Friday, December 15, 2006

Please forgive my lapse in blogging lately--it's such a crazy time of the year. I wish I had had the foresight to post about my local readings in the last week for the wonderful new anthology Inlandia: A Literary Journey through California's Inland Empire

I've lived in the "Inland Empire" for 20 years--it is a much-maligned, misunderstood part of Southern California. I doubt David Lynch's new fever dream of a movie, Inland Empire, is going to change that in any way--a review in the New York Times made reference to the "bleak Southern Califonia region" of the movie's title. And yes, the Inland Empire is bleak in places, but it's also beautiful and wild and complicated and growing, and, as the back of Inlandia notes, it's a "breeding ground for passionate literature." The book features a diverse mix of poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction, from Joan Didion, John Steinbeck, MFK Fisher, Mike Davis, Laura Kalpakian, Susan Straight, Alex Espinoza, Michael Jaime-Becerra, and many other voices (including an excerpt from my novel, The Book of Dead Birds.) I am very grateful to Heyday Books for honoring this adopted home of mine, for celebrating it through the written word, for helping people begin to understand the majesty of this often misread place.

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