New California Fiction : BAD LUCK WITH CATS CRIS MAZZA, Cris Mazza, whose first book was "Animal Acts," says she is "known for writing about animals. I am interested in how people relate to animals and pets and how this reflects on how they relate to each other." She has five dogs and two homes: In the summer, she lives in north San Diego County, and during the academic year, she is a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she teaches fiction writing. Her fifth book, "Exposed," was published by Coffee House Press in May
New California Fiction : PURGATORY LIZA WIELAND, Like the woman in "Purgatory," Liza Wieland thought about buying a ticket to Silverton from Durango, Colo., but she didn't go through with it. "The rest of the story comes from the novel I'm working on now. In some ways, this is a chapter, but a different telling of the story." Wieland teaches American literature and creative writing at Cal State Fresno. Her novel "The Names of the Lost" was published in 1992 by Southern Methodist University Press; "Discovering America," a collection of short stories, was published in 1994 by Random House
New California Fiction : ANYTHING BUT A GENTLEMAN DANIEL HAYES, Daniel Hayes grew up in Southern California, studied at UC Berkeley and now teaches writing at UCLA. "Anything but a Gentleman" is an excerpt from a recently completed novel of the same name, which comprises 112 vignettes that are aggressively non-linear. "That's the way my mind works," he says, "and so that's how I write. And isn't that the way people present themselves to us--a little at a time? We don't know their whole story, but we begin piecing it together." Hayes' fiction has appeared in TriQuarterly, Story, Massachusetts Review and other magazines, and he won a Pushcart Prize in 1991
New California Fiction : COLOR STRUCK ALYCE MILLER, Winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award for short fiction, Alyce Miller left her teaching position at Santa Clara University to be a visiting assistant professor in fiction writing at Ohio University. "Color Struck" is from her short-story collection, "The Nature of Longing," due from University of Georgia Press in October. "The small troubles of ordinary people interest me. It is through writing about them that sometimes we stumble on the extraordinary." She is currently working on a novel, "Diva."
New California Fiction : COLD HEARTED DAVID WONG LOUIE, "We may have had two refrigerators," David Wong Louie says, "but otherwise 'Cold Hearted' is not about my family as much as it's about any son's changing perceptions of his father." The story is from a novel in progress, "The Barbarians Are Coming." His collection of stories, "Pangs of Love," published by Knopf in 1991, won a Los Angeles Times book prize for first fiction. He teaches writing and literature in UCLA's English department and at its Asian American Studies Center
PLATFORM : A Mother's Plea to Keep Focus and Funding on Treatment for AIDS BRENDA FREIBERG, BRENDA FREIBERG is a health-care management consultant, a member of the L . A . County Commission on AIDS and president of Research Sanctuary, an organization working to accelerate access to promising therapies for people with HIV and AIDS. She comments on the need to recommit funding for AIDS research: and