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James Sallis

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December 30, 2007 | Sarah Weinman, Sarah Weinman writes the Dark Passages column appearing monthly at latimes.com/books. She blogs about crime and mystery fiction at www.sarah weinman.com.
Whenever a critic reviewing a crime novel assigns literary significance to the book, there's a risk of falling into cliches about "transcending genre." The truth is that some writers use and abuse genre constraints as they see fit. They simply write to their voice and interests. James Sallis is such a writer. His six-volume cycle that featured African American detective Lew Griffin in a pre-Katrina New Orleans now seems haunting and eerie.
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BOOKS
December 30, 2007 | Sarah Weinman, Sarah Weinman writes the Dark Passages column appearing monthly at latimes.com/books. She blogs about crime and mystery fiction at www.sarah weinman.com.
Whenever a critic reviewing a crime novel assigns literary significance to the book, there's a risk of falling into cliches about "transcending genre." The truth is that some writers use and abuse genre constraints as they see fit. They simply write to their voice and interests. James Sallis is such a writer. His six-volume cycle that featured African American detective Lew Griffin in a pre-Katrina New Orleans now seems haunting and eerie.
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August 1, 1993 | RICHARD EDER
Had Raymond Queneau chosen the law of gravity for one of his fictional-poetical-slapstick fables, he would have written from the point of view of the falling apple: how it felt when Isaac Newton's head got in its way, and how it went on to revolutionize theoretical physics for apples. Queneau, who died in 1976, was a stellar figure in the French literary world and only a faint comet in ours.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 17, 2007 | Scott Collins, Times Staff Writer
If the world were run by Emmy voters. . . a lot of gamblers would lose the shirts off their backs. Sunday night's 59th Prime Time Emmy Awards saw upsets galore in some of the biggest categories. Sure, HBO's "The Sopranos," as expected, pulled out its second Emmy for best drama even after that anticlimactic, fade-to-black series finale (memo to creator David Chase, who onstage at the Shrine Auditorium seemed unsure how long his mob drama was actually on the air: six seasons). But elsewhere? Whoa.
OPINION
October 6, 1985
Scheer's articles point out the enormous constituency that has formed around the "Star Wars" concept. Not only are the established defense contractors churning out multimillion-dollar proposals as fast as they can, but an entire new type of industry is being born to take advantage of the new arms race bonanza. The gleaming buildings of these new high-technology, high-frontier companies are highly visible in the area surrounding Washington. Regardless of any unlikely benefits to the American public in terms of protection, these politically powerful defense contractors will ensure that the "Star Wars" program has a long and rewarding life, at the great expense of the taxpayer.
BOOKS
May 21, 2006 | Judith Freeman, Judith Freeman's most recent novel is "Red Water." She is working on a book about Raymond Chandler, which is to be published in 2007.
LITERATURE, James Sallis once observed, "is not some imposing sideboard with discrete drawers labeled poetry, mystery, serious novel, science fiction -- but a long buffet table laid out with all manner of fine, diverse foods. You go back and forth, take what you want or need." This is exactly what Sallis has done in a career that now spans three decades and has resulted in nearly two dozen books.
BOOKS
August 31, 2003 | Paula L. Woods, Paula L. Woods is the author of the Det. Charlotte Justice series, which includes "Inner City Blues," "Stormy Weather" and the forthcoming "Dirty Laundry."
If ever there was a literary chameleon, it is James Sallis. Born in Helena, Ark., Sallis has variously worked as a fiction editor in London; penned novels, science-fiction, stories and works of literary criticism; written poetry and three books on jazz and blues guitarists; translated a French novel; and written a well-regarded biography of novelist Chester Himes.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 3, 2006 | Scott M. Morris, Special to The Times
IN James Sallis' new novel, "Drive," we meet Driver, a humble boy from Phoenix who has made good in the film industry as a stunt driver. The best car driver in the business, he also offers his services to crooks for the occasional heist. When we meet him, he's wowing Hollywood directors, who are impressed that complicated chase scenes can be filmed in just one take. He's pals with a brainy director. He's also just gotten another getaway gig. Wait, no. That's not when we meet Driver.
BOOKS
March 18, 2001 | MICHAEL TOLKIN, Michael Tolkin, a novelist and screenwriter, has just completed his third novel. He is the author of, among other works, "The Player."
How wonderful to be brilliant without genius, like Broadway. How wonderful to have a generous audience and to know the audience so well, those strangers who love to be worked over. And what a dull and dreadful thing to be a genius without an audience, to begin in boldness and end in disappointment, resentment annulled if at all by hope for posterity, like Melville, who left "Billy Budd" in a trunk.
NEWS
January 11, 2002 | KAI MARISTED, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Veteran novelist James Sallis has a knack for pairing the laconic with the metaphysical, the cozily quotidian with the surreal. His eighth, just-published tale, "Ghost of a Flea," draws the reader into a strange and richly populated universe.
BOOKS
May 21, 2006 | Judith Freeman, Judith Freeman's most recent novel is "Red Water." She is working on a book about Raymond Chandler, which is to be published in 2007.
LITERATURE, James Sallis once observed, "is not some imposing sideboard with discrete drawers labeled poetry, mystery, serious novel, science fiction -- but a long buffet table laid out with all manner of fine, diverse foods. You go back and forth, take what you want or need." This is exactly what Sallis has done in a career that now spans three decades and has resulted in nearly two dozen books.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 3, 2006 | Scott M. Morris, Special to The Times
IN James Sallis' new novel, "Drive," we meet Driver, a humble boy from Phoenix who has made good in the film industry as a stunt driver. The best car driver in the business, he also offers his services to crooks for the occasional heist. When we meet him, he's wowing Hollywood directors, who are impressed that complicated chase scenes can be filmed in just one take. He's pals with a brainy director. He's also just gotten another getaway gig. Wait, no. That's not when we meet Driver.
BOOKS
August 31, 2003 | Paula L. Woods, Paula L. Woods is the author of the Det. Charlotte Justice series, which includes "Inner City Blues," "Stormy Weather" and the forthcoming "Dirty Laundry."
If ever there was a literary chameleon, it is James Sallis. Born in Helena, Ark., Sallis has variously worked as a fiction editor in London; penned novels, science-fiction, stories and works of literary criticism; written poetry and three books on jazz and blues guitarists; translated a French novel; and written a well-regarded biography of novelist Chester Himes.
NEWS
January 11, 2002 | KAI MARISTED, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Veteran novelist James Sallis has a knack for pairing the laconic with the metaphysical, the cozily quotidian with the surreal. His eighth, just-published tale, "Ghost of a Flea," draws the reader into a strange and richly populated universe.
BOOKS
March 18, 2001 | MICHAEL TOLKIN, Michael Tolkin, a novelist and screenwriter, has just completed his third novel. He is the author of, among other works, "The Player."
How wonderful to be brilliant without genius, like Broadway. How wonderful to have a generous audience and to know the audience so well, those strangers who love to be worked over. And what a dull and dreadful thing to be a genius without an audience, to begin in boldness and end in disappointment, resentment annulled if at all by hope for posterity, like Melville, who left "Billy Budd" in a trunk.
BOOKS
August 1, 1993 | RICHARD EDER
Had Raymond Queneau chosen the law of gravity for one of his fictional-poetical-slapstick fables, he would have written from the point of view of the falling apple: how it felt when Isaac Newton's head got in its way, and how it went on to revolutionize theoretical physics for apples. Queneau, who died in 1976, was a stellar figure in the French literary world and only a faint comet in ours.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 17, 2007 | Scott Collins, Times Staff Writer
If the world were run by Emmy voters. . . a lot of gamblers would lose the shirts off their backs. Sunday night's 59th Prime Time Emmy Awards saw upsets galore in some of the biggest categories. Sure, HBO's "The Sopranos," as expected, pulled out its second Emmy for best drama even after that anticlimactic, fade-to-black series finale (memo to creator David Chase, who onstage at the Shrine Auditorium seemed unsure how long his mob drama was actually on the air: six seasons). But elsewhere? Whoa.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 11, 1987
Yoder's opinion piece was chilling. He argues that eliminating intermediate nuclear missiles in Europe "would knock several rungs from the ladder of possible responses to aggression, weakening deterrence correspondingly." Implicit in this critique of an INF agreement is the conviction that intermediate nuclear weapons could be used to stop Soviet aggression without triggering a global holocaust. He goes on to call intermediate-range missiles, such as the Pershing 2 "less catastrophic" than intercontinental weapons.
OPINION
October 6, 1985
Scheer's articles point out the enormous constituency that has formed around the "Star Wars" concept. Not only are the established defense contractors churning out multimillion-dollar proposals as fast as they can, but an entire new type of industry is being born to take advantage of the new arms race bonanza. The gleaming buildings of these new high-technology, high-frontier companies are highly visible in the area surrounding Washington. Regardless of any unlikely benefits to the American public in terms of protection, these politically powerful defense contractors will ensure that the "Star Wars" program has a long and rewarding life, at the great expense of the taxpayer.
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