Tom’s Book Club Presents Renowned Writer Janet Fitch Reading & Discussing Her Novel Paint It Black

Sunday, August 28th at 5:00 p.m.

Tom Lutz brings us another splendid edition of “Tom’s Book Club” with the extraordinary Janet Fitch and her novel Paint it Black. Set in the punk-art scene confluence of 1980’s Los Angeles, Fitch’s tale gives us a teen runaway walking the edge of destruction as she grapples with the unusual mother of  her new love in the wake of her lover’s mysterious death. Absorb the brushstrokes of Janet Fitch’s canvas with us on Sunday, August 28th at 5:00 pm reading, talk, and q& a with signing to follow. Register here on Eventbrite for this FREE event.

PaintItBlackJosie Tyrell, art model, teen runaway, and denizen of LA,’s 1980 punk rock scene, finds a chance at real love with art student Michael Faraday. A Harvard dropout and son of a renowned pianist, Michael introduces her to his spiritual quest and a world of sophistication she had never dreamed existed. But when she receives a call from the Los Angeles County Coroner, asking her to identify her lover’s dead body, her bright dreams all turn to black. As Josie searches for the key to understanding his death, she finds herself both repelled and attracted to Michael’s pianist mother, Meredith, who holds Josie responsible for her son’s torment. Soon, the two women find themselves drawn into a twisted relationship reflecting equal parts distrust and blind need. Passionate, wounded, fiercely alive, Josie Tyrell walks the brink of her own destruction as she fights to discover the meaning of Michael’s death. With the luxurious prose and emotional intensity that are her hallmarks, Janet Fitch has written a spellbinding new novel about love, betrayal, and the possibility of transcendence.

Janet FitchJanet Fitch‘s first novel, White Oleander, a #1 bestseller and Oprah’s Book Club selection, has been translated into 24 languages and was made into a feature film. A native of Los Angeles, Fitch currently teaches fiction writing in the Master of Professional Writing Program at the University of Southern California.

Groundbreaking Author-Scholars Jennifer Musto (Control & Protect) and Leslie Wang (Outsourced Children) in Conversation

Tuesday, August 30th at 7:00p.m.

Musto’s Control & Protect: Collaboration, Carceral Protection and Domestic Sex Trafficking in the United States examines how enforcement policies blur the boundaries between punishment and protection in U.S. sex trafficking. Wang’s Outsourced Children: Orphanage Care and Adoption in Globalizing China addresses thorny questions raised by the intersection of transnational adoptions and globalization. Listen in on two groundbreaking researchers as they delve into how these  critical humanitarian issues reverberate and overlap on Tuesday, August 30th at 7:00 pm, Conversation with q&a and signing to follow.

OutsourcedChildrenIt’s no secret that tens of thousands of Chinese children have been adopted by American parents and that Western aid organizations have invested in helping orphans in China—but why have Chinese authorities allowed this exchange? Countries that allow their vulnerable children to be cared for by outsiders are typically viewed as weaker global players. However, Leslie K. Wang argues that China has turned this notion on its head by outsourcing the care of its unwanted children to attract foreign resources and secure closer ties with Western nations. She demonstrates the two main ways that this “outsourced intimacy” operates as an ongoing transnational exchange.

“…offers insights into the role of state policy, global competition and transnational circuits in shaping the meanings and value of children within neoliberalism. This is a must-read book for anyone interested in childhood in the global era.”—Nazli Kibria, Boston University

Control&ProtectControl and Protect explores the meaning and significance of efforts designed to combat sex trafficking in the United States. A striking case study of the new ways in which law enforcement agents, social service providers, and nongovernmental advocates have joined forces in this campaign, this book reveals how these collaborations consolidate state power and carceral control. This book examines how partnerships forged in the name of fighting domestic sex trafficking have blurred the boundaries between punishment and protection, victim and offender, and state and nonstate authority.

“An important and original book… Drawing upon an impressive body of primary research, she documents how and why recent efforts to protect vulnerable children and youth have too often translated into forms of incarceration, punishment, and surveillance.”—Joel Quirk, Head of Department, Political Studies, University of the Witwatersrand

LeslieWangLeslie Wang is an assistant professor of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and researches issues of gender, family, and migration that connect China and the United States. Outsourced Children is the first systematic analysis of daily life in Chinese state-run orphanages. Currently, Dr. Wang is studying the issue of “satellite babies,” U.S.- born children sent back to China to be cared for by grandparents for extended periods.


Jennifer Musto is an Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Wellesley College. Her research explores the laws, technologies, and interventions designed to address human trafficking, sexual exploitation, and sex work.  She has lectured widely on these topics and her writing has appeared in openDemocracy, Social Politics, Women’s Studies International Forum, and International Feminist Journal of Politics.

Prominent Californian Marilyn Brant Chandler DeYoung profiles Remarkable Women of California

Wednesday, August 24th, at 6:30 p.m.

Distilling her lifetime of friendships with famous and not so famous women and drawing on her vantage point as storied fourth generation Californian, Mrs. DeYoung shares eighty-four vivid biographies and photos of influential women, chronicling the evolution of the women’s movement and of the Golden State. This illustrated talk about her book, Remarkable Women of California, promises to be a charming, vintage-L.A. occasion on Wednesday, August 24th, at 6:30 p.m., signing to follow.

Remarkable WomenMrs. DeYoung brings eighty-four 19th and 20th century women to life in her book, Remarkable Women of California. DeYoung profiles famous historical figures — Jane Fonda, Billie Jean King, Joan Didion, Marion Davies, Edith Head — and some less famous, including landowners, activists, entrepreneurs, journalists and philanthropists, such as Arcadia Bandini de Stearns Baker, Biddy Mason, Eliza Ann Otis, Agness Underwood and Helen Hunt Jackson.Using historical references, personal interviews, as well as her own personal recollections, DeYoung has crafted a unique insider’s view of these influential women’s lives.

Marilyn Brant Chandler DeYoung is fourth generation Californian and history buff – her grandfather started the Title Insurance and Trust Co in 1881. Raised in Hancock Park, she is an alumna of Marlborough School, Stanford, and UCLA, and was wife for 30 years to Los Angeles Times publisher Otis Chandler. A professional urban planner and founder of  Urban Design Disciplines,she has written op-ed pieces which have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and the Santa Barbara News Press.

Serena Burdick Debuts Impressionist-Inspired Novel Girl in the Afternoon

Tuesday, August 23rd at 7:00 p.m.

Set in the sparkling Paris of La Belle Epoque, this art-infused debut novel by Serena Burdick turns the spotlight on the woman-as-artist as distinct from artist’s muse, with a protagonist, not of the Les Miserables-masses, but  rather a daughter of a bourgeois family full of closely held secrets. Take a dramatic fictional vacation with this charming debut author on Tuesday, August 23rd at 7:00 p.m. in conversation with her editor, Laura Chasen. Reading, q&a, and signing to follow.

GIRL IN THE AFTERNOONInspired by  the artists Berthe Morisot, Louise Jopling, and Marie Bashkirtseff, Burdick tells her story through 18-year-old Aimee, primarily talented, and growing up alongside her beloved adopted brother Henri, also a burgeoning artist, in the well-to-do Savaray household. When Henri unexpectedly disappears from their home, and into the streets of war torn Paris, Aimee is heartbroken, remembering their first, unexpected kiss in the hallway. His mysterious disappearance leaves the conflicted Savarays contemplating the unraveling of their secrets and betrayals. When Aimee stumbles upon one of Henri’s paintings,  her discovery unleashes a string of events that turns wife against husband, best friend against best friend, mentor against student, and first love against first love.

“…weaves together Paris, La Belle Epoque, art and abundant doses of family drama in a tightly-written story that pulls the reader in and keeps the twists and turns coming until almost the last page.”  —Sally Christie, author of The Sisters of Versailles

SERENA BURDICK_credit Dino Giordano

Photo By Dino Giordano

Serena Burdick graduated from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in California before moving to New York to pursue a degree in English Literature at Brooklyn College. Her passion for theater, writing, the visual arts, Edouard Manet and the Impressionist movement combined to inform her debut novel, Girl In the Afternoon.

3577558_origLaura Chasen is a freelance book editor who recently relocated to Los Angeles from New York where she was an acquisitions editor for St. Martin’s Press. There she worked on a range of wonderful books including an Editor’s Buzz Panel pick at Book Expo of America, several New York Times Book Review “Editor’s Choice” books, and numerous “Best Books of the Year,” in outlets like the Miami Herald, Bustle, Vanity Fair, Harper’s Bazaar, and Redbook among others. She has been a featured guest at Book Expo of America, BookCon, the Santa Barbara Writers Conference, The Work Conference, and the Unicorn Writers’ Conference. Laura has a BA in English and Dance from Barnard College, and an MA in English from Georgetown University. You can find her @

Arnold Schwartzman & Stephen Gee’s Los Angeles Central Library: A History of Its Art and Architecture Talk & Signing

Monday, August 22nd at 7:00 p.m.

Photographer Arnold Schwartzman and architectural historian Stephen Gee walk us through the city-lore razzle and visually stunning dazzle of one of our metropolis’ greatest buildings in Los Angeles Central Library: A History of Its Art and Architecture on Monday, August 22nd at 7:00 p.m. Talk with signing to follow.

LACL-cvr1-20160328As the Library celebrates its 90th anniversary in 2016, the Library’s beautiful building, paintings, murals, sculptures, decor, and storied tile work are captured by the lens of renowned Hollywood photographer and graphic designer Arnold Schwartzman. Its remarkable history is chronicled by architectural historian Stephen Gee. He shares the drama of the public’s fight to save the Library on several occasions, including the heart-wrenching story of the 1986 fire that destroyed or damaged more than a million volumes. More than 250 firefighters risked their lives for the love of books, and then the citizens of the city came together to save thousands of smoke- and water-damaged books. That the priceless artwork originally installed in the 1926 building was preserved is nothing short of a civic miracle. Schwartzman shows that art—and much more—in page after page of color, all juxtaposed with historic images and blueprints, many never before published.

ArnoldSchwartzman-20160320Arnold Schwartzman, London ­born, is a renowned graphic designer and the Academy Award® ­winning documentary film director of Genocide (1981). He is the author of a number of books, including DECO LAndmarks, Art Deco Gems of Los Angeles (2005), London Art Deco (2013) and Griffith Observatory, A Celebration of its Architectural Splendor (2015). He was appointed the Director of Design for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. In 2001, Schwartzman was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by HM Queen Elizabeth II, and in 2006 was conferred the distinction of Royal Designer (RDI) by Britain’s Royal Society of Arts. Arnold lives in Los Angeles, and works in collaboration with his wife, Isolde.

StephenGeeStephen Gee is a writer and television producer based in Los Angeles. He is the author of Iconic Vision: John Parkinson, Architect of Los Angeles (Angel City Press). Gee has worked on numerous award ­winning television productions and has directed and produced live coverage of high­ profile news stories. He currently serves as an Associate Director for two University of Southern California research centers. A graduate of London’s City University, he began his career as a newspaper reporter in Norfolk, England. He has lived in Los Angeles since 1995.


PEN/Hemingway Award-Winner Ottessa Moshfegh Reading from her Super-Nova Debut Novel Eileen

Thursday, August 18th at 7:00 p.m.

Hailed as one of the brightest new voices in fiction, Ottessa Moshfegh has created in Eileen a narrator who is dark, mordantly funny and all too recognizably human. As she is pulled into a very strange crime, we too are drawn into the harrowing story she tells. Laugh and be startled by Eileen, in a reading by Ottessa Moshfegh,  q&a and signing to follow on Thursday, August 18th at 7:00 p.m.

EilleenJacketCreepy, mesmerizing, and sublimely funny, in the tradition of Shirley Jackson and early Vladimir Nabokov. Eileen Dunlop is an unassuming yet disturbed young woman trapped between her role as her alcoholic father’s caretaker in a home whose squalor is the talk of the neighborhood and a day job as a secretary at the boys’ prison. When the bright, beautiful, and cheery Rebecca Saint John arrives on the scene as the new counselor, Eileen is enchanted.  In a Hitchcockian twist, her affection for Rebecca ultimately pulls her into complicity in a crime that surpasses her wildest imaginings. Set in the 1960’s, played out against the snowy landscape of coastal New England in the days leading up to Christmas, young Eileen’s story is told from the gimlet-eyed perspective of the now much older narrator.

“Eileen is as vivid and human as they come . . . Moshfegh…writes beautiful sentences. One after the other they unwind — playful, shocking, wise, morbid, witty, searingly sharp…There is that wonderful tension between wanting to slow down… and the impulse to race to see what happens, how it happens.”The New York Times Book Review

Moshfegh author phot credit Krystal Griffiths

Photo By Crystal Griffiths

Ottessa Moshfegh‘s novel, Eileen, received the PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction in 2016.  Moshfegh is also the author of McGlue, a novella, and the forthcoming short story collection, Homesick for Another World. She lives in Los Angeles.

Top-Notch Mystery Author Duane Swierczynski Introduces Revolver

Thursday, August 11th at 7:00 p.m.

In his uncannily timed book, Edgar-nominated author Duane Swierczynski takes us on a racially charged tour of the mean streets of the City of Brotherly Love, in a story that spans half a century and three generations of cops and cons. Follow the twists and turns of this all too relevant and ambitious mystery novel on Thursday, August 11th at 7:00 p.m. at a reading & talk , with signing to follow.

SWIERCZYNSKYI_REVOLVER Featuring details from Swierczynski’s own family history, Revolver is historical fiction with a visceral impact on the present.While the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO wouldn’t happen until he was deep into the writing of this novel, cops and race were very much on his mind from the beginning. Philadelphia, 1965: Two street cops–one black, one white–are gunned down in a corner bar. One of the fallen officers, Stan Walczak, leaves behind a 12-year-old boy, Jimmy. Philadelphia, 1995: Homicide detective Jim Walczak learns that his father’s alleged killer, Terrill Lee Stanton, has been sprung from prison. Jim stalks the ex-con, hoping to finally learn the truth. Philadelphia, 2015: Jim’s daughter Audrey, a forensic science student, re-opens her grandfather’s murder for a research paper. But as Audrey digs deeper, she comes to realize that Stanton probably didn’t pull the trigger–and her father may have made a horrible mistake.

“A resounding success… Race plays a large role and is thoughtfully handled in this bleak, powerful tale of corruption and the lasting effects of crime…Swierczynski just gets better and better.” – Booklist, starred review

Duane SwierDuane Swierczynski is the Edgar-nominated author of nine novels, including Canary, Severance Package, and the Shamus Award-winning Charlie Hardie series (Fun and Games, Hell and Gone, Point and Shoot). He’s written over 250 comics for Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, Valiant, and IDW, and most recently wrote The Black Hood, the first comic for Archie’s new Dark Circle imprint. Swierczynski has also collaborated with CSI creator Anthony E. Zuiker on the bestselling Level 26 series.

Wallace King, Author of Epic Historic Novels, Reads and Signs Edenland

Wednesday, August 10th at 7:00 p.m.

Wallace King, whose debut novel, The True Life Story of Isobel Roundtree, was nominated for multiple awards,  returns with a third novel for lovers of fiction wrapped in the sweep of history. Edenland is a love story, and narrative of escape that echoes Huck Finn in its invention of an odd pair of runaways stumbling into a brief idyll from an oppressive world. Get swept up in this epic tale with Wallace King on Wednesday,August 10th at 7:00 p.m, reading, with signing to follow

King-Edenland-22052-CV-FTEdenland is an uncommon story about slavery, innocence, and the redemptive nature of love. Born a slave, but self-educated, Bledsoe had never left Our Joy plantation, and a daring escape offers his only chance for liberty. On the run he encounters Alice, an illiterate Irish indentured servant, committing what appears to be an act of murder as she burns down a shack in the Great Dismal Swamp of North Carolina. Faced with the threat of capture, Bledsoe and Alice become reluctant allies. An epic tale unfolds as their quest for freedom pulls them from swamp to city, from North Carolina to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Somewhere between injustice and loss, they discover a hidden place that seems an Eden. But the Confederate army is on the march and, separated, they are cast into fates they never imagined.

“There is an exuberant, almost ramshackle quality to the adventures in which this engaging duo become entangled, and their love story is charming.”  –Library Journal


Wallace King is a novelist and screenwriter. Her debut novel, The True Life Story of Isobel Roundtree, received starred reviews and was nominated for a number of awards. Her second novel, Maybelleen, explored how history is never written the same way by two people. Both novels were optioned and adapted for film. More

PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Author Evenings: Jennine Capó Crucet and Eduardo Santiago

Monday, August 8th at 7 p.m. 

To celebrate the fellowship’s 20th Anniversary, PEN Center USA has opened The Emerging Voices Author Evening Series to the public. Free to PEN Center USA members who bring their Author Evening ticket; non-members can purchase tickets here.

emerging voices

Author Evening Series events include a brief reading, conversation, and a question-and-answer session with the audience. To take full advantage of the event’s participatory ethos, attendees are encouraged to read the authors’ selections in advance. The Monday, August 8th Author Evening at 7 p.m. features Jennine Capó Crucet and Eduardo Santiago, reading from their selected novels, with a talk and Q&A.



12-crucetJennine Capó Crucet is the author of the novel Make Your Home Among Strangers (St. Martin’s Press, 2015) and the story collection,How to Leave Hialeah. She is the recipient of the Iowa Short Fiction Prize, the John Gardner Book Award, the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award, an O. Henry Prize, and the Picador Fellowship. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Review, Epoch, Prairie Schooner, Ploughshares, and other magazines. Jennine is originally from Miami, and currently works as an assistant professor of English and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Eduardo Santiago, Emerging Voices alum, writer, and host extraordinare will be joining us. Born in Cuba, raised in Los Angeles, Eduardo Santiago is the author of the award-winning novels Tomorrow They Will Kiss and Midnight Rumba. His shorter work has appeared in zyzzyva, The Caribbean Writer, The Los Angeles Times, Slow Trains, The Advocate, and Out Traveler. He is also a 2004 PEN Emerging Voices Fellow. Currently, Mr. Santiago teaches at Mt. San Jacinto College and is the founder of the Idyllwild Authors Series, now in its sixth season.

#1 NY Times Bestselling Author Colleen Hoover Returns with It Ends With Us Talk & Signing

Sunday, August 7th at 6:30 p.m

Breaking new ground with her most personal and deeply felt book to date, Colleen Hoover, beloved originator in the New Adult genre, is back and certain to sell-out with this special tickets-only event. Pre-purchase your copy of the award-winning, international bestselling author’s new unputdownable, unmissable book of the summer –  It Ends With Us – on EventBrite and reserve admission for this Gala Talk and Signing on Sunday, August 7th at 6:30 p.m.

It Ends With Us-final coverInspired in part by Hoover’s own life, It Ends With Us is both a captivating story of love against the odds and a moving portrait of womanhood, as the bond between our protagonist and her mother grows from a teenage daughter’s scorn to the love, respect, and strength found in shared life experiences.  

Told through the eyes of resilient, plucky Lily Bloom, the novel follows a young girl as she navigates a difficult and angry father, a loss of faith in her mother, the agonizing joy of a first love, and, years later, the vulnerability required to give yourself to another without losing hold of your convictions. Not even twenty-five-years-old, Lily has fulfilled her dream of owning her own business and is in love with Ryle Kincaid, a sensitive, gorgeous neurosurgeon. All is well until Lily unexpectedly runs into her first love and first heartbreak, throwing her relationship  into disarray.  It Ends With Us examines the pain that comes from love—and the love that comes from pain—as we create and nurture life’s most complicated relationships.

“Hoover joins the ranks of such luminaries as Jennifer Weiner and Jojo Moyes, with a dash of Gillian Flynn. Sure to please a plethora of readers.”  – Library Journal

“Hoover is one of the best voices in New Adult fiction.” – Kirkus Reviews


Colleen Hoover_Photo credit Jen Sterling

Photo by Jen Sterling

Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the novels Slammed, Hopeless, Maybe Someday, Ugly Love, Confess, and November 9. She is one of a handful of authors credited with creating the New Adult genre in the New York Times, on ABC’s Nightline, and on CBS This Morning . Her novel Confess  was the 2015 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance and her novel  November 9 won Best New Adult Novel of 2015 from RT Book Reviews.   She is  the founder of the charity book box, Bookworm Box .