In a recent interview with the Guardian, Claire Boucher describes her song “California” as “kind of shitty.” Via her stage name, Grimes, Boucher has released an eclectic and not-at-all-“shitty” catalogue of hybrid dance pop that has seized the attention of critics and listeners internationally....more
Posts Tagged: California
Seen from the vantage point of this blank grave, and the ruin that came before it, Watkins’ life feels like something out of Dreiser. Seen from its beginning—the summers in Oneonta, the trip West with his best friend—it reads like a story by Mark Twain.
Television is a great way to sell books. Oprah’s Book Club is the best known example, but Edan Lepucki‘s bestselling debut California certainly owed some of its success to the Colbert Bump. But The Colbert Report has ended, and Jon Stewart, another populist book advocate, is leaving The Daily Show....more
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?
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.
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
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 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
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