Working long hours in an upscale Beverly Hills restaurant, a single, white mother in her 50s and a young Latino cook form an unlikely friendship to protect their jobs, never realizing how essential their bond is until one of them faces an unimaginable tragedy.
In “The Art of Misdiagnosis,” Gayle Brandeis probes the mysteries surrounding her mother’s suicide, artfully weaving letters, research and documentary transcripts throughout the narrative. An excerpt and Q&A between the author and AFLW creative nonfiction editor, Marnie Goodfriend, on letters never sent, truth seeking, and loving our parents, flaws and all.
In his new, bestselling book, “More Beautiful Than Before,” Rabbi Steve Leder offers wisdom gleaned from his years in service to others, and from moving through his own pain. For the holidays, he shares ways to cope, survive and, even, thrive.
They met online on Skype and then in person in Chile. Their connection continued in cyberspace. A tribute to a love outside of time.
A fast, furious and hopeful response to the #MeToo hashtag activism that went viral.
“They’d fought so loudly that their terrified daughter stomped on his foot to make him stop screaming.” Flash fiction in collaboration with Flash Flash Click.
“It’s a very L.A. story, surely, but you needs must own that it’s the sort of thing that could happen anywhere, to anyone.” New, fanciful fiction, a love story, by THE BLACK WATCH indie rock band founder and author John Andrew Fredrick.
“There is a story of two Simbirsk landlords who used to meet regularly for hunting, card games, and vodka-drinking bouts.” Flash fiction in collaboration with Flash Flash Click.
“My love was obese, all bent out of shape. White flesh in low-riders.” Flash fiction in collaboration with Flash Flash Click.
“Every winter river rocks shatter in place. Vulnerable when saturated, a frost shears them at every seam.” Flash fiction in collaboration with Flash Flash Click.
“Meeting under twilight skies, talking for hours, and then lying together, purrs and soft breath.” Flash fiction in collaboration with Flash Flash Click.
“Back then, being so comfortable in my skin, strong, rebellious, someone’s hero—that person will become a stranger and then come back throughout my life. That person is me.” A rousing personal essay on survival and resistance.
Sgt. Hector Gallegos of the LAPD reads his cheap, plastic Bible backward. This is a secret, as is the holy book’s presence in his patrol car, a tool – like his gun – to combat evil. When tragedy visits his home, he understands it’s not just faith, but something more that wields the power to protect his family. New fiction set in the City of Angels.
“I said nothing while I watched life transform from several feet away. I wasn’t observing from above in a surgical theater, nor was I a terrified loved one on the other side of the solid door.” A deeply moving excerpt from Elizabeth L. Silver’s acclaimed, new memoir of medical uncertainty.
“I am still in awe of the wonders and magic of modern medicine, but I am now much more aware of its frailties.” Elizabeth L. Silver, author of THE TINCTURE OF TIME, in an emotive Q&A.
“Not yet men and women and no longer boys and girls, they may have believed in fairy tales still but wouldn’t dare confess. That summer, after the black-bristled gypsy moth caterpillars hatched, Avalon’s youth surrendered the woods reluctantly. What more was there to fear?” A beautiful yet foreboding prelude excerpt from Julia Fierro’s heralded coming-of-age novel.
Julia Fierro on how her new novel, THE GYPSY MOTH SUMMER, is an “anti-revenge revenge story” and more.
A look back at our packed salon with Annabelle Gurwitch, Heather Havrilesky, Susan Hayden, Jian Huang and Strawberry Saroyan at The Last Bookstore.
“Man cage. Man trip. The coal mine was clearly a space for men, but the salt mine didn’t feel as manly, somehow; it was more womblike, friendly, its body briny as flesh.”
“Is it possible to envision a world where, in a battle between a gun and a story, the story would win? Is that a question worth asking? Worth imagining? Worth embodying in our work and lives?”
“My father loved thin women and thick steaks.” A poignant and funny excerpt from Annabelle Gurwitch’s brilliant new memoir on family, with her larger-than-life dad playing the lead.
On the two-year anniversary of the death of Freddie Gray, after suffering police brutality, laments by Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman.
“The news wraps you in lists, trying to destroy the light of your name,
Waxing moon sliver of light—metaphor for black Baltimore boys?”
The one and only Cheryl Strayed passes on her wisdom about literature’s grand mission, the long game and the writer’s role in grim political moments.
On a precarious journey down a twisting mountain road, a singer-songwriter finds herself on a crash-course with her heart. Her husband awaits at the bottom, but the loops and turns of her life are pointing her elsewhere, a burning for change, a fiery want, a flame.
“The other day, my son asked who our king is. Normally, I would laugh — but right now it feels a little too precarious.”
“After our mother died, my three siblings and I went through all of the photos she’d left behind, separating them into stacks: Family. Friends. Men.”
Inside the dreamscape of the Hollywood sign, a love story unfolds, but as in all fairy tales, a villainess appears, and the stars begin to fall.
“Use the literature of Los Angeles as a guide. Read about Acosta’s cockroach people, Babitz’s sex and rage, Banham’s ecologies, Beatty’s white boy shuffle, Boyle’s tortilla curtain, Braverman’s frantic transmissions, Bukowski’s post office, Butler’s speech sounds and Brinig’s flutter of an eyelid.”
A look at the past, present and future as we launch our one-year anniversary issue.
Angels Flight • literary west has launched an emergency “Wall of Resistance” issue in response to the U.S. presidential election. We invite writers, artists and activists to contribute and have their voices heard.
“And I know he isn’t talking to the hummingbird zippering the air just behind his left ear.” Flash fiction in collaboration with Flash Flash Click.
“Seven weeks had passed since she’d discovered the infidelity. First the email messages, then the bank statements.” Flash fiction in collaboration with Flash Flash Click.
“The scream queen shakes her head. She watches Frank’s boxers fall from his pale ass like a raggedy Band-Aid from a wound.” Flash fiction in collaboration with Flash Flash Click.
“Having a level twenty-one paladin with a +3 sword of sharpness does not impress girls even though the sword of sharpness is really cool.” Flash fiction in collaboration with Flash Flash Click.
“His face, sharp with twitching whiskers, is close to what was once her shoulder …” Flash fiction in collaboration with Flash Flash Click.
“The water is clear and as it rises up it shimmers, until the waves crash on the pier.” Flash fiction in collaboration with Flash Flash Click.
“Because of the steps, your mouth was eye-level so I kissed you, not hard, no tongue, just a warm friendly kiss for no reason I’ve ever known.” Flash fiction in collaboration with Flash Flash Click.
“Your pool man might dream about retiring or finishing school or impregnating his wife or getting divorced or saving enough for his daughter’s college.” Flash fiction in collaboration with Flash Flash Click.
“The rock star opens his mouth and you tumble out, with the dead-leaves scent of your hair I remember.” Flash fiction in collaboration with Flash Flash Click.
“Fat rain fell like intention on the side of the road where the life had left, fat rain on my cheeks, benediction to a girl who was suddenly wrestling with religion …” Flash fiction in collaboration with Flash Flash Click.
“Dash of the sea in his honey-blue eyes, bones carved by angels …” We’re honored to debut publishing flash fiction in collaboration with Flash Flash Click.
“He was only a ghost in the technical sense of the term, in that he was dead and haunting the Earth.” Flash fiction in collaboration with Flash Flash Click.
“I drink from the hipflask and, even before the alcohol fills my mouth, it is delicious—the coldness of the metal against my lips, my teeth, the roundness of it, the O.” Flash fiction in collaboration with Flash Flash Click.
“Where are those skies, those seas, that earth of my blood memory?” Flash fiction in collaboration with Flash Flash Click.
“In the middle of the night, Jeff had a heart attack and Shayla rode in the ambulance next to him, holding his gray hand, adrenaline surging through her body … ” Flash fiction in collaboration with Flash Flash Click.
In GENEVIEVES, Henry Hoke proves himself a master illusionist, slipping us through veils of reality to meet an echo of who we might be in our deepest selves. An excerpt from the just-released book of surreal, gender-bending fiction and a Q&A with the author.
In THE EDUCATION OF MARGOT SANCHEZ, by Lilliam Rivera, a Puerto Rican-American family does everything it can to maintain a veneer of perfection for their teenage daughter, Margot. But when she’s caught stealing money, she winds up working in her father’s South Bronx grocery store, and that’s where her education truly begins. A riveting excerpt and Q&A with the author.
In CAKE TIME, Siel Ju’s protagonist has no illusions about family or perfection. She’s left that all behind long ago. A compelling excerpt and Q&A with AFLW Fiction Editor Shilpa Agarwal.
“I’d never asked for a brother, but suddenly, there he was, and I got a Disney View Master, a plastic toy that brought a slide show to life as light shined through.”
At Angels Flight • literary west, we love being in L.A., but in this excerpt from his memoir, GUN, NEEDLE, SPOON, Patrick O’Neil tells the story of a time when he had to get out.