Velveteen Vargas is an 11-year-old from Brooklyn who is granted a summer vacation in the country, courtesy of the nonprofit Fresh Air Fund. Her host family is a couple in upstate New York: Ginger, a failed artist on the fringe of Alcoholics Anonymous; and Paul, an academic who wonders what it will mean to "make a difference" in such a contrived situation.
"Horse people should enjoy this. "
This is a reissue of National Book Award finalist Mary Gaitskill's debut collection, Bad Behavior - powerful stories about dislocation, longing, and desire that depict a disenchanted and rebellious urban-fringe generation as it searches for human connection. Now a classic, Bad Behavior made critical waves when it was first published, heralding Gaitskill's arrival on the literary scene and her establishment as a sharp, erotically charged, and audaciously funny writer of contemporary literature.
In "College Town 1980", young people adrift in Ann Arbor, Michigan, debate the meaning of personal strength at the start of the Reagan era; in the urban fairy tale "Mirror Ball", a young man steals a girl's soul during a one-night stand; and in "The Little Boy", a woman haunted by the death of her husband is finally able to grieve through a mysterious encounter with a needy child.
As a teenager on the streets of San Francisco, Alison is discovered by a photographer and swept into the world of fashion-modeling in Paris and Rome. When her career crashes and a love affair ends disastrously, she moves to New York City to build a new life. There she meets Veronica: an older wisecracking eccentric with her own ideas about style, a proofreader who comes to work with a personal "office kit" and a plaque that reads "Still Anal After All These Years".
"I Want to Listen to This Again"
Pulitzer Prize-winner Jane Smiley details a beautiful erotic interlude in an otherwise sordid real estate deal; Mary Gaitskill celebrates the unexpected ardor of one middle-aged couple; Steve Almond reminisces about the best one-man/three-girl Ecstasy party ever; Nelson George recounts the erotic escapades that befall a young man who accompanies a celebrity athlete when he picks up a gaggle of girls; and Carol Queen explores the joys of making love with summer fruit.
"Middlemarch and Me", by Rebecca Mead; "The Information", by Adam Gopnik; "The Other Place", by Mary Gaitskill; and "Schubert on the Beach", by Alex Ross.
The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books began in 1996 with a simple goal: to bring together the people who create books with the people who love to read them. The festival was an immediate success and has become the largest and most prestigious book festival in the country, attracting more than 130,000 book lovers each year.
"Struggles", by Philip Gourevitch; "Digging", by Mike Peed; "Lucky People", by Nick Paumgarten; "All Together Now?", by James Surowiecki; "Don't Cry", by Mary Gaitskill; "That Seventies Show" and "Carrie", by Anthony Lane.