For the Los Angeles Times, Kelly Corrigan spoke with Mitsuko Roberts of Glendale, California about The Okanoue Library, a collection of over 700 works of Japanese literature, film, and other media donated by Glendale’s Japanese community. Roberts hosts this collection a few times a month in her home-turned-library, lending out materials and offering Japanese reading classes....more
Posts Tagged: Los Angeles Times
I think what has brought imaginative fiction, imaginative literature, back into central centrality is that so much of it is very good, and so much of it is kind of needed because of the fact that it sort of opens doors to other possibilities—and that it gives the imagination exercise.
Two secular journalists in Bangladesh were murdered recently, and these are far from the first incidents:
These are only the latest in a recent string of killings of writers and journalists in Bangladesh. In a searing editorial Monday, the Dhaka Tribune called on authorities to work harder to arrest and prosecute the killers, who frequently attack in broad daylight, in front of witnesses.
12,000 members of the literary community/industry gathered in LA for AWP last week.
Viet Thanh Nguyen considers the writer’s sometimes conflicting needs for audience, privacy, and the tribe. He writes of his own process preparing for a readership, “The constant reworking of sentence and narrative through writing short stories was my version of rubbing two sticks together.”...more
A study of 300 college students in the United States, Germany, Slovakia, and Japan found that 92 percent preferred to read paper books over e-books.
The students preferred paper because of the “lack of distractions that are available on computers as well as the headaches and eye strain that can result from staring at a screen.” Students also enjoyed the smell of books and being able to see and feel how much they had read and how much they had left to read....more
At the LA Times, Claire Vaye Watkins recounts her realization that she has been writing to appeal to the white male literary establishment:
I am trying to write something urgent, trying to be vulnerable and honest, trying to listen, trying to identify and articulate my innermost feelings, trying to make you feel them too, trying a kind of telepathy.
And now I look back and think I’m so glad that I was brave enough to break my own heart—and I wish that I had been braver sooner because maybe I would have broken his a little less.
In a short interview with the Los Angeles Times, Junot Diaz discusses how he chooses what works to read at events, some books he’s reading now and loving, and America’s uncanny ability to erase racial struggle from its collective mind:
I think that we’re in another moment where historically, periodically issues of race and the kind of panorama in which we live becomes more clear and comes into focus.
The stories we tell ourselves and others give our lives meaning and allow us to connect with those closest to us. These stories can also mislead, disappoint, and hold us back from being our true selves, selves that belie legible narratives.
The gamer story. Regardless of its iteration—D&D, Commodore 64, Nintendo, X Box, LARP—there is the hero, and there is the rest of the gang, subjugated as sidekicks and underlings. The gamer story has a long tradition of tropes and structures, arcs and character elements, at the center of which has always been the hero telling the story and in world more like ours, the person role-playing that hero....more
David Ulin at the LA Times makes interesting argument for retiring the word “brave” from jacket copy. Citing its overuse and the seeming dissonance of describing literature as brave in the face of countless acts of bravery in the world beyond books every day, Ulin argues that we do our authors a disservice with language that makes it sound “as if a writer were facing down some sort of fusillade every time he or she sat down to work.” He goes on suggest that we abandon the word to protest its chilling effect on genuine engagement with (and criticism of) the work:
This is my problem with “brave” and other words like it: They do not engage but rather insist.
His three-bedroom, 2500-square-foot house, built in 1937, is painted a cheery yellow. It has three bathrooms, hardwood floors, and sits on a generously sized 9,500-square-foot lot. It is loaded with original details, the sort that were part of the texture of the author’s daily life....more
Spoken word poet Maggie Estep has passed away. The Los Angeles Times has a wonderful write up of her life and career and how she shaped a whole movement.
“In her early work, Estep was a downtown New Yorker who talked tough, joked and was drawlingly sardonic while being sexually explicit.
“We can’t think of gender without also considering race, class, sexuality and ability,” Gay says. “As long as we keep thinking of diversity as, ‘Oh, we need more women’ or ‘Oh, we need more people of color,’ we’re not even beginning to understand diversity.
To continue on the subject of monsters and mashes for a moment:
Last Sunday in the Los Angeles Times, Ed Park published his notes on Laurie Sheck’s A Monster’s Notes, which is a novel narrated by none other than Frankenstein’s monster, who is alive and well (um, make that undead and well) in New York City....more