The artistic oeuvre of Cecil Castellucci is dauntingly varied and vast. A singer/songwriter, a playwright, a librettist, she is also the author of many books, ranging from the picture book Grandma’s Gloves (winner of the California Book Award Gold Medal) to the YA novels Boy Proof, Tin Star, and the part comic, part prose novel The Year of the Beasts....more
Posts Tagged: LA Review of Books
Michele Serros passed away from cancer earlier this year, but her influence—and her infectiousness—lives through just about everyone/thing/place she encountered; Jessica Langlois shares a glimpse of that at the Los Angeles Review of Books:
Michele believed her stories deserved to be told — little everyday stories about one life, hers.
Those who do not adhere to self-censorship are likely to face pressure from the state. Al-Masdar website features political news and is loosely affiliated to the recently banned secular activist group April 6 Movement.
On Tuesday, Tony Earley released a new collection of stories, Mr. Tall. Two decades have passed since Earley’s debut collection, Here We Are in Paradise, and though he has released two novels and a memoir since that time, for short fiction addicts (and lovers of southern writing), the publication of a new book of stories is big news....more
Librarian Justin Wadland attempts to answer the question “What is the future of libraries?” at the Los Angeles Review of Books by reading three recent books about them. He suggests the future of libraries depends on our relationship with them. He also explains that the question is in no way simple:
Flooded with data as we are, each day brings even more innovations and technologies to help us mine, sort, and generate even more information.
Beverly Cleary has been held in high esteem in the minds of just-blooming young readers for generations. But that does not mean that her writing isn’t valuable in deciphering adult struggles too:
With all the worries we have as adults, it’s natural to look at childhood as idyllic and worry-free and it’s far too easy to forget how hard it is to be a kid.
Geoff Dyer knows no boundaries, especially when it comes to genre, and that’s what makes him such a fascinating author to follow. He’s written fiction and nonfiction—without revealing which is which—about taking drugs in Southeast Asia, jazz, photography, and even women in sundresses, and now has a book out about life aboard an aircraft carrier....more
There’s a chance you’ll hear Peter Ho Davies read the first sentence of his story “Chance” and you’ll be hooked. There’s also a chance you won’t, but either way, it’s worth a visit to Drum, the “literary magazine for your ears” that publishes audio of writers reading their fiction, essays, and interviews....more
The Los Angeles Review of Books enlisted Kayla Williams, a veteran sergeant and Arabic linguist, to compile a list of war narratives by women for Memorial Day. Williams, herself an accomplished writer of two memoirs on her war experience and return home, offered a wealth of resources for those wanting to know more about American soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan....more
We know Bishop primarily as the eager traveler who wrote of distant, tropical locations and lived for many years as an expat in Brazil. She was that, of course, but she was also an aficionado of her native landscape and climate.
Susan Bernofsky, in the introduction to her new translation of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, compares Gregor Samsa to famed American literary character Willy Loman. Over at the LA Review of Books, David Burr Gerrard praises the translation but disagrees that this is the character with whom Gregor has most in common:
Perhaps the troubled dreams from which Gregor awakes as an insect were dreams of military service.
Alexandra Socarides gives a clear warning at the beginning of this article that she doesn’t want to ruin anyone’s Christmas, but you should probably read the original poem one last time before reading her breakdown at the Los Angeles Review of Books about what “The Night Before Christmas” really means....more
Brazil has a nearly two-hundred-year-old poetic history, during which various poets have fought to define Brazilian identity, criticize the injustices of capitalism, and catalog “the joys and miseries of being young in a military dictatorship.”
Now that Brazil has become more stable, many poets want “simply to write good poetry....more
Why is it that despite country music’s overall conservatism and exaltation of rural, small-town culture, female country artists routinely write songs that would make a simple country farmer’s eyes bug out?
Why do the men sing about inoffensive, patriotic good times, while the women score hits with lyrics about murdering lovers?...more
Did you know Ed Hardy is not just a brand name, but an actual person?
And that after becoming “the first Westerner to work with a traditional Japanese master” of tattoo art, he led the “current tattoo renaissance” with an emphasis on individualized expression rather than the mere copying of classic designs?...more
Tom Lutz’s recent essay for the LA Review of Books discusses the missing generation of journalists, the layoffs that have forced out some of the greatest book reviewers from their staff positions on newspaper mastheads and the diminishing of the book review from newspapers at large....more
Lutz writes “Taste cultures do have something to do with circles of intimates, and the explosion of book clubs in recent years is testimony to a general desire for, if not an orgy, at least something more personal and embodied than a Sunday book supplement....more
Creative programs are increasingly common and so are their criticisms.
The difficulty with pinpointing creativity to an academic institution or justifying a trend where tuition money and literary prowess are both major contributing factors to success make MFA programs a contentious subject....more