Archive for the ‘Pleasure’ Category

June 6th with Michelle Huneven & Patrick O’Neil

May 21, 2010

We are so excited about our June writers and our June 6th event.  It should be a lovely evening packing plenty of literary punch, so please mark your calendars for these two great writers.

More on the eventing to come, but for now, learn a little bit more about Patrick O’Neil and Michelle Huneven.

Patrick O’Neil writes nonfiction, makes short films, and when nobody is looking, he plays music. His essays have appeared in numerous literary journals, most notably: Word Riot, Blood Orange Review, Weave Magazine, and SoMa Literary Review. His memoir, about his former life as a junkie bank robber titled Opacity, is busy being read by indie presses and agents. His short punk themed documentaries have been rejected from numerous film festivals. He assistant teaches English comp at a community college to students whose idea of literature is a text message. He currently lives in Hollywood California and holds an MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles.

Michelle Huneven received an M.F.A. at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and her first published story won a G.E. Younger Writers Award and re-publication in Harper’s magazine.  Her first novel, Round Rock (Knopf 1997), was a New York Times notable book of the year, one of the LA Times best 100 books of the year. Her second novel, Jamesland (Knopf 2003) was also a New York Times notable book, a Book Sense pick and a winner of the Southern California Booksellers Award for Fiction. Her third novel Blame was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award.  All three of her novels have been nominated for an LA Times Book Award.  Her short fiction has been published in Harpers, Redbook, and the forthcoming Slake Magazine.  She received a Whiting Award for Fiction in 2002.

Michelle has also co-authored (with Bernadette Murphy) a book on women and real estate, The Tao Gal’s Guide to Real Estate (Bloomsbury 2007).

For many years, Michelle worked as a restaurant critic and food writer for the LA Weekly and The LA Times. Her journalism has also been published in the New York Times, O, Gourmet, and many other periodicals.  Essays have appeared in the following anthologies:  Horse People, Dog is My Co-Pilot, The Knitter’s Gift, Death by Pad Thai, Mr. Wrong.    Michelle presently teaches creative writing at UCLA.  She lives with her husband and multiple pets in the town she grew up in, Altadena, CA.


March 14th – Lose Your Mind at Book Party

February 28, 2010

Stop thinking so much.  It’s time to let loose at Book Party!  We’ve got two red hot, up and coming writers who will leave you wondering why you haven’t heard about them before.  Or if you have heard about them, wondering why they don’t have books face out at every store in town.  That’s what we want to know here at Book Party.  Why aren’t Edan Lepucki and Steve de Jarnatt famous yet?   We have no idea.  But with de Jaranatt’s recent debut in 2009’s Best American Short Stories and Lepucki’s James D. Phelan award, it doesn’t seem like it will take them very long to get there.  So stop by the Mandrake Sunday, March 14th at 7:00 pm.  Cocktails begin then, and readings start around 7:30.  Come and support strong emerging literary talent in Los Angeles, dear readers.  Forget about your responsibilities for the night, and come get lost in the work.

To recap:

Who:  Edan Lepucki and Steve de Jarnatt

When:  Sunday, March 14th at 7:00 pm

Where:  Mandrake Bar, 2692 South La Cienega (between Washington & Venice)

What:  Compelling stories.  Delicious cocktails.  Sweets.  Fresh beats to go along with the work.  And people who like to read, milling about, batting their eyes at you in mysterious ways.

Why:  Because we love you.  That’s why.

Don’t let these writers be discovered later.  Discover them now.  Kafka would appreciate it.

December Book Party, Stories by the Fireside

January 9, 2010

Enormous thanks to Jennine Capó Crucet & Amina Cain for giving incredible readings, and gratitude to all who came out to hear them.  We had a lovely literary evening.   Our next Book Party event will be in March, more to come on that very soon.  But until then, thanks to Amina and Jennine, Les Figues, DJ Orb, the Mandrake, and you, dear readers, for making the December reading a night to remember.  Happy 2010 to you all!

This Season’s Perfect Gift? Book Party, Of Course!

December 2, 2009

So you’re broke again this holiday season?  Wait, don’t cut off all your hair to buy your man a chain for his watch. . . why cut off your lovely locks when you could just bring him to the December 13th Book Party?  With Amina Cain and Jennine Capó Crucet, it’s sure to be a gift that even O Henry would approve of!  So don’t stay home and stare at your sorry tree.  Light your menorah, and come on down to the Mandrake at 7 for good literature, stiff drinks on recession special, hot jams, overly frosted cookies just like your mom made, and some serious holiday cheer.  Oh and did I mention books?  Oh yes.  You better believe we’ll have those too.  Hang out and shop all at once.  Tis’ the season to multitask!

We couldn’t be more excited about the two fabulous writers we’ll be hosting:

Jennine Capó Crucet is the author of the story collection How to Leave Hialeah, which won the Iowa Short Fiction Award and was a finalist for the UC Irvine Chicano/Latino Literary Prize. Her stories have appeared in Epoch, the Southern Review, Ploughshares, Crazyhorse, Gulf Coast, the Northwest Review, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of this year’s John Winthrop Prize for Emerging Writers, as well as scholarships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Her stories have twice been nominated for the Best New American Voices anthology and she’s been a finalist for the Missouri Review Editor’s Prize for short fiction. Raised in Miami and born to Cuban exile parents, she moved to Los Angeles this past January where she works as a college advisor for the One Voice Scholars Program. She’s also at work on a novel and a new collection of stories.

Amina Cain is the author of I Go To Some Hollow (Les Figues Press, 2009), a collection of stories that revolve quietly around human relationality, landscape, and emptiness. She is also a curator (most recently for When Does It or You Begin?  Memory as Innovation , a month long festival of writing, performance, and video) and a teacher of writing/literature. Her work has appeared in publications such as 3rd Bed, Action Yes, Denver Quarterly, La Petite Zine, and Sidebrow, is forthcoming in The Encyclopedia Project and onedit, and was recently translated into Polish on MINIMALBOOKS.  She lives in Los Angeles.

So join us for two incredible readings.  Come.  After all, we’re being incredibly generous.

Holiday Book Party: December 13th with Amina Cain and Jennine Capó Crucet

November 24, 2009

Book Party is thrilled to have two amazing Los Angeles writers reading on Sunday, December 13th.  Amina Cain, author of I Go to Some Hollow, and Iowa Prize Winner Jennine Capó Crucet, author of How to Leave Hialeah.   We’ll have much more on this exciting evening soon, but for now, mark your calendars for the 13th for cocktails, cookies, and serious literary stimulation.

In the meantime, Book Party would like to mention how much it misses LA literary hero, Liz Anderson!  She moved away to Minneapolis with her husband Scott to pursue all sorts of interesting things, but we miss her like crazy at Book Party.  We know you had to go, but things just aren’t the same without you!

Book Party is Back Sunday, September 13th with Richard Lange and Dennis Fulgoni

August 19, 2009

We’ve had a nice, long summer break, but now Book Party is back in a big way.  Please join us on Sunday, September 13th for a long awaited evening with Richard Lange and Dennis Fulgoni.  

Up and coming fiction writer Dennis Fulgoni will read new work, and writer Richard Lange will be reading from his new novel, This Wicked World, which came out this July and has garnered smoking hot reviews all summer.  As Marilyn Stasio praised in the New York Times, “. . . even the most ruthless villains are drawn with an unexpected sensitivity to their essential humanity. Like the killer who submits to painful tattoo removals so he can battle his ex-wife for custody of their little girl, the brutes are so pathetic you almost want to scratch them under their furry jaws.”   

DJ Orb will be on hand to rock the house and strong cocktails will be ready and waiting.  Check back very soon for more event info, but for now, here is a bit more about the writers:

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Richard Lange was born in Oakland, CA, in 1961 and spent his childhood in various small towns in California’s Central Valley. He attended film school at the University of Southern California, taught English in Barcelona and worked in magazine and book publishing. He was a copy editor for Larry Flynt Publications; managing editor of RIP, a heavy-metal music magazine; a text-book production editor; and managing editor of Radio & Records, a radio-industry trade magazine.

Lange published his first short story in 1994, in New Delta Review, and his story “Bank of America” was selected for inclusion in Best American Mystery Stories of 2004. His collection Dead Boys was published in the U.S. by Little, Brown in 2007, in Italy by Einaudi and in France by Albin Michel. His novel This Wicked World was published by Little, Brown in June 2009 and will also be published in France and Italy.

Lange was the 2008 recipient of the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a finalist for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2009.



Dennis’s stories have appeared in Parting Gifts, Quarterly West, the Colorado Review, New Stories from the Southwest, and other journals.  He is the winner of an AWP Intro Journals Award, a James Kirkwood Award for Fiction through UCLA, and a Special Mention in the 2008 Pushcart Prize.  Dennis holds an MFA from Antioch University and is currently revising his first novel.

Thanks for a Hot and Heavy June Book Party!

June 30, 2009



Thanks to all of you who came out for the amazing first season finale to Book Party!  J Ryan Stradal and Patty Seyburn brought the crowded house down with fabulous new work and the audience endured the heat with French 75s in hand to listen to each and every last word.  We are so thrilled about the support Book Party has received from writers and readers alike, and we can’t wait for next year!  Have a lovely, lazy Los Angeles summer and we’ll look forward to seeing you on September 13th when Richard Lange comes to Book Party to kick off our second season.  He’ll be reading from his incredible Los Angeles novel This Wicked World.  Can’t wait to see you all then.


June 21st – Come out of Seclusion, Dear Reader!

June 14, 2009


Where have you been?  It’s been so long since we’ve last seen you.  It’s time to come out of literary seclusion and join us for a night of poetry, prose and bookish togetherness.  This Sunday, Patty Seyburn will read from her new book Hilarity.  How could you miss a writer whose work Carol Muske- Dukes says this about?  “In a time when there’s little to laugh about, Patty Seyburn’s Hilarity is an epic punch line:  sparkling and smart.  I rely on her ‘sort of music eliding joy and pain’ –and the echoes in the great church of disbelief to keep us all sane and savvy.  Read Hilarity and weep, and laugh.  And get better because of it.” 

And not only will Patty make you weep and laugh, but J Ryan Stradal will tell you a story that will make you happy it’s June in Los Angeles and you have the good fortune of being alive.  And all at the Mandrake, with tasty cocktails and a rocking DJ and other readers and writers, actually out of their houses and into the night!  What magic awaits, dear reader.  So please, put away the white outfit, take your hair out of the bun, and come out of your room and leave the homestead!  Excellent new writing awaits you at the Mandrake at 7.  We’ll help you honor thy father by honoring good books and good strong drinks, something all dads surely would approve of. 

Where?  Mandrake.  2692 South La Cienega, 90034

Who?  Patty Seyburn.  J Ryan Stradal.  You, Dear Reader.

What?  Strong Drinks on Recession Special.  Lovely Writing.  Glossy Books.  Music You Like.  Attractive Strangers that Read.

When?  Sunday, June 21st.  7:00

Why?  Let’s do it for Ms. Dickinson, who said her father’s “Heart was pure and terrible and I think no other like it exists.”



May 10th: Book Party Wants to Mother You

April 29, 2009

abanirappblog2Readers!  Why haven’t you called?  And what do you mean you aren’t visiting next weekend?  Sure, you can take your dog back if you want to break your father’s heart.  Riding your bike to work?  On those busy streets?  Do you think that’s a good idea?   Well you know your father, he’s so nervous about the markets, so we just took the bus from the airport to the hotel last weekend in Boston, even though my foot hasn’t totally healed from my operation.  Yes, even with the cast.  Oh, and I went to the pharmacy and bought you disposable masks.  I fed-exed them.  Overnight.  You know, since you’re so close to Mexico.  You never know.

Just kidding!!!  We will only mother you in the good way!  We are so thrilled to be back for our May 10th event.  Emily Rapp and Chris Abani will both be on hand to delight you with new work and help you recover from that three hour brunch with your Mother in Law.  We know it’s been a hard year.  We’d like to take care of you for a little while.  Things get rolling around 7, so come by the Mandrake for a couple of excellent bedtime stories, a little bit of music, a few stellar cocktails and home baked treats, and some serious literary love.  We’ll make you feel special!  We promise.

Now, for a little more about our two fabulous writers!

EMILY RAPP:  Emily Rapp is the author of Poster Child: A Memoir. Her work has appeared in StoryQuarterly, Body + Soul, Good Housekeeping, the Texas Observer, the Los Angeles Times, the Best Creative Nonfiction, and other publications. She is the recipient of a U.S. Fulbright Scholarship, the Rona Jaffe Foundation Award for Emerging Women Writers, and the Philip Roth Writer-in-Residence Award at Bucknell University. She has received recognition for her work from the Corporation of Yaddo, the Jentel Arts Foundation, the Atlantic Monthly,the Mary Roberts Rinehart Foundation, the Fine Arts Work Center, and the James A. Michener Center at the University of Texas-Austin, where she was a fellow in fiction and poetry. She teaches in the MFA in Creative Writing Program at Antioch University-Los Angeles and is currently at work on a novel.




CHRIS ABANI:  Chris Abani’s prose includes Song For Night (Akashic, 2007), The Virgin of Flames (Penguin, 2007), Becoming Abigail (Akashic, 2006), GraceLand (FSG, 2004), and Masters of the Board (Delta, 1985). His poetry collections are Hands Washing Water (Copper Canyon, 2006), Dog Woman (Red Hen, 2004), Daphne’s Lot (Red Hen, 2003), and Kalakuta Republic (Saqi, 2001). He is a Professor at the University of California, Riverside and the recipient of the PEN USA Freedom-to-Write Award, the Prince Claus Award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a California Book Award, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a PEN Beyond the Margins Award, the PEN Hemingway Book Prize & a Guggenheim Award.



What?  You’re too busy, you say?  Too stressed to come out for Chris Abani and Emily Rapp?  Grace Paley says, “That’s bullshit!  I raised two small children while writing The Little Disturbances of Man.  Just come and don’t worry about the little things, like doing your hair.”  Big love to all the literary mamas out there, who create other worlds while taking care of others.  Moms rock! 



March Book Party – A Knock Out

March 14, 2009


Thanks to Joshuah Bearman and Adam Cushman for making March such incredible fun.  We were treated to our first official slide show (involving a bench pressing snowman, what else?) and heard a hilarious tale about a very modern, semi-violent romance.   DJ Orb made the music, Vish mixed the Greyhounds, and the audience, per usual, was lovely AND brilliant.  Where were you?  We really hope you weren’t eating ramen. We’ll be taking April off, but we’ll be back in May.  More news to come about who will be reading.  In the meantime, don’t invest 30k and in a traveling sideshow involving a bench pressing snowman, and check back soon!