Traditionally, the Unlikeable Character in fiction is created with authorial intention. You, as the reader, recognize the cues that the person you’re reading about is alienating or reprehensible, and it’s clear that such characterization is part of author’s aesthetic project… But what if a character isn’t Unlikeable, but unlikeable? What if you just didn’t like him or her?
Posts Tagged: California
Rumpus contributor J. Ryan Stradal edited the recently published California Prose Directory: New Writing from the Gold State, Number 2. The anthology’s goal? To find the best new practitioners of Californian prose. Down at LARB, Dinah Lenney quizzes Stradal on just how impossible that is:
Like a lot of people, when I think of California prose, I think of writers like Joan Didion, John Steinbeck, Raymond Chandler, Michelle Tea, Luis J.
Liz Wyckoff reviews CALIFORNIA by Edan Lepucki today in The Rumpus Books....more
Let’s dedicate this week to the publications, editors, and benevolent marketing gurus who unleashed a whole bunch of quality FREE short fiction to us. Under the shadow of the FCC’s impending decision as to whether or not net neutrality will continue, these all-you-can-read buffets taste even sweeter....more
Author Edan Lepucki talks to the Rumpus about publishing, the craft of writing, teaching, and what to do about the end of the world....more
Author and veteran Voice of Witness editor Peter Orner sits down with Invisible Hands: Voices From the Global Economy editor Corinne Goria to talk about putting the book together, economic interdependency, and the complex human stories behind everyday items....more
At the heart of the short film Calipatria is an ever-present sense of malice that hangs over the landscape and surrounds this young woman, on her own in this ominous desert town....more
There was the butterfly knife. The idea of it, not the thing in reality—sleek, wicked-edged, the same kind of knife you once asked to borrow because you were walking home alone and you wanted to be the most dangerous thing out there....more
It’s often said “The Sixties” officially began with the death of JFK and America’s “loss of innocence.” But without the dedicated and well-documented cosmic explorations of Aldous Huxley and his cohorts, the decade would have looked very different.
Steffie Nelson retraces the notable life and work of the Aldous Huxley after he moved to California in a brilliant essay over at the Los Angeles Review of Books....more
What I’m interested in is: How do you write what you weren’t allowed to know about what you know? How do you write what nobody wants to know about what you know?...more
Dean Wareham is a great writer, and possessed of a strikingly astringent and dry-eyed view of things without pity or self-pity or undue kindness, and what follows, I trust, will give abundant evidence of this....more
What book do you think of when you think of Georgia? How about Washington?
The two states above correspond to Gone with the Wind and Twilight, respectively....more
Chris was also a transfer student but from the other direction, further north, one of the towns in that cluster—El Sobrante, Crockett, Port Costa—where the Bay waters tentacle and the urbanity dissipates. “The Midwest begins where the BART line ends,” a San Francisco comedian once quipped.
At Poets & Writers, Michael Medrano shows some love for a California city usually forgotten by the West Coast literary establishment: Fresno. Fresno’s Tower District, he writes,
…lies just east of the infamous Highway 99, another valley literary icon mentioned by Philip Levine, Gary Soto, and many more.
Texas State Senator (and now folk hero) Wendy Davis filibustered the bill for close to thirteen hours under the state legislature’s stringent rules: no sitting, leaning, drinking water, using the bathroom, or speaking about subjects not germane to the topic at hand....more
Jim Gavin is a talented writer who allows his stories the room they need to be told. These are stories that are intelligent and quiet and moving, stories that take up time and space in satisfying ways....more
Gregory Orfalea’s collection of linked stories demonstrates that conventions are there for a reason—and it’s often harder to follow the rules than to break them....more
If films were fighters, Mike Ott’s second offering, Littlerock, would weigh in at 123 minutes, placing it in the featherweight division, a deft, gentle movie, lithe and light during its two hours in the ring. Not to suggest that it’s diminutive — this indie sleeper is rich and moving and packs an emotional left hook....more
Some fun news for you this President’s Day: 38 percent of the world’s surface is in danger of desertification!
The entire coast of California in aerial photographs.
I am only linking to this because it contains my favorite word.
Wayne Levin’s underwater photography is fully sweet....more
I have a terrible admission to make. I used to work for a bunch of politicians.
And not only that. Part of me enjoyed it.
I didn’t enjoy the way my various state, federal and local bosses would fly off the handle at me for typos in letters and memos....more
Your poem sounds like a Joni Mitchell song I’ve never heard before....more