March 22, 2013 |
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.
January 28, 2007 |
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.
September 2, 2007 |
"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.
April 5, 2004 |
"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....
March 10, 2005 |
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.
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.