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May 14, 2006 | Ben Ehrenreich, Ben Ehrenreich is the author of the novel "The Suitors."
TWO years ago, Chris Abani landed on the local literary scene with the much-heralded "GraceLand," a meaty, absorbing novel that took place in his native Nigeria. Set in a slum perched on stilts above a Lagos swamp, "GraceLand" followed a teenage boy named Elvis Oke as he struggled to find his way into manhood. It was a traditional coming-of-age story, but it was far more than that. Elvis taught himself to dance like his legendary namesake, performing on the beach for European tourists.
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March 22, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
When I think about Chinua Achebe, who died Thursday in Boston at age 82, I remember an event, five years ago, at Manhattan's Town Hall. The occasion was a commemoration, sponsored by PEN American Center, of the 50th anniversary of Achebe's first novel, “Things Fall Apart,” which opened the territory of African literature for many readers around the world. I listened as, one after the next, novelists Colum McCann, Edwidge Danticat and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie took the stage to pay homage to Achebe.
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March 22, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
When I think about Chinua Achebe, who died Thursday in Boston at age 82, I remember an event, five years ago, at Manhattan's Town Hall. The occasion was a commemoration, sponsored by PEN American Center, of the 50th anniversary of Achebe's first novel, “Things Fall Apart,” which opened the territory of African literature for many readers around the world. I listened as, one after the next, novelists Colum McCann, Edwidge Danticat and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie took the stage to pay homage to Achebe.
BOOKS
September 2, 2007 | Irina Reyn, Irina Reyn's first novel, "What Happened to Anna K.," will be published next year.
"IF peace ever comes, I hope it makes us wiser," thinks the voiceless teenage soldier at the heart of Chris Abani's wrenching new novella, "Song for Night." What makes this book a luminous addition to the burgeoning literature on boy soldiers is the way the Nigerian author both undercuts and reinforces such hopeful sentiments. There may be no redemption in war's devastation, Abani implies, but among the ruins it's still possible to find transcendent moments of beauty.
BOOKS
January 28, 2007 | Ruben Martinez, Ruben Martinez, a professor at Loyola Marymount University, is the author of "Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail."
IN the months before the 1992 Los Angeles riots, I lived in an Echo Park bungalow complex called Sunset Villas. There were about a dozen units, modest one-bedrooms with hardwood floors and red tile roofs that faced each other across a concrete courtyard, making our private lives somewhat public. That's the way we wanted it. We were Jewish from San Diego, white from Florida, black from Detroit, brown from Costa Rica.
BOOKS
September 2, 2007 | Irina Reyn, Irina Reyn's first novel, "What Happened to Anna K.," will be published next year.
"IF peace ever comes, I hope it makes us wiser," thinks the voiceless teenage soldier at the heart of Chris Abani's wrenching new novella, "Song for Night." What makes this book a luminous addition to the burgeoning literature on boy soldiers is the way the Nigerian author both undercuts and reinforces such hopeful sentiments. There may be no redemption in war's devastation, Abani implies, but among the ruins it's still possible to find transcendent moments of beauty.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 18, 2007 | Scott Timberg, Times Staff Writer
LATE one night a few years back, the Nigerian-born writer Chris Abani showed up at Chinatown's Phoenix Inn, where his was the only black face. He wasn't made terribly welcome, he recalls, and on that visit he was served only after delay and "with great reluctance."
ENTERTAINMENT
April 5, 2004 | Merle Rubin, Special to The Times
"Graceland" opens in 1983, in the teeming city of Lagos, Nigeria, where 16-year-old Elvis Oke, who hopes to become a dancer, is trying to earn money performing in the street, doing impersonations of the more famous American Elvis. As evoked in this novel by Nigerian writer and poet Chris Abani, Lagos is a city of startling contrasts: "Elvis had read a newspaper editorial that stated, rather proudly, that Nigeria had a higher percentage of millionaires ... than any other country in the world....
NEWS
March 10, 2005 | From a Times staff writer
Mystery writer Tony Hillerman on Wednesday was named winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes' Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement. Hillerman will be honored April 22 at UCLA, when winners of the newspaper's 2004 book prizes are unveiled. Finalists in the nine categories were announced Wednesday.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 24, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg
As chief operating officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg is a successful tech excutive. With her 2013 book "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will To Lead," she became a bestselling author. Now she's poised to play an important role in film, with news Friday that Sony has bought the rights to "Lean In. " Deadline Hollywood reports that Sony made a preemptive bid for "Lean In" and brought in Nell Scovel, who wrote the book with Sandberg, to turn it into a film. Sandberg has become a spokeswoman for the book, which our reviewer Rebecca Traister described as "naming and attempting to redress the double standards, entrenched attitudes and regressive catch-22s that drive women into ruts of self-doubt, lowered expectations and accommodating self-sacrifice.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 18, 2007 | Scott Timberg, Times Staff Writer
LATE one night a few years back, the Nigerian-born writer Chris Abani showed up at Chinatown's Phoenix Inn, where his was the only black face. He wasn't made terribly welcome, he recalls, and on that visit he was served only after delay and "with great reluctance."
BOOKS
January 28, 2007 | Ruben Martinez, Ruben Martinez, a professor at Loyola Marymount University, is the author of "Crossing Over: A Mexican Family on the Migrant Trail."
IN the months before the 1992 Los Angeles riots, I lived in an Echo Park bungalow complex called Sunset Villas. There were about a dozen units, modest one-bedrooms with hardwood floors and red tile roofs that faced each other across a concrete courtyard, making our private lives somewhat public. That's the way we wanted it. We were Jewish from San Diego, white from Florida, black from Detroit, brown from Costa Rica.
BOOKS
May 14, 2006 | Ben Ehrenreich, Ben Ehrenreich is the author of the novel "The Suitors."
TWO years ago, Chris Abani landed on the local literary scene with the much-heralded "GraceLand," a meaty, absorbing novel that took place in his native Nigeria. Set in a slum perched on stilts above a Lagos swamp, "GraceLand" followed a teenage boy named Elvis Oke as he struggled to find his way into manhood. It was a traditional coming-of-age story, but it was far more than that. Elvis taught himself to dance like his legendary namesake, performing on the beach for European tourists.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 5, 2004 | Merle Rubin, Special to The Times
"Graceland" opens in 1983, in the teeming city of Lagos, Nigeria, where 16-year-old Elvis Oke, who hopes to become a dancer, is trying to earn money performing in the street, doing impersonations of the more famous American Elvis. As evoked in this novel by Nigerian writer and poet Chris Abani, Lagos is a city of startling contrasts: "Elvis had read a newspaper editorial that stated, rather proudly, that Nigeria had a higher percentage of millionaires ... than any other country in the world....
ENTERTAINMENT
December 29, 2002 | Renee Tawa
Mary Yukari Waters Fiction writer This year, Waters, 37, earned a master of fine arts in creative writing from UC Irvine -- and her short stories appeared in three prestigious anthologies: "The Best American Short Stories 2002" (Houghton Mifflin), "The O. Henry Prize Stories 2002" (Anchor) and "Pushcart Book of Short Stories: The Best Stories From a Quarter-Century of the Pushcart Prize" (W.W. Norton).
ENTERTAINMENT
August 3, 2010
POP MUSIC Circa Survive The screamo band's major-label debut "Blue Sky Noise" feels like a crossover hit. Circa Survive plays a fanged and freaky take on hardcore that pulls from prog-rock, metalcore, early D.C. punk and a dozen other micro-niches to be fought over on message boards. It lacks the acidic sex appeal of the Blood Brothers, but they share an omnivorousness and attention to detail. Bootleg Theatre , 2220 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles. 8 p.m. $20. (323) 666-2407.
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