Top-Shelf Journalist Christine Lennon Debuts Her Personally-Inspired Thriller, The Drifter

Wednesday, February 22nd at 7:00 p.m.

Drawing from her personal experience, debut novelist and professional journalist Christine Lennon travels back to August 1990, when she was going into her junior year at the University of Florida and five young women were murdered by a killer who came to be known as “the Gainesville Ripper.” In The Drifter, Lennon gives us a work as much about the lives of the young women of that era –  and the music and style that came to define their expectations – as the killer whose grisly spree disrupted those lives. This compelling novel even comes with its own playlist of songs from the protagonist’s “mix-tape” (Sonic Youth and Violent Femmes among these). Sample this unique thriller with debut novelist Christine Lennon’s L.A. launch – reading,talk, q&a, and signing.

the-drifter-coverFor two decades, Elizabeth has tried to keep out the terrifying nightmares of her past. But twenty years after graduating from the University of Florida, her carefully curated life begins to unravel, forcing her to confront the past she’s tried so hard to forget.

1990s, Gainesville, Florida… Elizabeth and her two closest friends, Caroline and Ginny, are having the time of their lives in college—binge watching Oprah, flirting for freebies from Taco Bell, and breaking hearts along the way. But without warning, their world is suddenly shattered when a series of horrific acts of violence ravage the campus, changing their lives forever. Sweeping readers from the exclusive corners of sorority life in the South to the front-lines of the drug-fueled, slacker culture in Manhattan in the ‘90s and early ‘00s, when Elizabeth is forced to acknowledge her role in the death of a friend in order to mend a broken friendship and save her own life, The Drifter is an indelible story.

“[A] gripping thriller deepened by an examination of the intense and life-altering friendships young women form at the beginning of adulthood that rings with poignant truth. I could not put it down.” — Heather Young, author of The Lost Girls

christinelennon Christine Lennon is a Los Angeles-based writer who began her career as an editor at W, Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar. Since moving to the West Coast and starting her freelance career, she has written for publications including T, the New York Times style magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Town & Country, and Marie Claire. She began The Drifter by listening to the music she loved in 1990. For reasons we don’t completely understand, the friendships, stories, events and thoughts from the third decade of our lives — our 20s — become our most vivid recollections. The Drifter is Christine’s first book.

Whoop It Up! It’s Proops! Comic Podcasting Paragon & Polymath Greg Proops Launches The Smartest Book in the World Right Here On The Premises!

Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 7:00 p.m.

We can’t believe our good fortune but here it is: the ridiculously erudite and riotously funny Greg Proops will confer his wondrous presence upon our humble establishment, launching the paperback edition of his wildly informative, hilarious book, The Smartest Book in the World: A Lexicon of Literacy, a Rancorous Reportage, a Concise Curriculum of Cool . Don’t miss the host of the stratospherically popular podcast The Smartest Man in the World  when he launches his luxuriant supply of comic missiles from Chevalier’s shores in a talk, q&a, and signing.

smartest-book-in-the-world-cover-ppkGreg Proops brings his “gift of gab” (Rolling Stone) and his “bold, never boring voice” (New York Times) to the printed word with a cultural dictionary as hilarious as the man himself, The Smartest Book in the World: A Lexicon of Literacy, a Rancorous Reportage, a Concise Curriculum of Cool (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster). This electrifying compendium of essential wisdom and obscure knowledge takes readers through ancient rulers, overlooked feminists, and more than one fantasy baseball team. The Smartest Book In The World unleashes Proops’s fascinating and far-reaching knowledge, and delivers plenty of laughs too. Filtered through his distinctive voice and Proopsian panache, the exploits of the Roman Emperors read like a gossip column and entire novels fly by in a single sentence. Illustrations throughout by Proops’s wife, the artist Jennifer Canaga, bring inspired visuals to his riotous writing. This book is the perfect companion to The Smartest Man in the World and an uproarious introduction for the uninitiated. 

Audiences fell in love with Greg Proops’ brazen jokes and signature suit on the improv show ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ In 2010 Proops launched his own smash-hit podcast, The Smartest Man in the World. His rapid-fire references, thought-provoking commentary, and improvisational style draw thousands of listeners each week and led Rolling Stone to name it one of “The 20 Best Comedy Podcasts Right Now.” It has been a top iTunes Podcast and has been downloaded more than 10 million times.

“WARNING: STUPID PEOPLE ARE CAUTIONED TO AVOID THIS BOOK. Its advanced comedy notions may cause emotional hemorrhaging and/or unwanted brain wrinkles.”
—Chris Hardwick, host of @midnight

greg-proops-author-photo-credit-andrew-stapp-1

photo by          Andrew Stapp

Greg Proops is a revered stand-up comic from San Francisco, and he records his chart-topping podcast The Smartest Man in the World from live shows around the World as well as Cleveland. Mr. Proops has been a voice actor in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and played Bob in Bob the Builder. He has been a guest on @Midnight on Comedy Central; Red Eye; The Late, Late Show; and Chelsea Lately. He lives in Hollywood.

Glimmer into March with All Lit Up: Antonia Crane, Chris Morris, Christopher Higgs and Brian Woodbury


Thursday, March 2nd 7:00 p.m.

 ff_lightbulbs_fAll Lit Up is a collaborative effort lovingly orchestrated under the aegis of our owners, Bert Deixler and Darryl Holter, in tandem with host-authors Rich Ferguson and Stephanie Barbé Hammer, and Chevalier’s Liz Newstat. Every month we offer delectable morsels from literary artists and musicians, served between convivial mixing, and garnished with a light selection of open mic surprises.This month, absorb the lambent wit of former stripper and writer-performer Antonia Crane, author of the acclaimed memoir Spent, step into the dappled honesty of new dad Christopher Higgs, just out with his memoir As I Stand Living,  catch the glint of  musician Brian Woodbury’s artful pop and glean in the gloaming of longtime music writer Chris Morris, chronicler of Bob Dylan and Los Lobos, among others. Reading, signing, performance & music.

spent-pb-cover-aug-2016-rgb                          together               51syhzo-n4l

craneantoniaphotoAntonia Crane has written for The New York Times, The Believer, Playboy, Cosmopolitan, Salon.com, The Rumpus, The Los Angeles Review and Buzzfeed  among others. Her fiction and nonfiction has appeared alongside writers like Roxane Gay and Stephen Graham Jones (The New Black, edited by Richard Thomas). Her screenplay The Lusty (co-written by Transparent writer Silas Howard) was based on the true story of the exotic dancer’s labor union. She has appeared on CNN and  been interviewed on WTF with Marc Maron and Michael Smerconish.

“Antonia Crane’s writing is bold and beautiful and glimmering with light.” — Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild, Tiny Beautiful Things

Crane’s memoir, Spentnow out in paperback, was first released in hardcover in 2014 to wide acclaim. A small town girl leaves her troubled family and starts stripping — which introduces her to a community that keeps her sober and saves her life — but a roller-coaster lifestyle ensues.chrismorris


Chris Morris
is the author of  
Together Through Life: A Personal Journey With the Music of Bob Dylan and Los Lobos: Dream in Blue. He contributed to John Doe and Tom DeSavia’s Under the Big Black
Sun
and to the Grammy-nominated audio book of the same name. The longtime L.A. music journalist is a contributor to Variety and former senior writer for Billboard and music editor of the Hollywood Reporter.

christopherhiggs

Christopher Higgs lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son, where he teaches at Cal State Northridge. He wrote The Complete Works of Marvin K. Mooney: a novel,  and assembled the SPD #1 Bestselling novel ONE, in collaboration with Blake Butler and Vanessa Place. In addition to publishing two chapbooks, Colorless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously and Becoming Monster, he’s written for numerous print and online venues, including: AGNI, Denver Quarterly, Global Queer Cinema, and The Paris Review Daily.  

In his just released radical memoir, As I Stand Living, Christopher Higgs uses techniques William Faulkner employed for the construction of As I Lay Dying to create a deeply personal and philosophical portrait of the year he became a father. Blending elements of fantasy and confession, Higgs confronts parenthood.

brianwoodburypayattentioncdphoto4288acrossBrian Woodbury is a songwriter who straddles the art/pop/theater/comedy divide. He has written Disney cartoon themes, stage musicals, orchestrated an album of Bollywood covers, founded a heterodox big band and co-wrote the marriage equality country anthem “Everybody Wants to Say I Do.”He has released six albums, including 2015’s Pay Attention, (“tight pop ditties with a dark sense of humor,” NY Daily News). His songs have been sung by Nathan Lane, Lisa Loeb & Terre Roche. Mentor Van Dyke Parks has said of Brian’s music, “Not since… the wondrous works of young Brian Wilson… have I heard sound of this romantic design. Indispensable.” BBC Radio 3, Mixing It describes him  as “… a multi-talented musician…up there with Zappa and Beefheart.”

From L.A. To Baghdad, American Artists Remember Al-Mutanabbi Street, co-presented by The Markhaz and the Los Angeles Review of Books

Sunday, March 5th, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.

march-5-banner-851

On the 10th anniversary of the bombing of Baghdad’s venerated literary-café district, Al-Mutanabbi Street, American poets and writers from around the world will gather to remember the terrible destruction that took place on March 5, 2007. From L.A. to Baghdad, American Artists Remember Al-Mutanabbi Street, a dedicated festival spun out of the anthology Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here, will be one of more than two dozen similar programs happening in cities around the U.S. and internationally, coordinated by the editors of the anthology. The LA event, featuring readings by 10 poets & writers including Sholeh Wolpé, India Radfar and others, and art by Iraqi-American artist Paul Batou, will be co-presented by The Markhaz  and LARB,  and is free to the public (donations graciously accepted). RSVP info@themarkaz.org, 310.657.5511  

sholeh_wolpe

Sholeh Wolpé is an award-winning Iranian-American poet and literary translator. She was born in Iran, and has lived in Trinidad, England and United States.

indiaradfar

India Radfar is the author of three books of poetry: India Poem, the desire to meet with the beautiful, Breathe, and one chap book, 12 Poems That Were Never Written. Her new book of poems, Position and Relation, is forthcoming from Station Hill Press.

paul-batouPaul Batou, a native Iraqi artist, received a degree in pharmacy in 1982 from the University of Baghdad, where he also worked with and was inspired by many teachers and artists.  In 1980, he had his first art show in Baghdad and during those years showed his art in several galleries , and was eventually forced into service for the Iraq-Iran war as a medic. In 1989, he left Iraq with his family and moved to Los Angeles. In the U.S., he has exhibited in several group shows and presented solo exhibits.

Author Gish Jen Reads & Signs Her Provocative Non-Fiction Work, The Girl at the Baggage Claim, Not to Be missed!!!

 Thursday, March 9th at 7:00 p.m.

In her fascinating and richly researched non-fiction treatise The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East-West Culture Gap, acclaimed novelist Gish Jen mines East/West cultural differences for the insights they afford into self-perception and contrasts individualism with interdependence as a central clue to what makes our contemporary society tick. Delve with Gish Jen into how you may be akin to an avocado, formed around an inner self, or, conversely, more shaped by your role in the outer, bigger order of things. We are honored to host Gish Jen as she explores her timely discoveries about age old dualities in this talk, reading and signing.

girl-at-the-baggage-claim Is our mantra “To thine own self be true”? Or do we believe we belong to something larger than ourselves–a family, a religion, a troop–that claims our first allegiance? The Girl at the Baggage Claim is a provocative study of the different ideas Easterners and Westerners have about the self and society and what this means for current debates in art, education, geopolitics, and business. Gish Jen–drawing on a treasure trove of stories and personal anecdotes, as well as cutting-edge research in cultural psychology–reveals how this difference shapes what we perceive and remember, what we say and do and make–how it shapes everything from our ideas about copying and talking in class to the difference between Apple and Alibaba. And while focused on East West differences, Jen notes regional, economic and generational differences within the U.S.; Southerners and working class Americans, for example, still tilt toward interdependence. As engaging as it is illuminating, this is a book that stands to profoundly enrich our understanding of ourselves and of our world.

“A fascinating, brilliant book that gripped me from page one. Subtle, erudite, and daring… a tour de force by one of the most insightful writers of our time.”
—Amy Chua,  author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother 

“I loved the book! A deep psychological examination of how place, habits, and identity mix in our world. Tremendous!” —Yo-Yo Ma

Gish Jen

Photo by Romana Vysatova

Gish Jen is the author of three previous novels and a book of stories. Her honors include the Lannan Literary Award for fiction and the Mildred and Harold Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She lives with her husband and two children in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

‘Mysteries with a Mission: As Part of Lambda LitFest LA, Michael Nava, Lay Your Sleeping Head, in conversation with Alicia Gaspar de Alba, Desert Blood: The Juárez Murders

Friday, March 10th at 7:00 p.m.

Thirty years ago, writer Michael Nava set out to write a mystery that would pay homage to classic crime fiction but also upend the genre. The character he created, Henry Rios, a gay, Chicano criminal defense lawyer became the central figure in a celebrated seven novel series. In this ‘Queer Plática’ ( a Spanish word for the kind of deep, engaged talk you might have over cafecitos in a Mexico City cafe) held in tandem with Lambda LitFest LA, writer-scholar Alicia Gaspar De Alba, Desert Blood: The Juárez Murders, will explore how one approaches writing a ‘mystery with a mission’ as Nava celebrates the recent publication of Lay Your Sleeping Head, his new iteration of the original novel he wrote three decades ago. Delve into how to write sex scenes, navigate homophobia, and revisit a work after many years in this talk, reading, q&a and signing.

layyourIn a brilliant re-imagination of The Little Death, first of the Henry Rios series, Lay Your Sleeping Head retains all the complexity and elegance of the plot of the original novel but deepens the themes of personal alienation and erotic obsession that both honored the traditions of the American crime novel and turned them on their head. Henry Rios, a gifted and humane lawyer driven to drink by professional failure and personal demons, meets a charming junkie struggling to stay clean. He tells Rios an improbable tale of long-ago murders in his wealthy family. Rios is skeptical, but the erotic spark between them ignites an obsessive affair that ends only when the man’s body is discovered with a needle in his arm on the campus of a great California university. Rios refuses to believe his lover’s death was an accidental overdose. His hunt for the killer takes him down San Francisco’s mean streets and into Nob Hill mansions where he uncovers the secrets behind a legendary California fortune and the reason the man he loved had to die.

“…[S]exier and starker than its original… both a poetic character study of the first queer Chicano lawyer in Latino letters and a mystery with a mission that uses the noir genre to expose family secrets such as incest, depression, and addiction, as well as the rampant homophobia of both mainstream and Latino culture.”-Alicia Gaspar De Alba

desertbloodDesert Blood: The Juarez Murders is set in the summer of 1998. For five years over a hundred mangled and desecrated bodies have been found dumped on the Chihuahua desert outside of Juárez, México, just across the river from El Paso, Texas.Even as the rapes and killings of “girls from the south” continue-their tragic stories written in desert blood-a conspiracy covers up the crimes that implicate everyone from the Maquiladora Association to the Border Patrol.  El Paso native Ivon Villa has returned to her hometown to adopt a baby. When Ivon’s younger sister gets kidnapped in Juárez, Ivon knows that it’s up to her to find her sister, whatever it takes. Despite the sharp warnings she gets from family, friends, and nervous officials, Ivon’s investigation moves her deeper and deeper into the labyrinth of silence.

michaelnavaMichael Nava is the author of an acclaimed series of seven novels featuring gay Latino criminal defense lawyer Henry Rios which won six Lambda Literary Awards.  In 2000, he was awarded the Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement in LGBT literature.  The New York Times review of the last Rios novel called him “one of our best.” His most recent novel, The City of Palaces, was a finalist for the 2014 Lambda Literary Award for best gay novel and was awarded the 2014 International Latino Literary Award for best novel. His new novel Lay Your Sleeping Head, is a reimagining of the first Henry Rios novel published 30 years ago.

aliciaAlicia Gaspar de Alba , a native of the Juarez/El Paso border region, is a Chicana lesbian radical feminist Professor of Chicana/o Studies, English, and Gender Studies at UCLA. She has published 11 books, among them a Lambda Literary Foundation-Award-winning mystery novel, Desert Blood: The Juárez Murders (2005), as well as historical novels, poetry, shortfiction, and academic books and essays. Alicia was on the Steering Committee of the First Annual Lambda Litfest 2016.  www.aliciagaspardealba.net.

Prize-winning Poet Chen Chen Reading & Signing His Debut Collection of Poems When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities

Monday, March 13th at 7:00 p.m.

Selected by the highly-acclaimed poet Jericho Brown for the 15th annual A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, Chen Chen’s  dazzling debut collection When I Grow up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities has invited comparisons to Dickinson and Walt Whitman, to name only two great poets, and is lauded for its original wit as well as active, communicative ache. Come absorb the radiant élan of Chen Chen giving a reading, talk, q&a, and signing.

whenigrowupIn this ferocious and tender debut, Chen Chen investigates inherited forms of love and family—the strained relationship between a mother and son, the cost of necessary goodbyes—all from Asian American, immigrant, and queer perspectives. Holding all accountable, this collection fully embraces the loss, grief, and abundant joy that come with charting one’s own path in identity, life, and love.
“Chen Chen refuses to be boxed in or nailed down. He is a poet of Whitman’s multitudes and of Langston Hughes’ blues, of Dickinson’s ‘so cold no fire can warm me’ and of Michael Palmer’s comic interrogation. What unifies the brilliance of When I Grow up I Want to be a List of Further Possibilities is a voice desperate to believe that within every one of life’s sadnesses there is also hope, meaning, and—if we are willing to laugh at ourselves—humor. This is a book I wish existed when I first began reading poetry. Chen is a poet I’ll be reading for the rest of my life.” – Jericho Brown, author of Please, The New Testament

ChenChen_AuthorPhoto_Jess Chen.jpg

Photo By Jess Chen

Chen Chen was born in Xiamen, China, and grew up in Massachusetts. His work has appeared in two chapbooks and in such publications as Poetry, Gulf Coast, Indiana Review, Best of the Net, and The Best American Poetry. In addition to the 2016 A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, he has been awarded fellowships from Kundiman, the Saltonstall Foundation,  and Lambda Literary. Chen lives in Lubbock, Texas, with his partner, Jeff Gilbert, and their pug dog, Rupert Giles.

Much-Buzzed-About Debut YA Novelist Kayla Cagan Launches Piper Perish

Tuesday, March 14 at 7:00 p.m.

Playwright-writer Kayla Cagan has received enthusiastic kudos for her humorous debut YA novel that paints a true-to-life portrait of a teen artist bursting to make a break to the wider world and struggling to reconcile this urgent desire with ties to family and longtime friends.The experiences of Piper Perish, the novel’s title character,  will resonate with YA readers asking big questions of life and demanding, as they should, honest and soulful answers– and the pizza to go with it. Join Kayla Cagan as we celebrate the novel’s launch with pizza, refreshments, and Kayla’s reading, q&a, and signing.
piper-perish_fc
Piper Perish inhales air and exhales art. The sooner she and her best friends can get out of Houston and get to New York City, the better. Art school has been Piper’s dream her whole life, and now that senior year is halfway over, she’s never felt more ready. But in the final months before graduation, things are weird with her friends and stressful with three different guys, and Piper’s sister’s tyrannical mental state seems to thwart every attempt at happiness for the close-knit Perish family. Piper’s art just might be enough to get her out. But is she brave enough to seize that power when it means giving up so much? Featuring interior art from Rookie magazine illustrator Maria Ines Gul, Piper will have readers asking big questions along with her. 

“Cagan tells Piper’s story with amazing authenticity… soulful reading for any artistic teen with a dream.”—Booklist, starred review

Kayla Cagan (c) Elisabeth Caren.jpg

photo by Elizabeth Caren

“A character readers will remember.”—Kirkus Reviews

Kayla Cagan is a writer and playwright. She received her BFA in Theater from Stephen F. Austin University. She lives in Los Angeles. This is her first book.

Author and “Policing Project” Director Barry Friedman, Unwarranted: Policing Without Permission, in Conversation with LA Police Commission President Matt Johnson

Wednesday, March 15th at 7:00 p.m.

In Unwarranted: Policing Without Permission, author, prominent law professor and “Policing Project” director Barry Friedman delivers a galvanizing and systemic overview on contemporary policing that reveals not only how Ferguson’s laying open of excessive – and discriminatory- force is tied to Snowden’s exposure of citizen surveillance but argues that only our full engagement will give us the reformation required for a robust democracy. Friedman will be in conversation with well-known attorney Matt Johnson, the civilian president of the LA Police Commission. Join them in a crucial discussion about the present policing impasse and the liberating way forward in this conversation, reading, q&a and signing.  

unwarrantedAs the debate about out-of-control policing heats up, an authority on constitutional law offers a provocative account of how our rights have been eroded. Unwarranted tells the stories of ordinary people whose lives were torn apart by policing—by the methods of cops on the beat and those of the FBI and NSA. Driven by technology, policing has changed dramatically. Once, cops sought out bad guys; today, increasingly militarized forces conduct wide surveillance of all of us. Policing falls particularly heavily on minority communities and the poor, but as Unwarranted makes clear, the effects of policing are much broader still. Police play an indispensable role in our society. But our failure to supervise them has left us all in peril. And the courts, which we depended upon to supervise policing, have let us down entirely. In Unwarranted, Barry Friedman argues that the problem is not so much the policing agencies as it is the rest of us. We allow these agencies to operate in secret and to decide how to police us, rather than calling the shots ourselves. Unwarranted is a critical, timely intervention into debates about policing and a call to take responsibility for governing those who govern us.

“In this remarkably lucid and persuasive book, Barry Friedman forces us to confront the most difficult, uncomfortable question about policing: not what should the police do, but what do we want the police to do? With insight and passion, Unwarranted lays out a vision for truly democratic policing. A must-read.” —Chris Hayes, host of All In with Chris Hayes and author of Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy

friedman-barry-c-abby-cope-unwarranted

photo by Abby Cope

Barry Friedman is the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Professor of Law at New York University School of Law and the director of the Policing Project. For thirty years he has taught, written about, and litigated issues of constitutional law and criminal procedure. He is the author of The Will of the People. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Slate, and The New Republic, among other publications. He lives with his wife and two children in New York City.

mattjpolicephotoMatthew W. Johnson is President of the Los Angeles Police Commission and the managing partner of Ziffren Brittenham LLP. He has an extensive film and television practice, representing some of the most recognizable on-camera talent today as well as many renowned film and television producers, directors and writers. In 2008, Commissioner Johnson was the youngest person recognized by The Hollywood Reporter as one of the 100 Power Lawyers in the Entertainment Industry. He was also named one of the Root 100 Most Influential African Americans in the United States.

Acclaimed NY Times Bestselling Novelist Christina Baker Kline (Orphan Train) Celebrates the Publication of Her New Novel A Piece of the World

Thursday, March 16th at 7:00 p.m.

Christina Baker Kline, author of the sweeping bestseller Orphan Train, is celebrated for her unerring and masterful ability to conceive magnificent fiction from obscure historical fact. In her highly praised new novel A Piece of The World, she envisages the life invoked by Andrew Wyeth’s indelible painting  Christina’s World and spins a nuanced and fascinating story of its subject, Christina Olson and the mutually transformative friendship between artist and muse that grew from his depiction of her. We are delighted and thrilled to celebrate this stellar author and the publication of the first edition of A Piece of The World, gifting us with a reading, talk, q&a and signing to follow.

PieceoftheWorld Final.jpgIn A Piece of the World, Kline vividly imagines the life of Christina Olson, the complex woman and real-life muse Andrew Wyeth portrayed in his 1948 masterpiece Christina’s World. The painting — which features a mysterious woman in a pink dress sitting in a field, gazing at a weathered house in the distance — is an iconic piece of American art. To Christina Olson, the entire world was her family’s remote farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. Born in the home her family had lived in for generations, and increasingly incapacitated by a degenerative illness, Christina seemed destined for a small life. Her fate changed the day 22-year-old Andrew Wyeth knocked on her front door. For more than twenty years, she was host and inspiration for the artist, and became the subject of one of the best known American paintings of the twentieth century. As she did in her beloved smash bestseller Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline interweaves fact and fiction in a powerful novel that illuminates a little-known part of America’s history. Bringing into focus the flesh-and-blood woman behind the portrait,  A Piece of the World is a story about the burdens and blessings of family history, and how artist and muse can come together to forge a new and timeless legacy.

This edition includes a four-color reproduction of Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World.

“Andrew Wyeth’s celebrated painting Christina’s World has her back to the viewer, but Kline turns her to face the reader, simultaneously equipping her with a back story and a lyrical voice…A character portrait that is painterly, sensuous, and sympathetic.” — Kirkus Reviews

“A graceful, moving and powerful demonstration of what can happen when a fearless literary imagination combines with an inexhaustible curiosity about the past and the human heart.” — Michael Chabon

“A brilliantly imagined fictional memoir of the woman in the famed Wyeth painting ‘Christina’s World,’ so detailed, moving, and utterly transportive that I’ll never be able to look at the painting again without thinking of this book and the characters who populate its pages.” — Erik Larson
Kline Christina Baker highres credit to Karin Diana.JPGChristina Baker Kline is the author of the new novel A Piece of the World (2017), about the relationship between the artist Andrew Wyeth and the subject of his best-known painting, Christina’s World. Kline has written five other novels—Orphan Train, The Way Life Should Be, Sweet Water, Bird in Hand, and Desire Lines—and written or edited five works of nonfiction. Her 2013 novel Orphan Train spent more than two years on the New York Times bestseller list, including five weeks at #1, and was published in 40 countries. More than 100 communities and colleges have chosen it as a “One Book, One Read” selection. Her adaptation of Orphan Train for young readers is Orphan Train Girl (2017). She lives near New York City and on the coast of Maine.

Nova YA Authors! Audrey Coulthurst,Of Fire And Stars, Joins Mary McCoy for the Launch of her new Novel, Camp So-And-So

Sunday, March 19th at 4:30 p.m. 

YA novelist Mary McCoy launches Camp So-And-Soa wild and funny novel that will not fail to delight, especially if you like summer camp served with a little camp, and a soupçon of Shakespeare. She is joined by Lambda literary fellow Audrey Coulthurst author of the recently published Of Fire and Stars, which is being hailed for telling the story of blossoming love between two princess heroines in a finely woven fantasy tale that takes on real-world issues.  Pop into this party of two exciting YA mavericks as we celebrate the launch of Camp So-And-So,with a reading, talk, q&a, and signing.

campsoThe letters went out in mid-February. Each letter invited its recipient to spend a week at Camp So-and-So, a lakeside retreat for girls nestled high in the Starveling Mountains. Each letter came with a glossy brochure with photographs of young women climbing rocks, performing Shakespeare under the stars, and spiking volleyballs. By the end of the month, twenty-five applications had been completed, signed, and mailed. Had any of these girls tried to visit the camp for themselves on that day in February, they would have discovered that there was no such mountain, and that no one within a fifty-mile radius had ever heard of Camp So-and-So . . .

“Tongue-in-cheek quips from an (at first) unknown third-party narrator and nods to A Midsummer Night’s Dream tie everything together in this crafty, and, yes, campy novel that plays with familiar themes before it subverts them. Pure weird entertainment from start to finish.” – Booklist (starred review)

 OfFireandStars.jpgIn Of Fire and Stars, Princess Dennaleia is betrothed to the prince of Mynaria,  and has always known her future. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile kingdoms. But Denna has a secret: an Affinity for fire—a dangerous gift in a land where magic is forbidden. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s warhorses before her coronation—and her teacher is the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine, sister of her betrothed. When an assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna join forces to search for the culprit. They soon discover there is more to one another than they thought—and their friendship is blossoming into something more. But with dangerous conflict brewing, acting on their feelings could be deadly and Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms—and each other. 

“A powerful and exquisite love story that also provides incisive political commentary and cautions against zealotry, vengeance, and intolerance. The central mystery is intriguing, Coulthurst’s worldbuilding is excellent, and the book’s explosive conclusion both thrills and satisfies” – Publishers Weekly (starred review) and a Publishers Weekly Flying Start for Fall

marymccoy-2

Mary McCoy is a writer and a librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library. She has also been a contributor to On Bunker Hill and the 1947project, where she wrote stories about Los Angeles’s notorious past. She grew up in western Pennsylvania and studied at Rhodes College and the University of Wisconsin.  She is the author of Camp So-and-So and Dead to Me (Disney-Hyperion).

audreycoulthurstAudrey Coulthurst writes YA books that tend to involve magic, horses, and kissing the wrong people. When she’s not dreaming up new stories, she can usually be found painting, singing, or on the back of a horse. Audrey has a Master’s in Writing from Portland State University, is a member of SCBWI, and studied with Malinda Lo as a 2013 Lambda Literary Foundation Fellow. She lives in Santa Monica, California

Award-Winning Los Angeles Poets Read and Discuss Their Uniquely Cross-Pollinated Collection Angle of Reflection

Wednesday, March 22nd at 7:00 p.m.

Good poems always seem to be a part of a larger, not entirely visible conversation, as lungs are to the air we breathe. What if that implicit conversation was explored tangibly by a cluster of excellent poets over decades? Angle of Reflection does just that. The  expansive new collection of lyric poems features the work of ten award-winning Los Angeles poets with a remarkable 20-year history of working together. Join seven of them – Jeanette Clough, Sarah Maclay, Holaday Mason, Jim Natal, Jan Wesley, Brenda Yates, and Mariano Zaro – for what will certainly be an effulgent reading, talk, q&a, and signing to celebrate their stealthily epic feat of poetry.

angleThis luminous collection (Marjorie Becker, Jeanette Clough, Dina Hardy, Paul Lieber, Sarah Maclay, Holaday Mason, Jim Natal, Jan Wesley, Brenda Yates, and Mariano Zaro) is both a sampler and a reservoir, capturing poems that serve as an entrée and retrospective as well as a showcase of current work. Perhaps the only umbrella term to categorize the poems here is lyric, though each poet’s section offers an individual interpretation and definition. However, there is nothing fragmented about the way this anthology flows. Because of, and despite, the differences in these poets’ singular voices, their poems carry on complex conversations across sections—correspondences that invite the reader to engage with the contrasts and similarities, themes and images. With an Introduction by esteemed poet David St. John, with whom some in the group worked weekly for many years, Angle of Reflection is a celebration of community, collaboration, and the joy of poetic diversity.

“… ten poets at the height of their creative powers and skill. They are sensuous and savvy, and the interaction between inner and outer landscapes is consistently mesmerizing…a treasury of the poetic image, rife with delight and discovery. Rest assured — the lyric poem is alive and well. “– Gail Wronsky, So Quick Bright Things

“This anthology covers tremendous territory — nature, ecology, politics, identity, the philosophical relationship to place and landscape, and at the most impeccably timed moments, an appropriate whimsy and levity. “– Chris Abani, Hands Washing Water

jeanette-clough-1

Jeanette Clough’s collection, Flourish, was a finalist in the Otis College of Art and Design and Eastern Washington University annual book competitions. Awards include Pushcart nominations and a Commendation in the Aesthetica Creative Works competition (UK).  She also served as Artist in Residence for the National Parks. Recent work appears in Colorado Review and Laurel Review.

sarah-maclay-1

2016 COLA Fellow Sarah Maclay’s newest release is The “She” Series: A Venice Correspondence, a collaboration with Holaday Mason. Her poems and criticism appear in APR, FIELD, Ploughshares, the Best American Erotic Poetry, The Writers’ Chronicle,Poetry International, several previous poetry collections, and elsewhere. Awards include a Pushcart Special Mention, the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry, and a Yaddo residency.

holaday-masonHoladay Mason is the author of Towards the Forest, Dissolve, The Red Bowl: A Fable in Poems, & The She Series:  A Venice Correspondence, a collaboration with Sarah Maclay (WhatBooks). Pushcart nominee, widely published, Holaday is a psychotherapist since 1993, & a fine art photographer.

jim-natalJim Natal is the Pushcart Prize-nominated author of 52 Views: The Haibun Variations, Memory and Rain, and two previous poetry collections. His work has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including Hayden’s Ferry Review, Spillway, Alligator Juniper, San Pedro River Review, and Los Angeles in the 1970s.

jan-wesley

Jan Wesley’s credits include a poetry book, Living in Freefall, three published chapbooks, and poems have appeared in Iowa Review, Rattle, Spillway, Psychological Perspectives, and others. She received her MFA from Vermont College, taught writing in college, and now teaches writing workshops. She received a Pushcart and Ruth Lily award nominations.

brenda-yatesBrenda Yates is the award-winning author of Bodily Knowledge (Tebot Bach 2015) whose publications include Mississippi Review; The American Journal of Poetry, Tor House News; City of the Big Shoulders: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry (University of Iowa Press) and The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VI: Tennessee (Texas Review Press).

mariano-zaro

Mariano Zaro is the author of 4 bilingual books of poetry, most recently Tres letras/Three Letters. His poems are included in Monster Verse (Random House), Wide Awake (Beyond Baroque Books), The Coiled Serpent (Tía Chucha), Angle of Reflection (Arctos Press) and in several magazines in Spain, Mexico and USA.