NEWS

Wednesday, December 3, 6:30 - 7:30pm:

Walter Benjamin was fascinated by the impact of new technology on culture, an interest that extended beyond his renowned critical essays. From 1927 to ’33, he wrote and presented something in the region of eighty broadcasts using the new medium of radio.

Join Radio Benjamin editor Lecia Rosenthal in downtown Los Angeles for an evening of readings and discussion. Rosenthal will read selections from the brand-new translations of Benjamin’s broadcasts and will talk about the decade-long research project she undertook to produce the book.

More on Walter Benjamin:
It’s widely known that German philosopher and literary critic Walter Benjamin had a lifelong fascination with pop-cultural phenomena and the detritus of history, often associated with his interest in technology. From the films of Charlie Chaplin and Mickey Mouse to his escapades on Hashish around Marseille, modern experience gives mass culture an increasing power over more “high” cultural phenomena, complicating notions of authenticity and value. As Alex Ross states in a recent New Yorker article, Benjamin’s work, and those of his intellectual and cultural heirs, shows that ”messages of dissent can emanate from the heart of the culture industry.” It’s not surprising, then, that his work has been acknowledged by pop icons (Laurie Anderson etc), novelists and composers (Walter Benjamin at the Dairy QueenShadowtime) as an influence in their work. Modern pop music would have almost certainly fascinated Benjamin as the site of contradictions and dreams.

It therefore seems fitting that Benjamin worked so closely with the developing technology of radio, with its central role as the disseminator of pop music. Between 1927 and 1933, Benjamin wrote and presented between 80 and 90 radio broadcasts on Radio Berlin and Radio Frankfurt, all the extant manuscripts of which are published in English for the first time in our new collection, Radio Benjamin.

 

 

Sunday, November 23, 6 – 10pm:

The Last Bookstore welcomes Chris Dixon, as he reads from and discusses his latest book, Another Politics: Talking Across Today’s Transformative Movements.

Another Politics engages the anti-authoritarian current, a political tendency including abolitionists, anarchists, anti-racist feminists, autonomists, and many other radicals. Cutting across a wide range of left social movements in North America, this current is distinguished by its commitment to directly democratic structures, anti-oppression politics, explicit organization-building, prefigurative political practices, working for reforms while also pursuing revolution, and grassroots organizing. In a time of daunting crises, the anti-authoritarian current offers crucial lessons and strategies for social transformation.

As Another Politics documents, the anti-authoritarian current has emerged out of the fascinating convergence of a variety of radical politics and broader-based movements in recent decades. From this convergence, a growing set of dynamic and dedicated activists – from anti-poverty organizers in Toronto to prison abolitionists in Oakland, from occupy activists in New York to migrant justice organizers in Vancouver – are developing shared politics, practices, and sensibilities based in overlapping areas of work. They are building “another politics,” to use an expression from the Zapatista rebels in Mexico that has become increasingly popular north of the border.

Another Politics draws on dozens of interviews with experienced organizers across the U.S. and Canada. It traces the strands of movement and struggle that have led into the anti-authoritarian current, explores the defining principles and practices of another politics, and examines the visionary political approaches and questions that are emerging from the activities of this current. Building on collective reflections, this book also distills hard-earned lessons concerning anti-oppression politics, prefigurative praxis, strategy, organizing, leadership, and organization.

–PRAISE FOR ANOTHER POLITICS–

When I read Chris Dixon’s Another Politics, I realized that he had staged, recorded, and analyzed many more insightful conversations with contemporary radical activists than I could have imagined. This book not only allows the reader to feel a part of these conversations about radical movements of today, it also helps us to identify key points of convergence and possible future directions for social justice movements in our part of the world.
—ANGELA Y. DAVIS, from the foreword

Another Politics is a much needed and indispensable exploration of the roots of efforts to develop radical politics leading up to Occupy Wall Street and beyond. With the collaboration of dozens of those involved in this process, Chris Dixon provides guidance for transformational change.”
—ROXANNE DUNBAR-ORTIZ, author of An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States

“The product of a major research effort, based on more than two hundred interviews and conversations with organizers from contemporary social movements, Chris Dixon’s Another Politics is an invaluable book. It is a map to a new world of struggles and organizational forms, outside the logic of traditional political parties and unions, written with great clarity, insightfulness, and ability to listen to the new voices of our time. All those aspiring to be part of a broad process of social change should have Dixon’s book on their shelves.”
—SILVIA FEDERICI, author of Revolution at Point Zero and Caliban and the Witch

Another Politics is an insightful, much-needed contribution to US and Canadian movements working for transformative change. Chris Dixon provides a clear framework for interpreting the methods being developed across our local experiments and contextualizes them in the longer trajectories from which they developed. Another Politics is revealing and energizing—it will be a great tool for scholars of social movements in activist reading groups and university classrooms. Another Politics is a useful, readable tool that will help activists engaged in vibrant local work learn about each other’s projects and approaches. This book helps us understand what we’re doing, how we came to be doing it and why.”
—DEAN SPADE, author of Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics and the Limits of Law

Friday, November 21st, 8:30pm:

Comics Ever Mainard and Caitlin Bergh are proud to present their new storytelling show, The Last Book Review at The Last Bookstore in downtown Los Angeles. On November 21, 2014 at 8:30 p.m., the best storytellers, comics, and authors will come together to share humorous tales, personal essays and one very witty book review.

The debut lineup of The Last Book Review includes Moses Storm (Hulu’s 4 to 9ers), Shauna McGarry (writer for Anger Management), Michael Glazer (author of Trueth), Solomon Georgio (NBC Stand-Up for Diversity) and a humorous book review by Hans Holsen (The Blank Experience).

“When we were brainstorming about a storytelling show, the first thing that popped into my mind was a book review,” said co-host Ever Mainard. “I couldn’t stop thinking about how fun it would be to give comics free reign to make witty commentary about their favorite books. The Last Bookstore is the perfect place for it.”

Walking into The Last Bookstore is “like a trip into another world,” said KCRW. The 15,000 square-foot, cathedral-like store on the corner of 5thand Spring St. includes a $1 book room, vinyl LP and graphic novel shops, as well as shared space with the Spring Arts Collective. The Last Bookstore is one of the last places in L.A. where you can buy, trade, and sell used & new books, LPs, DVDs, and CDs.

“We are thrilled to bring the best performers in L.A. to one of L.A.’s most exciting spaces,” said co-host Caitlin Bergh. “This venue is a gem; we can’t wait for audiences to experience it if they haven’t already.”

About The Last Book Review
The debut of The Last Book Review is November 21, 2014 at 8:30 p.m. The show is free at The Last Bookstore (453 S. Spring Street in Downtown Los Angeles). Street parking and two paid, open-air parking lots are available nearby. The Metro Red/Purple Line stop, Pershing Square Station, is 2 blocks away.


Friday, November 21st, 7PM
:

Join us for the next installment of the University of Southern California’s MPW Student/Faculty Reading Series. The reading will feature student readers: Ryan Taylor, Channing Sargent, David Crist, Lydia Siriprakorn, and Stephanie Abraham and faculty reader: David Ulin.

David L. Ulin is book critic, and former book editor, of the Los Angeles Times. He is the author of “The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time,” “Labyrinth,” and “The Myth of Solid Ground: Earthquakes, Prediction, and the Fault Line Between Reason and Faith,” selected as a best book of 2004 by the Chicago Tribune and the San Francisco Chronicle.

He is also the editor of three anthologies: “Another City: Writing from Los Angeles,” “Cape Cod Noir,” and the Library of America’s “Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology,” which won a 2002 California Book Award. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The Nation, The New York Times Book Review, Bookforum, Black Clock, Columbia Journalism Review, and on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.

He was awarded a 2010 Southern California Independent Booksellers Association/Glenn Goldman Book Award for his work on “Los Angeles: Portrait of a City.”

Saturday, November 15th, 7:30pm:

The Gothic Fairy Tale in Young Adult Literature: Essays on Stories from Grimm to Gaiman

Edited by Joseph Abbruscato and Tanya Jones

The Last Bookstore welcomes Joseph Abbruscato and Tanya Jones as they read from their new book, The Gothic Fairy Tale in Young Adult Literature: Essays on Stories from Grimm to Gaiman. A discussion will follow the readings on the importance of Gothic fairy tales for kids and young adults.

Rooted in the oral traditions of cultures worldwide, fairy tales have long played an integral part in children’s upbringing. Filled with gothic and fantastical elements like monsters, dragons, evil step-parents and fairy godmothers, fairy tales remain important tools for teaching children about themselves, and the dangers and joys of the world around them.

In this collection of new essays, literary scholars examine gothic elements in more recent entries into the fairy tale genre—for instance, David Almond’s Skellig, Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book and Coraline and Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events—exploring such themes as surviving incest, and the capture and consumption of children. Although children’s literature has seen an increase in reality-based stories that allow children no room for escape from their everyday lives, these essays demonstrate the continuing importance of fairy tales in helping them live well-rounded lives.

 

Joe Abbruscato is a High School English Teacher and Adjunct Professor who specializes in the study of fairy tales and mythologies. His research interests include young adult literature, comic books, pop culture, and science fiction. Joe is also a freelance photographer, specializing in concerts, conventions, and special events. He lives in Tempe, Arizona.

 

Tanya Jones is a writer and former High School English Teacher. Her publications include chapters for The Mythological Dimensions of Neil Gaiman, Critical Insights: Southern Gothic, and Unraveling Resident Evil. Her scholarly interests lie in Gothicism, children’s and adolescent literature, fairy tales, and the paradox between science and the supernatural in literature. When not writing, Tanya is devoted to mastering aerial acrobatics and discovering the secret to keeping up with her toddler while still maintaining the appearance of sanity. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.

 

Friday, November 14, 7:30 – 9:30pm:

Another Side of Van Gogh: A Performance of the artist’s life through his personal letters

Join us for a reading of Van Gogh’s letters to his brother Theo accompanied by music and visuals under the historic former bank buildings vaulted ceilings and hang out with us after for wine, cheese and tasty bites! There will also be specially ordered Van Gogh books available.

About the Actor & Director:

Kristian Messere an Italian actor will be playing Van Gogh and is a professional film & television actor in the Vancouver film scene, and will be starring in the upcoming Feature Length Film “Ace On Fire” which he also wrote and directed. Kristian Messere has been acting professionally for his entire life, appearing on Networks such as CW, USA, ABC, FOX, Disney, and LIFE.

Matteo Saradini who will be directing our the reading is an Italian director and visual artist working out of Los Angeles, California. Born and raised in Northern Italy, he studied film critique and Greek and Latin Theatre at the University of Brescia, Italy. He soon tired of the theoretical studies and set out to self-finance his first feature film “Fear and Vengeance”, an epic gangster film inspired by Homer’s “Odyssey”.

Please visit THIS LINK for more information or to RSVP for the event!

Sunday, October, 19th, 4pm to 6pm:

The Last Bookstore is happy to welcome Dawn Kohler, Deanna Neil, and Desiree Zamorano as they read and discuss their latest work.

Dawn Kohler
Author of the Emma Daines Series
“My last day at work was not about heroics, a pinnacle of success, or like I wished, a buyout that would have left me if not outright rich, at least financially secure for the better part of my life. It didn’t come by way of illness per se, accident, or dismissal, but by way of sheer self-mutiny. The self I was born to be, decided to hijack the one I had created.” – Dawn Kohler

At the age of 32, Dawn experienced a profound life change that pulled her from her award winning role as founder and CEO of a thriving computer company and into a serendipitous journey that altered the course of her life. The following years were devoted to exploration, study, and a deep yearning to return to her passion for writing.  The many lessons she experienced on her journey are depicted in her 1999 memoir, A New Dawn Rising, One Woman’s Spiritual Odyssey.

After her first book was released, Dawn returned to corporate American and thrived as a sought-after executive coach working with senior leaders at such companies as NBC Entertainment, DreamWorks and TimeWarner Cable. The dynamic struggles and growth she experienced with her clients further confirmed the lessons in her own awakening and inspired her new novel, The Invitation, A Weekend with Emma—The first book in the Emma Daines Series.   

Dawn currently coaches leaders, facilitates self-discovery workshops, and is the founding member of the Emma Daines Society, a community dedicated to personal development asa means for global healing.  For more information please visit her website at www.Dawnkohler.com or contact her at [email protected]

Deanna Neil is the author of The Land of Curiosities, a young-adult historical fiction trilogy about Yellowstone National Park in the 1870s. Her books have garnered 10 awards including a Nautilus, Benjamin Franklin and Moonbeam Children’s Book Award. Time Magazine for Kids named her a 2008 “Hero for the Planet.”  Deanna’s play Fracturing, an adaptation of Ibsen’s Enemy of the People focused on hydraulic fracturing in upstate NY, was produced Off Off Broadway, in universities, and workshopped at Jackson Hole’s Off Square Theatre Company. As a journalist, Deanna worked for the Air America Radio network, NPR, KCET and blogs for the Huffington Post. She has been a playwright-in-residence and Teaching Artist for all ages and will be teaching creative writing as an adjunct professor in Los Angeles this fall. A passionate musician, sometimes you can catch her singing along with her ukulele. Deanna graduated from Wesleyan University with honors in American Studies.  www.deedeebird.com.

Désirée Zamorano
Playwright, Pushcart Prize-nominee, award-winning short story writer, and director of the Community Literacy Center at Occidental College, Désirée Zamorano shares her debut novel, The Amado Women. In a June 13th article for Publisher’s Weekly, Désirée stated “As part of the Latina community, I recently realized that we have a superpower: invisibility.” The Amado Women not only vanquishes this “superpower,” it does so with  grace, beauty, and a powerful story about four women, connected by birth, separated by secrets.

The Amado Women has been selected as the August 2014 Book of the Month for the Los Comadres & Friends National Latino Book Club, has been listed among 5 Must-Read Books for Summer 2014 by Remezcla, and has been named 1 of Eleven Moving Beach Reads That’ll Have You Weeping in Your Pina Colada by Bustle.


Friday, October 17th, 7:30pm 

The Last Bookstore is pleased to welcome Erika T. Wurth as she celebrates her debut novel, Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend. She is joined by her fellow Curbside Splendor authors Brian Costello, Dmitry Samarov, and Susan Hope Lanier.

Erika T. Wurth is Apache / Chickasaw / Cherokee and was raised on the outskirts of Denver. She teaches creative writing at Western Illinois University and was a writer-in-residence at the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in numerous journals, including Boulevard, Fiction, Pembroke, Florida Review, Stand, Cimarron Review, The Cape Rock, Southern California Review and Drunken Boat. Her debut collection of poetry, Indian Trains, was published by The University of New Mexico’s West End Press.

 

Crazy Horse’s Girlfriend

Margaritte is a sharp-tongued, drug-dealing, sixteen-year-old Native American floundering in a Colorado town crippled by poverty, unemployment, and drug abuse. She hates the burnout, futurelesskidssurrounding her and dreams that she and her unreliable new boyfriend can move far beyond the bright lights of Denver that float on the horizon before the daily suffocation of teen pregnancy eats her alive.

Brian Costello is a writer, musician, and comedic performer living in Chicago, Illinois. He plays drums in the band Outer Minds, and co-hosts Shame That Tune, a monthly live game show. Losing in Gainesville is his second novel.

 

Losing in Gainesville

Set in mid-1990s Florida, Losing in Gainesville hilariously explores what failure means in a culture where everyone is supposed to win. Razorcake praised Brian Costello’s first novel for its language and attention to detail and Bookslut lauded its dialogue and conversational narrator. These strengths are once again on display in Losing in Gainesville. With an ensemble cast of slackers, burn-outs, musicians, and dreamers, who are all losing something—their youth, their ambitions, their careers, their children, their former identities—Costello builds a sun-bleached world of people struggling to understand what it means to succeed on their terms.

Dmitry Samarov was born in Moscow, USSR in 1970. He immigrated to the US with his family in 1978. He got in trouble in 1st grade for doodling on his Lenin Red Star pin and hasn’t stopped doodling since. After a false start at Parsons School of Design in New York, he graduated with a BFA in painting and printmaking from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1993.

Upon graduation he promptly began driving a cab—first in Boston, then after a time, in Chicago—which eventually led to the publication of his illustrated work memoir Hack: Stories from a Chicago Cab by University of Chicago Press in 2011. His second book, Where To? A Hack Memoir is forthcoming from Curbside Splendor in September, 2014.

He has exhibited his work in all manner of bars, coffee shops, libraries, and even the odd gallery (when he’s really hard up).

He paints and writes in Chicago, Illinois. He no longer drives a cab.

 

Where To? A Hack Memoir

Dmitry Samarov’s illustrated memoir captures encounters with drunken passengers, overbearing cops, unreasonable city bureaucracy, his fellow cabdrivers, a few potholes, and other unexpectedly beautiful moments. Accompanied by dozens of Samarov’s original artworks—composed during traffic jams, waits at the airport, and lulls in his shifts—the stories in Where To? provide a street-level view of America from the perspective of an immigrant painter driving a cab for money.

Susan Hope Lanier earned an MFA in creative writing from Columbia College in 2012 and currently lives, writes, and photographs in Chicago, Illinois. Her work has appeared in Annalemma, Hair Trigger, Hobart Pulp, The Spoiler’s Hand and in collaboration with Yes Press Books.

 

 

The Game We Play

Ten riveting, emotionally complex stories examining the decisions we make when our choices are few and courage is costly. Topics include a young couple facing disease and commitment with the same sharp fear, a teenager stealing from his girlfriend’s mother’s purse to help pay for her abortion, and a father making a split-second decision that puts his child’s life at risk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, October 15th:

We’ll be closed for filming ALL DAY! Rest assured, we will re-open the next day, October 16th with normal store hours.  Sorry for any inconvenience!