April 26, 2013 |
"The amazing thing about James Brown, for me," says R.J. Smith, "is you can't figure him out. " That's not uncommon for a music journalist, but it reveals just how complex Brown was -- Smith was his biographer. Smith, the author of 2012's "The One: The Life and Music of James Brown," dropped by our video booth at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books to talk about his book and about James Brown, the godfather of soul. "He was a civil rights arbiter, and he was a Republican," Smith tells L.A. Times features editor Alice Short.
April 21, 2014 |
Gene Luen Yang has been getting a lot of attention from prize juries for his two-part graphic novel for young adults, "Boxers and Saints. " Set at the end of the 19th century, it begins with the story of a Chinese boy inspired by traditional Chinese gods to fight foreign oppression; in part two, an unwanted Chinese girl finds refuge with Christians who are threatened by the rebellion of the first book. "Boxers and Saints" was a finalist for the National Book Award in November, and in April it took the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature.
April 20, 2014
Mixed views on Charleston I'm glad Alice Short highlighted the most troubling aspect of visiting Charleston, S.C., in her cover article ["In a New Light," April 13]. What is on the surface one of America's finest historic towns was built and maintained by enslaved African Americans whose history is mostly hidden and unspoken, while the Confederate past is celebrated. The only thing that "saved" our stay in Charleston was Alphonso Brown's wonderful Gullah Tour ( www.gullahtours.com )
July 21, 2013
The 'Fantasy' that is Portugal This is just a quick thank you for the deliciously written tale "Fantasy Fix" by Alice Short [July 14], about the short trip to two of my favorite places close to my heart and hometown (Óbidos). I just shared it on Facebook, trying to raise my U.K. mates' awareness of my country's potential to please them, although they crave only the Algarve sunny beaches. Paulo Belo Submitted by email "Fantasy Fix" had little to do with travel in Portugal, as it focused primarily on breakfast, lunch and dinner.
October 30, 1994 |
Long after her books end, Alice Munro's characters live on in the mind like cranky, cheek-pinching relatives from childhood. Once you've read her, you can't forget Flo from the 1977 story collection, "The Beggar Maid"--stubborn, fiercely proud, with her work-scuffed knees, flowered aprons and penchant for warning people to "get out of my road"? Then there's Addie Jordan, a.k.a.
January 29, 2014 |
Sue Monk Kidd writes that her first encounter with Sarah and Angelina Grimké came during an exhibition of Judy Chicago's artwork "The Dinner Party" in 2007. The sisters are included in a list of 999 important women in history and mythology, their names inscribed on the "Heritage Floor" of the installation. Kidd, author of "The Secret Life of Bees" and "The Mermaid Chair," writes that she was startled to discover the sisters were from Charleston, S.C., her home at the time. The Grimkés, she learned, were abolitionists and "among the earliest major American feminist thinkers.