I was going to sleep in a museum—with any luck, next to Esau Abraham, a boy so gorgeously Jewish he held the entire Old Testament in his name, in the perfect contours of his face. I had this theory about boys, that if they just got close enough to me, and sort of focused in,
Paul Yamazaki made me want to be a bookseller. When I met Paul, I’d been working in bookstores for fifteen years, but it wasn’t until getting to know him and seeing just how established and comfortable he was with his place in the publishing ecosystem that I began to find a similar comfort myself. At the time, I was working as a manager and book buyer at Green Apple Books on Clement Street, and have since, at the beginning of 2017, become with my wife the owner of Point Reyes Books. Paul has been at City Lights Bookstore for nearly […]
What if my mother never protested was never pro anything never probed beyond the small yard where the bees lived with their constant buzzing what if my mother matched the bees in their compliant striped dresses minding their own business afraid to wander too far from the work that paid honey afraid to wander too far from the one queen they served but maybe the bees are not just working maybe the bees make all that noise because they are hiding things because they don’t like where they live are really livid not timid not just little serfs in striped […]
“Literature is the question minus the answer.” —Roland Barthes “To learn which questions are unanswerable and not to answer them: this skill is most needful in times of stress and darkness.” —Ursula K. LeGuin, from The Left Hand of Darkness Dear Reader, Perhaps you, like me, find yourself asking a lot from literature these days: greater solace, finer insight, deeper resonance. For me that’s led to thinking more pointedly about such expectations, and I’ve found it is useful to ask not only what literature can do to respond to current events, but also how; not just what meaning literature can […]
In this issue: Art & Resistance Amid Turmoil Criticism: Troy Jollimore on how Wallace Shawn’s plays and his latest book, Night Thoughts, illuminate our predicament Robin Romm on what Imre Kertész can teach us about art as resistance Nonfiction: T.J. Stiles on the road we travelled to arrive at this precarious moment Andrew Tonkovich on “free persons,” and the risks writers must take Fiction: Dana Johnson’s “Like Other People”: In desperate need of a job, a graduate student takes a job cleaning cable boxes, working with folks also hard up for work. Kristopher Jansma’s “The Corps of Discovery”: On a long […]
In this issue: Interview: City Lights Books bookseller Paul Yamazaki in conversation with Point Reyes Books owner Stephen Sparks about the responsibilities of bookselling (“For me, it boils down to conversation”) and the Bay Area’s literary community (“I forget sometimes how lucky we are”). Nonfiction: Jesse Nathan on the perhaps the most impressive tool behind Bob Dylan’s artistry: his singular voice. Peter Orner on the final brief moments of a couple slain on an isolated beach. Fiction: Arrival and Immigration: stories from Michael Jaime-Becerra (“¡Dale, Dale, Dale!”), E.C. Osundu (“Alien Visitors”), Christine Ma Kellems (“The Children of Dissidents”) and Greg […]
Victoria Patterson is the author of the novels The Peerless Four, The Little Brother, and This Vacant Paradise, and the story collection Drift, a finalist for the California Book Award and the Story Prize. She teaches at Antioch University’s MFA program.
In this issue: Interview: Acclaimed poet and critic W.S. Di Piero in conversation: on Shakespeare, the art of translation (the translator inhabits “The house of a language, an imagination, a culture.”), and on being a good citizen. Nonfiction: Sallie Tisdale’s essay “The Hinge”: “My worst regrets,” she writes, “are not big and dramatic; they are as tiny and sharp as glass ground into my palm.” Fiction: Nick Lane’s “So You’re Thinking of Becoming a Despot”: It’s easier than you think (and it’s a great way of getting that one village girl to finally notice you). Louis B. Jones’ “Ever Since […]