Michelle Latiolais

Co-director of the Writing Programs at University of California , Irvine

Location:
555 Aldrich Hall, Irvine, California, United States
Company:
University of California , Irvine
HQ Phone:
(949) 824-5011

Web References  

Shelf Awareness for Readers for Tuesday, May 10, 2016 | Shelf Awareness

by Michelle Latiolais
For the 15-year-old evangelically raised and home-schooled runaway of Michelle Latiolais's novella She, stepping off the bus from Needles, Calif., is like "the stone being rolled away from the sepulchral door... and emerging into the sunlight and into the huge blue Los Angeles sky. She carries only a pink backpack with her grandmother's wallet, a toothbrush, toilet paper, a needle and thread, and a card for a runaway hotline. A leather-jacketed man in worn cowboy boots lets her share his cab to Santa Monica, where she exits on Ocean Ave. Naïve perhaps, but determined and practical, the unnamed girl ("one of the small unnamed shes of the field and of the sky") sets out to find food and shelter. Like the angels of the city's name, a string of mostly good-hearted but often disconnected and slightly off-plumb locals steps up to help--a cop who rousts her for identification but lets her go, a gallery owner needing her hem mended, a grieving man with a sink full of dirty dishes to clean, a homeless woman at a bus stop with a suitcase full of paperbacks to give away, an overworked freelance cake decorator looking for a helper. Co-director of the UC-Irvine writing programs, Latiolais has published both novels (A Proper Knowledge) and stories (Widow). In She, the chapters of the eponymous novella are separated by nine other stories, demonstrating the best of both worlds. The effect of this intriguing structure and Latiolais's precise writing is a rich portrait of the quirky life of the "Lotus Land" city where some go to find freedom and others strive to exercise it. --Bruce Jacobs, founding partner, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, Kan. Discover: Effectively weaving stories among chapters of a novella, Michelle Latiolais displays a keen eye for the human flotsam and jetsam of greater Los Angeles.

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Newport Beach Public Library Foundation | Library Live Programs | Now that's Progressive NBPL FOUNDATION | Newport Beach Public Library Foundation

Michelle Latiolais
Michelle Latiolais is a Professor of English at the University of California at Irvine. She is the author of the novel Even Now which received the Gold Medal for Fiction from the Commonwealth Club of California. Her second novel, A Proper Knowledge, was published this last spring by Bellevue Literary Press. She has published writing in three anthologies, Absolute Disaster, Women On The Edge: Writing From Los Angeles and Woof! Writers on Dogs (November 2008). Her stories and essays have appeared in Zyzzyva, The Antioch Review, Western Humanities Review and the Santa Monica Review. She has work in up-coming issues of the Iowa Review and the Northwest Review.

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Newport Beach Public Library Foundation | Library Live Programs | Now that's Progressive NBPL FOUNDATION | Newport Beach Public Library Foundation

Michelle Latiolais
Michelle Latiolais is a Professor of English at the University of California at Irvine. She is the author of the novel Even Now which received the Gold Medal for Fiction from the Commonwealth Club of California. Her second novel, A Proper Knowledge, was published this last spring by Bellevue Literary Press. She has published writing in three anthologies, Absolute Disaster, Women On The Edge: Writing From Los Angeles and Woof! Writers on Dogs (November 2008). Her stories and essays have appeared in Zyzzyva, The Antioch Review, Western Humanities Review and the Santa Monica Review. She has work in up-coming issues of the Iowa Review and the Northwest Review.

Read More

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