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January 16, 2014 | By Hector Tobar
The protagonist of Okey Ndibe's unforgettable new novel, "Foreign Gods Inc.," is a failed immigrant. Ike (pronounced EE-kay ) is a New York City cab driver who brings in lots of cash but can't hold on to it for very long. His mother back home in Nigeria lives with the shame of having an American son who doesn't send her any money. An article in New York magazine offers Ike hope. He reads about an art gallery in lower Manhattan that specializes in statues of foreign deities, with the most impressive specimens commanding six-figure prices.
January 5, 2014 | By L.A. Times Staff
This post has been Updated at 11:09 a.m. Two days after an agreement was reached to move 13-year-old Jahi McMath from an Oakland hospital, it remains unclear where the brain-dead girl will end up. An attorney for McMath's family has said it has located a doctor willing to work with them and mentioned that she could be sent to a facility in New York, according to NBC Bay Area. Though a court and hospital officials say Jahi is brain-dead, her mother, Nailah Winkfield, still holds out hope and claims the girl is "improving.
December 20, 2013 | By Saba Hamedy
The winter solstice may mark the longest night of the year, but for Iranians, it's also known as Shab-e Yalda , a celebration with ancient ties that commemorates the triumph of Mithra, the Sun God, over darkness. Feasting on fresh fruits from the summer season and reciting works by 14th century Persian poet Hafez, Iranians all around the world stay up to mark the start of winter. "It's not an official holiday in Iran, but similar to many other ancient traditions, it has become a significant cultural celebration observed by all Iranians," said Bita Milanian, executive director of Farhang Foundation, a nonprofit that celebrates Iranian art and culture in Southern California.
December 5, 2013 | By Margaret Gray
In “God's Gypsy,” now at the Lillian Theatre, playwright and performer Coco Blignaut dramatizes the life of St. Teresa of Ávila, the 16th-century Spanish nun known for her ecstatic visions (the most famous starred a handsome angel who pierced her heart with a flaming sword). Targeted by the Spanish Inquisition and accused of blasphemy, hysteria and demonic possession, she nonetheless persevered in reforming the Carmelite order and establishing monasteries around the world.  This world premiere begins with appropriately bliss-inducing original music by violinist/vocalist/composer Lili Haydn (who performed live on opening night)
December 5, 2013 | By Paula L. Woods, Special to the Los Angeles Times
When Michael S. "Mickey" Haller Jr. debuted in Michael Connelly's "The Lincoln Lawyer" in 2005, he firmly established himself among the pack of legal eagles popularized by Scott Turow, John Grisham and Linda Fairstein. But keeping Mickey rolling in the back of his Lincoln Town Car/office meant Connelly had to do double duty, researching and plotting Mickey's adventures while keeping his other hero, Harry Bosch, in play at the LAPD. Lucky for readers that Connelly has been working the night shift.
November 21, 2013 | Matt Cooper
The new play "God's Gypsy" celebrates the life and times of Teresa of Avila, love is in the air in "Parfumerie," and "The Secret Garden" blooms in Anaheim. Story Pirates Greatest Hits Show Sketch-comedy musical for ages 4 and up. La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada. Sunday, 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m. $8-$12. (562) 944-9801. Parfumerie Adaptation of the retail-set, holiday-themed romantic comedy that was the basis for the films “The Shop Around the Corner” and “You've Got Mail.” The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills.
November 21, 2013 | By Sheri Linden
A 9-year-old boy is the innocent pawn at the center of "All God's Children," an awkward mix of B-movie crime saga and social-issue drama. Zeroing in on the sadly familiar subject of human trafficking, Moldova's first entry for Academy Award consideration plays out as a well-meaning lesson grafted onto talky action. A number of opposing interests converge around Pavalas, who has been living in an orphanage for three years: his mother, Irina (Ina Surdu), escaping a life of forced prostitution in Italy; her bent-on-revenge pimp (Paolo Seganti)
November 13, 2013
Re "Putting prayer in its place," Letters, Nov. 7 Christians - non-denominational evangelicals, most mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics - and many other non-Christians believe God or another deity sees all, hears all and knows the past, present and future. God knows everything humans have done, are doing and will do. Publicly spoken prayer is not needed for these groups to "invoke their deity. " God needs no summons, if they believe what they say they do. In fact, they can't un-invoke God's presence.
November 6, 2013 | By Broderick Turner
ORLANDO - He talked about how the "basketball gods punished" his team, about how the Clippers were "very casual in our approach" to the game against the Orlando Magic and about how their steadfast belief that offense will cure all is "fool's gold. " That about covered it all for Coach Doc Rivers as he lamented the Clippers' 98-90 loss to a young Magic team Wednesday night at Amway Center. The Clippers fell behind by 19 points in the third quarter, but rallied to take a five-point lead in the fourth by finally playing some defense.
November 6, 2013 | By Gerrick D. Kennedy
When M.I.A. flipped the bird during her Super Bowl performance last year alongside Madonna and Nicki Minaj, there was the typical water cooler outrage, which led the news cycle for a few days before some other pop star grabbed our attention. But the battle between the politically charged Sri Lankan rapper and the NFL raged on as the two have been at odds. Earlier this year news broke that the conflict between M.I.A. and the league had gotten quite messy and now she's finally speaking out about it.  The league had been reportedly pursuing a $1.5-million fine and a public apology from M.I.A.
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