By Janet Kinosian
FROM: Los Angeles Times
The 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.
By Michael Nava
FROM: Los Angeles Review of Books
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.
By Alex Espinoza
FROM: L.A. Times
As 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.
By John Birdsall
FROM: L.A. Times
I 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.
By Brian Dunlap
FROM: Lit Pub
The 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.
Believing 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.