February 24, 2006 |
A popular proverb in Spanish says, "You cannot be a prophet in your own land." And that's how quintessential Los Angeles writer Kate Braverman feels today, as she asks aloud why she isn't more famous in her hometown. After all, her 1979 fever dream of a novel, "Lithium for Medea," hailed as a classic L.A. crack-up novel about a junkie living on a Venice canal, was written, Braverman says, while she was a cocaine addict.
February 6, 2006 |
Frantic Transmissions to and From Los Angeles An Accidental Memoir Kate Braverman Graywolf Press: 222 pp., $15 paper * IN an interview appended to the Seven Stories Press Reading Group Edition of her 1988 novel, "Palm Latitudes," Kate Braverman delivers a trenchant and revealing statement about poetry: "Poetry is my natural state....
April 7, 2002 |
Mexican painter Frida Kahlo took the messy, wonderful and sometimes horrible stuff that is a woman's life and transformed it into likenesses that are as bracing as ice on a burn. Her self-portraits, painted in the 1930s and 1940s, reveal a hirsute red-lipped woman whose dark and staring eyes accuse the observer of crimes--indifference, complacency and worse. The portraits (and a large portion of her oeuvre was an obsessive excavation of her own image) are hallucinatory and disorienting.
September 13, 1998 |
SMALL CRAFT WARNINGS. By Kate Braverman (University of Nevada Press: 180 pp., $16) Precarious, these stories are. There is no sense of destiny in the characters Kate Braverman creates and destroys for us. They put one foot in front of the other and hope that the future is waiting for them--the textbook definition of a Southern Californian. Here, for example, is the image of a young mother who "never wanted this baby," walking each Sunday over a rickety bridge carrying the infant.
January 26, 1997
Oh, yes, yes, YES! How right Kate Braverman is when she describes her affection for "her" mall ("What I Miss: The Beverly Center," Dec. 8). For I, too, have "my" mall, one I know so intimately that I conduct "tours" of it for my non-shopping friends. And she is right about sale days, about how one's blood rushes upon receiving a sale flier, about the thrill of the hunt, the capture of a bargain and the display of a trophy to bargain-loving friends. Or, conversely, the "visits" to a desired item, hoping, hoping that it will still be there when one comes back to buy it on sale.