Court Ruling Puts Second Trust Deeds in Doubt DONALD M. FENMORE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES; Fenmore, a former assistant U.S. attorney, is a partner with the law firm of Loeb & Loeb specializing in real estate and real estate workout and insolvency matters. and
The ARSENIC HOUR JANE VANDENBURGH, When Jane Vandenburgh lived in the San Fernando Valley during the 1950s and 1960s, "it was still an agricultural area with pockets of development. There were no drugs, and no divorces happened to people you knew." With that world palpably changed, Vandenburgh says she's particularly interested in recapturing the past as realistically as she can. She now lives in Berkeley and teaches creative writing at UC Berkeley. She's the author of the novel "Failure to Zigzag," published by Avon. "The Arsenic Hour" is the title story from a collection in progress. Another novel, "The Physics of Sunset," is due late in 1993.
The Prophet of the Road WILLIAM T. VOLLMAN, "I write my stories quickly," says William T. Vollmann, "but 'Prophet' was in my head for years. Pretty much everything in it is true: I saw the woman in Canada. I wrote that, but it seemed flat. Then I started wondering what the prophet character would have done." Vollmann's previous works, such as "You Bright and Risen Angels" and "The Rainbow Stories," have earned him comparisons with Thomas Pynchon. In July, Viking will publish "Fathers and Crows," one installment in a fictional series on early North American history. The same month, Farrar, Straus & Giroux will publish his nonfiction account of the Afghan war. Vollmann, 32, was born in Santa Monica and now lives in Sacramento.
GOING to MEET the MURDERER : EVELYN ALICE WALKER, "Going to Meet the Murderer" is excerpted from "Possessing the Secret of Joy," published this month by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. The character of Tashi-Evelyn appeared in Walker's previous work, but it was only after researching the worldwide practice of female circumcision that Walker decided to make Tashi's life the focus of a novel. "I took long walks, thought about it a lot," she says. "(This) book had to be treated with great care." Walker, 48, who lives in Northern California, is now at work on a documentary on the subject: "There are 75 to 100 million women alive today who have had this done to them. I have one small hope, that (because of my book) one little girl somewhere won't have to experience genital mutilation."
Little Deaths Fenton Johnson, Fenton Johnson grew up in Kentucky, where he learned the intricacies of trapping from his brother, a game warden. The interrelated stories of Rose Ella, Tom Hardin and their children will appear in "Scissors, Paper, Rock," to be published by Pocket Books next summer. Johnson is dedicating the book to his lover, Lawrence Rose, who died of AIDS in 1990. "I had struggled with writing 'Little Deaths' for several years, and it was the last story that Larry helped me with. After he died, I wrote the story in a day and a half." Now living in San Francisco, Johnson, 38, is working on a collection of essays exploring grief and loss. His previous novel is "Crossing the River," published by Dell/Laurel. 1992
The Monster Scott Bradfield, "I wanted to write a Frankenstein story," says Scott Bradfield. "The Monster was inspired by that sort of guy who is extremely cerebral--the emotionally shut-down male." Bradfield's fantastic view of the world pervades his stories in "The History of Luminous Motion" and "Dream of the Wolf," both published by Vintage Books. "The Monster" will appear in a new collection to be published in England, where Bradfield has lived off and on since 1986. Born and raised in San Francisco, Bradfield, 37, earned a Ph.D. in English from UC Irvine and teaches American literature at the University of Connecticut. He recently finished writing his first screenplay. "Maybe that will bring me back to California," he says. "I miss the sun."
PLATFORM : The People's Choice BARRY KEENE, BARRY KEENE (D-Ukiah) is the majority leader of the California Senate. He believes that a state constitutional convention is needed if we want true change. According to Keene: