography by skylightbooks on April 2nd, 2020

Growing up in Los Angeles as the only child of divorced parents, Erin Khar, often consumed with loneliness, looked for an escape from the pervasive belief that she wasn't enough—not enough to keep her parents together or her mother from depression—and yet, she never shared with anyone this private sadness. Instead, she hid behind the façade of a perfect childhood filled with good grades, a popular group of friends, and horseback riding. By the time she was thirteen, the act becoming too difficult to keep up, and she started experimenting with her grandmother's expired valium, quickly followed by heroin. The drug allowed her to feel the calm she was missing from her life and suppress all the heavy feelings she couldn't understand. Heroin, while keeping her from other forms of self-harm, became the addiction that destroyed her.

Khar is in conversation with Jen Pastiloff, who travels the world with her unique workshop On Being Human, a hybrid of yoga-related movement, writing, sharing aloud, letting the snot fly, and the occasional dance party.




Jenn Shapland, “MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF CARSON MCCULLERS” w/

Posted in literature, skylight books, los angeles, book stores, books, Memoir, nonfiction, biography by skylightbooks on March 24th, 2020

While working as an intern in the archives at the Harry Ransom Center, Jenn Shapland encounters the love letters of Carson McCullers and a woman named Annemarie—letters that are tender, intimate, and unabashed in their feelings. Shapland recognizes herself in the letters’ language—but does not see McCullers as history has portrayed her.

And so, Shapland is compelled to undertake a recovery of the full narrative and language of McCullers’s life: she wades through the therapy transcripts; she stays at McCullers’s childhood home, where she lounges in her bathtub and eats delivery pizza; she relives McCullers’s days at her beloved Yaddo. As Shapland reckons with the expanding and collapsing distance between her and McCullers, she sees how McCullers’s story has become a way to articulate something about herself. The results reveal something entirely new not only about this one remarkable, walleyed life, but about the way we tell queer love stories.

In My Autobiography of Carson McCullers, Jenn Shapland interweaves her own story with Carson McCullers’s to create a vital new portrait of one of America’s most beloved writers, and shows us how the writers we love and the stories we tell about ourselves make us who we are.

Shapland is in conversation with Andy Campbell, PhD, an art historian, critic, and curator.




Emma Copley Eisenberg, “THE THIRD RAINBOW GIRL” w/ Steph Cha

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, True Crime, Serial Killers, nonfiction by skylightbooks on March 13th, 2020

In the early evening of June 25, 1980 in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, two middle-class outsiders named Vicki Durian, 26, and Nancy Santomero, 19, were murdered in an isolated clearing. They were hitchhiking to a festival known as the Rainbow Gathering but never arrived; they traveled with a third woman however, who lived. For thirteen years, no one was prosecuted for the "Rainbow Murders," though deep suspicion was cast on a succession of local residents in the community, depicted as poor, dangerous, and backward. In 1993, a local farmer was convicted, only to be released when a known serial killer and diagnosed schizophrenic named Joseph Paul Franklin claimed responsibility. With the passage of time, as the truth seemed to slip away, the investigation itself caused its own traumas--turning neighbor against neighbor and confirming a fear of the violence outsiders have done to this region for centuries.

Emma Copley Eisenberg spent years living in Pocahontas and re-investigating these brutal acts. Using the past and the present, she shows how this mysterious act of violence has loomed over all those affected for generations, shaping their fears, fates, and the stories they tell about themselves. In The Third Rainbow Girl, Eisenberg follows the threads of this crime through the complex history of Appalachia, forming a searing and wide-ranging portrait of America--its divisions of gender and class, and of its violence.

Eisenberg is in conversation with Steph Cha, the author of Follow Her HomeBeware BewareDead Soon Enough, and Your House Will Pay, out from Ecco in 2019.




WRITEGIRL 4 Group Reading

Posted in skylight books, poetry, fiction, Feminism, Short Stories, nonfiction, anthology, essays by skylightbooks on March 10th, 2020

WriteGirl is an innovative nonprofit organization that empowers teen girls through creative writing. Join us for this special chance to hear WriteGirl teens speak their minds and read their original poetry and prose. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll be surprised—you won’t want to miss it! 

In WriteGirl’s new award-winning anthology, This Moment: Bold Voices from WriteGirl, 180 teens share stories, poems, memoirs, scripts and songs about their hopes and fears, loves and losses, amigas and pan dulce, as they navigate a challenging present and uncertain future with determination and grace. Their words inspire reflection and ignite action. The book includes a Creativity Starter Kit with 15 fresh writing activities to inspire young writers. This Moment is available for purchase at Skylight Books.




Ejeris Dixon & Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, “BEYOND SURVIVAL” w/ Guests

Posted in skylight books, book stores, books, Crime, nonfiction, anthology, essays, activism, politics by skylightbooks on March 4th, 2020

Afraid to call 911, but not sure what to do instead? Read this book! Beyond Survival collects tools, strategies and personal stories of the struggle to create safety, justice and accountability beyond the criminal justice system. 

This long-awaited and deeply necessary book documents some of the work of the transformative justice movement- collecting everything from personal stories of successful interventions in abuse and violence to guides to being accountable if you’ve been abusive, from strategies to support folks having emotional crises without calling 911 to toolkits for creating safer party spaces and community safety zones from ICE.  Along the way, there’s plenty of personal essays and reflections from long time organizers on the state of the movement, and visions for the future we’re building that will bring us all home.  

Editors Ejeris Dixon and Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha are in conversation with activist-contributors Amita Swadhin and Raquel Lavina.

 




Ian Brennan, “SILENCED BY SOUND” w/ Tunde Adebimpe

Posted in skylight books, book stores, nonfiction, music by skylightbooks on January 30th, 2020

Popular culture has woven itself into the social fabric of our lives, penetrating people's homes and haunting their psyches through images and earworms. Justice, at most levels, is something the average citizen may have little influence upon, leaving us feeling helpless and complacent. But pop music is a neglected arena where concrete change can occur — by exercising active and thoughtful choices to reject the low-hanging, omnipresent corporate fruit, we begin to rebalance the world, one engaged listener at a time.

Silenced by Sound is a powerful exploration of the challenges facing art, music, and media. Ian Brennan delves into his personal story to address the inequity of distribution in the arts and demonstrates that there are millions of talented people around the world more gifted than the superstars for whom billions of dollars are spent to promote the delusion that they have been blessed with unique genius.

Brennan is in conversation with Tunde Adebimpe, a Grammy-nominated musician, actor, director, and visual-artist best known as the lead singer of the band TV on the Radio.





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