Ruthie Marlenée’s new, acclaimed novel, AGAVE BLUES, presents readers with a strong sense of place—in both Mexico and Los Angeles—and a strong-willed female protagonist. The book is a gripping family saga and lesson in transformation. An excerpt, plus a conversation with AFLW’s Lillian Ann Slugocki and the author on her inspiration–and magic in her writing process.
Natashia Deón’s latest novel, THE PERISHING, is a love letter to time, space and the transformative stories of Black women. This coming-of-age speculative fiction book delves into L.A. history, racism, sexism, fantasy and humanity. An excerpt, plus a Q&A with the author and AFLW’s Danielle Broadway on the novel’s runaway success.
Pete Hsu’s new, experimental fiction chapbook, THERE IS A MAN, bends reality at the intersection of satire, family drama and ’80s alternative rock. An excerpt, plus a Q&A with the author and PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow Chinyere Nwodim on writing, reading and the value of unconventional choices.
‘Better to not know what hanged me.’ A preview of Cassandra Lane’s poignant, potent and exquisitely crafted forthcoming memoir, discovering her mysterious and painful family past and reflecting on what it means to be a Black mother, with an introduction by F. Douglas Brown.
Through an imagined affair between his grandfather and Lucille Ball, bestselling author Darin Strauss shines a spotlight on the dualities of desire and love, infidelity and marriage, fiction and reality–and traces the ongoing impact of the revolutionary ‘I Love Lucy’ star and studio mogul.
Twenty years after its original publication, Deanne Stillman’s California cult classic, TWENTYNINE PALMS, is even more relevant and has just been optioned. A look back at an epic true tale of murder, Marines and the Mojave, plus a Q&A examining the book’s place in our cultural landscape.
‘Gossip Girl’ meets ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ in this dramatic debut YA novel about a group of friends at a prep school in an affluent L.A. suburb. An excerpt plus Q&A revealing how the title touches on issues of Asian-American profiling, class and privilege that we are reckoning with in the U.S. today.
In the wake of the pandemic, arts organizations have been hard hit, including L.A.’s Beyond Baroque. A conversation between Executive Director Quentin Ring and board VP Shonda Buchanan on how the literary home to inaugural poet Amanda Gorman has survived in the age of Covid-19 and continued to break barriers for creatives in Los Angeles.
In her new collection, Colette Sartor delves into her generations of influence, from her strong, smart and ‘difficult’ Grandma Sartor to her mother’s bookshelf of true crime and horror. An excerpt plus Q&A with the author on writing craft and pandemic survival, past and present.
PEN America Emerging Voices alumna Parnaz Foroutan’s new memoir explores identity, belonging and desire. An excerpt plus Q&A with the author on writing memoir, underrepresented voices, finding home and more.
In her latest book, bestselling author Angella Nazarian chronicles and celebrates 15 iconic couples who’ve made an impact in our world. An excerpt and Q&A with the author give a glimpse into potent pairs and insights into how lessons from their partnerships can guide us during this time of uncertainty.
THE PRETTY ONE, the celebrated, new essay collection by first-time author and #DisabledAndCute founder Keah Brown, is powerful guide for change. An excerpt, plus Q&A with the author on writing, Roxane Gay, pop culture, coming out, goal-setting and more.
Adam Popescu’s debut novel, NIMA, tells the story of a young Sherpa woman’s journey through the many challenges of her world: an exploitive Western tourism industry, strict gender restrictions & the implacable presence of the Himalayas. An excerpt, followed by Q&A between the author & writer D.B. Zweier.
In YOUR HOUSE WILL PAY, Steph Cha brings her formidable crime-writing prowess to the aftermath of racially charged 90s’ Los Angeles. The result is a page-turning thriller driven by honesty, tension and an unyielding willingness to speak the emotional experience of its characters.
THE LAGER QUEEN OF MINNESOTA is J. Ryan Stradal’s anticipated follow-up to his bestselling debut novel, KITCHENS OF THE GREAT MIDWEST. With his signature warmth, detail and exquisitely fine storytelling, Stradal once again delivers a novel worth falling in love with.
After the loves and betrayals of THE REVOLUTION OF MARINA M., young poet Marina Makarova finds herself pregnant and adrift amid the devastation of the Russian Civil War, forced to survive on her own resourcefulness. A riveting excerpt from Janet Fitch’s latest, acclaimed novel, CHIMES OF A LOST CATHEDRAL, followed by a deeply thoughtful Q&A on her process with writing group partner and friend, author Rita Williams.
Chris L. Terry’s new, acclaimed novel, BLACK CARD, presents a stirring examination of racial identity in America as its unnamed narrator is a young, mixed-race man who longs to earn his “black card,” but soon finds it comes with an acute and systemic vulnerability to racism. An excerpt, followed by a Q&A between the author and AFLW Fiction Editor Pete Hsu.
Author Riley Perez went to prison for the robbery and attempted extortion of Joe Francis, the creator of Girls Gone Wild. It was a job he was hired to do by the mob. In WHAT IS REAL, Perez brings the reader into his world, one in which the rules of engagement make sense only to those whose lives depend on it.
In her acclaimed debut novel, CATALINA, Liska Jacobs takes us into the tortured mind of Elsa Fisher as she retreats to Los Angeles, jobless after an intense affair in the heart of Manhattan’s art world. A journey of drinking, destruction and discovery follows as Elsa unravels in a seeming paradise: Catalina Island. An excerpt from the perfect beach (or island) read for hot summer days and nights, and a revealing Q&A between AFLW’s Jian Huang and the author on the evergreen question of New York vs. L.A. and, as a native Angeleno, how the character of Los Angeles as place influences her writing.
In THE LAST TO SEE ME, M. Dressler blurs the boundaries between the living and the dead, showing us that otherness is a matter of not seeing and not knowing how to communicate, and that evil resides not either in the world of ghosts or men, but in one’s own heart. An excerpt and fascinating conversation between AFLW fiction editor Shilpa Agarwal and the author, on the heels of her winning this year’s $10,000 Book Pipeline Award book-to-film project for the novel.
Deanne Stillman’s latest, acclaimed book, “Blood Brothers: The Story of the Strange Friendship between Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill,” gives an unexpected view into white America’s troubled relationship with its native population. Learn more about this fascinating story, with lessons from the past that impact current issues, in an excerpt and Q&A with the author.
In BEGIN WITH A FAILED BODY, winner of the 2016 Cave Canem Poetry Prize, poet and professor Natalie Graham considers the wounded self trapped between poverty and memory.
“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.
Julia Fierro on how her new novel, THE GYPSY MOTH SUMMER, is an “anti-revenge revenge story” and more.