Tag Archives: novel

GuerrillaReads No. 88: Charles Degelman

Charles Degelman has been an antiwar activist, political theater artist, musician, communard, carpenter, hard-rock miner, and itinerant gypsy trucker, and eventually grew up to be a writer, editor, and educator living in Los Angeles.

He recently returned to his guerrilla roots for this reading of his new novel, A Bowl Full of Nails, set in the counterculture of the 1970s. Nails was a finalist in the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, founded by Barbara Kingsolver. It will be published by Harvard Square Editions in February 2015.

Degelman teaches writing and media studies at California State University, Los Angeles. You can find out more at his website.


GuerrillaReads No. 53: Abu Zubair

In 1971, the region then called “East Pakistan” fought a bloody liberation war with “West Pakistan” that led to creation of the independent nation of Bangladesh. Abu Zubair lived through that civil war, and he writes about it in his new novel, The Silent and the Lost. Zubair was recently awarded the  US-Asia Business Forum’s Community Support Award for support of the community through historic writing.

Zubair read from his book at the 10th annual West Hollywood Book Fair.

It’s a first here on GR: a guerrilla reading about guerrillas.

More about Zubair and his work on his website.

GuerrillaReads No. 50: Steven Paul Leiva

Live from the West Hollywood Book Fair, it’s Steven Paul Leiva with a guerrilla reading from his first contact novel, Traveling in Space (Blüroof Press). Leiva is a writer and producer who knows more than just a little about Hollywood and Ray Bradbury.

Writing about writing in a recent blog post, Leiva said,

Good writers do not channel in from some higher plain, they are simply human creatures who have a talent for expression and a talent, as Noel Coward would have said, to amuse. Brilliant writers combine those talents with a talent to reveal truths—or, at least, very interesting questions—about the human condition.

More about Leiva on his blog and Facebook.

GuerrillaReads No. 48: Cecil Castellucci at Occupy LA

Author Cecil Castellucci (aka @MissCecil) stopped by Occupy LA with GuerrillaReads yesterday and read from her young adult novel, Rose Sees Red. It’s set in 1982, and in this scene, Rose and her friends stumble upon the largest demonstration against nuclear arms in American history.

Castellucci has written YA novels, graphic novels, short stories, an opera libretto and more. She once told Bookslut in an interview

I think that everybody can live creatively and I don’t see any difference between say, math and ballet. I think someone can even make something traditionally not “arty,” like being a business person, a kind of art form.

More about Castellucci on her website. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.

GuerrillaReads No. 44: Melinda Palacio

Guerrilla reader Melinda Palacio writes award-winning poetry and prose, and she’s done journalism too. She says that her poetry training actually helps her as a novelist. In a recent interview, she said,

I went from writing journalism, reporting type of work, to getting deeper and deeper into language…  Poetry has influenced how I write longer pieces, and each word does matter.

Here, Palacio reads from her new novel, Ocotillo Dreams.

More info on Palacio’s website.


GuerrillaReads No. 38: Reyna Grande

Today’s guerrilla reader, Reyna Grande, reads from her award-winning novel, Across a Hundred Mountains. This book won the 2010 Latino Books Into Movies Award, a 2007 American Book Award, and the 2006 El Premio Aztlan Literary Award. It was chosen by Eastern Connecticut as its 2007 “One Book/One Region” selection and in 2010 the city of Watsonville, CA selected it for its “On the Same Page” community reads program.

In an interview with ¡LatinoLA!, Grande said this about her work:

I write about things that I care about, that matter to me. The immigrant experience is one of them. Right now I am working on a memoir in which I write about my childhood in Mexico, living in poverty, being raised by my grandmother because my parents were here in the U.S. working. I write about what it was like to come here as an illegal immigrant, and the difficulties of trying to close the gap created by eight years of separation between me and my father. So to answer the question, yes, I do plan to continue writing about immigration and families, among other things. I am always looking for new ideas and topics. One has to grow as a writer, and one way to do that is to take chances and try new things.

Find more on Grande’s website, Facebook and Twitter.

GuerrillaReads No. 36

Got a sneak preview of the fabulous new Dinosaur Hall at the LA County Natural History Museum last night. While I was there, I did this guerrilla reading from James Michener’s Centennial, a book that (like so many of his novels) traces the history of a fictional city all the way back to the primordial goo.

Sound quality is a little iffy. I shot and edited the entire video on my iPad. Listen carefully for the sound of dinosaurs roaring in the background!