September 14, 2006
So many authors, so little time
Chick lit, pulp comics, historical fiction, gumshoe action and a dash of Los Angeles noir.
Add celebrities such as Jackie Collins and Tommy Chong and you begin -- just barely -- to get a taste of the eclectic stew that will be the fifth annual West Hollwood Book Fair, Sept. 17, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in West Hollywood Park. Up to 20,000 participants are expected to check out what's become perhaps the second largest local event of its kind, after the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books: more than 200 authors in dozens of workshops, performances and panel discussions on subjects ranging from architecture, first novels, poetry, true crime and the vampire tome.
Plenty of Jewish authors will be in the mix, including former New Yorker Jerusalem correspondent Amy Wilentz, as well as Bernard Cooper (see story on Page 40), who'll talk about memoir writing at an event moderated by Jewish Journal religion editor Amy Klein.
Fair organizers even moved the event up from its usual October date in deference to the High Holidays.
Here's a sampling of other Jewish authors who may be of interest to Journal readers:
Author: Tod Goldberg
Panel: "The Short and Short of It: Writing the Short Story"
Buzz: Goldman's quirky short story collection, "Simplify," with tales almost all told from the first person, spotlights young men who experience odd (and univited) apparitions -- from the Loch Ness Monster to Jesus to a bleeding picture of Elvis, according to the Los Angeles Times. Goldberg will show a more familial side of himself on the panel "Sibling Writerly" (1-1:45 p.m.), with his sisters, the nonfiction authors Karen Dinino and Linda Woods and his brother, Lee Goldberg, who's written novels based on his own TV shows, such as "Monk" and "Diagnosis Murder."
Author: Rosa Lowinger
Panel: "Cuba: Fact or Fiction?"
Time: 12:15-1 p.m.
Buzz: Lowinger's "Tropicana Nights," co-written with Ofelia Fox, describes a chic pre-Castro cabaret from the point of view of the owner's wife (Fox), who recounts its glory days as a hangout for socialites, gangsters, artists, models and celebrities such as Hollywood bombshell Carmen Miranda.
Author: Peggy Lipton
Panel: "Shining the Spotlight: Life Stories by and About Great Actors"
Time: 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Buzz: Lipton (yes, she's Jewish!) may have become the ultimate 1970s It Girl and fashion icon for her role as Julie on the hit series, "The Mod Squad"; but while her memoir, "Breathing Out," dishes about the expected experiences of psychedelia and sex (with Elvis, among others), it also describes her battles with depression and memories of child abuse in a striking yet volatile era.
Author: Allan Heinberg
Panel: "Pulp, Grind, Manifesto: Writing the Monthly Comics"
Time: 1:30-2:30 p.m.
Buzz: Heinberg wrote and co-created "Young Avengers" for Marvel Comics and "Wonder Woman" for DC comics and -- in a decidedly noncomic endeavor -- now writes and produces for the hit ABC medical drama, "Grey's Anatomy."
Author: Bettina Aptheker
Panel: "Left Is Right: Progressive Voices on the State of our State"
Time: 3-4 p.m.
Moderator: Erin Aubry Kaplan, Los Angeles Times columnist (and occasional Jewish Journal contributor)
Buzz: Aptheker's autobiography, "Intimate Politics: How I Grew Up Red, Fought for Free Speech, and Became a Feminist Rebel," will be out next year.
Author: Aimee Bender
Panel: "Faces and Places: Breathing Life into Characters and their Stories"
Time: 3:30- 4:30 p.m.
Buzz: Bender's "Willful Creatures," just out in paperback, is another surreal and transcendent short story collection. Sample: A jilted bride drives through the desert, the road spreading before her "like a long, dry, tongue" until she suddenly -- and excruciatingly -- craves a mango.
Jewish Journal September 15, 2006 43