Review: Thriller ‘Your House Will Pay’ Confronts the Legacies of L.A. Riots

By Janet Kinosian
FROM: Los Angeles Times

90The strained Los Angeles landscape in Steph Cha’s crime thriller “Your House Will Pay” is immediately recognizable to anyone who lived in the city during the traumatic period surrounding the 1992 riots.

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A Great Spirit Trapped in a Tiny Life: On Cherríe Moraga’s “Native Country of the Heart”

By Michael Nava
FROM: Los Angeles Review of Books

download (1)Cherríe Moraga has been an iconic figure in queer and Latinx literature since the 1981 publication of This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color, an anthology she edited with the late Gloria Anzaldúa. Bridge was among the first explorations of how people and communities with multiple social identities — queer women of color, for example — are subject to intersecting discriminations that create complex and profound forms of oppression — what we now call intersectionality. In the decades since Bridge, Moraga has produced fiction, poetry, and plays, received awards and fellowships, and taught at Stanford University and the University of California at Santa Barbara. Even with these credentials, she, like other queer writers of color, has been patronized by a largely white, straight literary establishment, which often dismisses work like hers as special interest pleading, while hailing the work of straight, white writers for its universality.

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Review: Susan Straight’s New Memoir Amplifies Stories of Strong Women Who Survive and Thrive

By Janet Kinosian
FROM: L.A. Times

downloadCertain books give off the sense that you won’t want them to end, so splendid the writing, so lyrical the stories. Such is the case with Southern California novelist Susan Straight’s new memoir, “In the Country of Women.”

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Facundo Bernal’s Poems Spotlight Early Chicano Life in L.A. Long Before Border Walls

By Alex Espinoza
FROM: L.A. Times

la-1553218495-skqvu0dmdl-snap-image.jpegAs the president issues the first veto of his tenure after Congress rejected his declaration of a national emergency to fund his wall, it’s hard to imagine that the dynamics along the U.S.-Mexico border were once different, when people shuttled back and forth between the two nations. Facundo Bernal marks such a moment in “Palos de Ciego,” his manuscript of poetry translated to English for the first time by Anthony Seidman as “A Stab in the Dark” for the Los Angeles Review of Books.

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‘Cruising’ Maps the Cultural History of L.A.’s Hookup Spots

By John Birdsall
FROM: L.A. Times

la-1562115803-0mfjnzzzea-snap-image.jpegI had a favorite study carrel at UC Berkeley: third-floor Moffitt Library, northeast corner. The bathroom — folded within an interior wall, set off, secluded — was weird, though. Someone had taken the time to punch a raw opening through the metal partition separating two stalls. It was as big in diameter as a Coke can, sometimes lined with wadded toilet paper, and framed with scrawled hieroglyphics (arrows, initials). I dismissed it as crazy, an elaborate work of vandalism, but it nagged at me. While I studied James Joyce and Virginia Woolf and stressed about my senior thesis, the men’s room was undergoing a silent and illogical transformation.

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Los Ángeles at Ground Level: Letters To My City by Mike Sonksen

By Brian Dunlap
FROM: Lit Pub

downloadThe poet Mike Sonksen knows more about Los Ángeles than almost anyone. It began when he was a kid, his father and both grandfathers introducing him to the sprawling city by taking him on destination drives. Due to his father’s love of architecture, having, “taught me about…Frank Lloyd Write from an early age,” Sonksen “had a natural interest in maps and geography.” Those drives fostered that interest, dipping in and out of distinctly planned and inhabited neighborhoods that made up the patchwork quilt of, not only the city, but Los Ángeles County.

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The Green of Sunset

By Dania Alkhouli
FROM: Moon Tide Press Blog

 

downloadBelieving in fate is a foundational part of my life, so when I was perusing my list of books to indulge in next, something called me to John Brantingham’s The Green of Sunset. For starters, I think it was the title. I hear sunsets get called everything but green, and this had me seeking out the elements of a sunset often unseen, like reading between the rays of a departing sun, and that’s something I needed this week.

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