THE 4TH OF July weekend is summer reading's perfect holiday, the right time for the printed page, a beach chair and a tall, cold drink. It is also, we think, the perfect time for the first Los Angeles Times Magazine all-fiction issue.
This collection of stories brings together five California writers with highly individual voices, all tuned to a West Coast note:
HARRIET DOERR. Her first novel, "Stones for Ibarra," won the American Book Award in 1984, and her work has appeared in the New Yorker and other literary publications. Doerr is 79 and lives in Pasadena. Her contribution to this issue, "Like Heaven," will be published in January in a collection of her early work by the Yolla Bolly Press in Covelo, Calif.
JOHN L'HEUREUX. At 54, L'Heureux has been director of the Stanford Writing Program for the past 12 years. His stories have been published in Esquire, the Atlantic and the New Yorker. "Father," published here, will be included in "Comedians," a collection of his fiction due in January from Viking.
KATE BRAVERMAN. Her novels--"Lithium for Medea" and last year's "Palm Latitudes"--and poetry have won critical praise. "Falling in October" is part of a work-in-progress called "Tall Tales from the Mekong Delta." Braverman, 39, is an associate professor of creative writing at Cal State Los Angeles and lives in Los Angeles.