Southland

Akashic Books
3
Free sample

"I'm an LA native with a lot of love for LA crime fiction, but instead of preaching to the noir choir about The Long Goodbye, I'd like to gush about Southland by Nina Revoyr. It's a brilliant, ambitious, moving literary crime novel about two families in South Los Angeles and their tangled history between the 1930s and the 1990s. The central mystery is the death of four black boys in a Japanese-American man's store during the Watts Rebellion of 1965. It's a powerful book, one that I think about often, as well as a huge influence on my work. Right up there with Chandler."
--Stephanie Cha (of the LARB) in GQ on "The Greatest Crime Novelists on Their Favorite Crime Novels Ever"

"[A]n absolutely compelling story of family and racial tragedy. Revoyr's novel is honest in detailing southern California's brutal history, and honorable in showing how families survived with love and tenacity and dignity."
--Susan Straight, author of Highwire Moon

Southland brings us a fascinating story of race, love, murder and history, against the backdrop of an ever-changing Los Angeles. A young Japanese-American woman, Jackie Ishida, is in her last semester of law school when her grandfather, Frank Sakai, dies unexpectedly. While trying to fulfill a request from his will, Jackie discovers that four African-American boys were killed in the store Frank owned during the Watts Riots of 1965. Along with James Lanier, a cousin of one of the victims, Jackie tries to piece together the story of the boys' deaths. In the process, she unearths the long-held secrets of her family's history.

Southland depicts a young woman in the process of learning that her own history has bestowed upon her a deep obligation to be engaged in the larger world. And in Frank Sakai and his African-American friends, it presents characters who find significant common ground in their struggles, but who also engage each other across grounds--historical and cultural--that are still very much in dispute.

Moving in and out of the past--from the internment camps of World War II, to the barley fields of the Crenshaw District in the 1930s, to the streets of Watts in the 1960s, to the night spots and garment factories of the 1990s--Southland weaves a tale of Los Angeles in all of its faces and forms.

Nina Revoyr is the author of The Necessary Hunger ("Irresistible." --Time Magazine). She was born in Japan, raised in Tokyo and Los Angeles, and is of Japanese and Polish-American descent. She lives and works in Los Angeles.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Akashic Books
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Published on
Apr 1, 2008
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Pages
350
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ISBN
9781936070480
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Cultural Heritage
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / General
Literary Criticism / Women Authors
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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"Revoyr does a remarkable job of conveying [protagonist] Michelle’s lost innocence and fear through this accomplished story of family and the dangers of complacency in the face of questionable justice."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Revoyr's fourth novel is a coming-of-age saga in which racism cuts across loyalties between family and friends . . . Gripping and insightful."
--Kirkus Reviews

Michelle LeBeau, the child of a white American father and a Japanese mother, lives with her grandparents in Deerhorn, Wisconsin--a small town that had been entirely white before her arrival. Rejected and bullied, Michelle spends her time reading, avoiding fights, and roaming the countryside with her dog Brett. She idolizes her grandfather, Charlie LeBeau, an expert hunter and former minor league baseball player who is one of the town's most respected men. Charlie strongly disapproves of his son's marriage to Michelle's mother but dotes on his only grandchild.

This fragile peace is threatened when the expansion of the local clinic leads to the arrival of the Garretts, a young black couple from Chicago. The Garretts' presence deeply upsets most of the residents of Deerhorn--when Mr. Garrett makes a controversial accusation against one of the town leaders, who is also Charlie LeBeau's best friend.

In the tradition of To Kill a Mockingbird, A River Runs Through It, and Snow Falling on Cedars, Revoyr's new novel examines the effects of change on a small, isolated town, the strengths and limits of community, and the sometimes conflicting loyalties of family and justice. Set in the expansive countryside of Central Wisconsin, against the backdrop of Vietnam and the post-civil rights era, Wingshooters explores both connection and loss as well as the complex but enduring bonds of family.
“The Age of Dreaming is a masterpiece of the sort that doesn’t just seduce the reader—it leaves you transformed. Nina Revoyr deserves to be counted among the top ranks of novelists at work today.”—Jerry Stahl, author of I, Fatty

“This is a riveting, wise, and gorgeous novel.”—Mary Yukari Waters

“Brilliant and original. . . . The carefully restrained voice of its narrator recalls Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day.”—Alison Lurie, Pulitzer Prize winner

Jun Nakayama was a silent film star in the early days of Hollywood, but by 1964, he is living in complete obscurity—until a young writer, Nick Bellinger, reveals that he has written a screenplay with Nakayama in mind. Jun is intrigued by the possibility of returning to movies, but he begins to worry that someone might delve too deeply into the past and uncover the events that led to the abrupt end of his career in 1922. These events include the changing racial tides in California and the unsolved murder of his favorite director, Ashley Bennett Tyler.

The Age of Dreaming is part historical novel, part mystery, and part unrequited love story.

Nina Revoyr was born in Tokyo to a Japanese mother and a Polish-American father, and grew up in Japan, Wisconsin, and Los Angeles. She is the author of two previous novels, The Necessary Hunger and Southland, which was a Book Sense 76 pick, winner of the Ferro-Grumley and Lambda Literary awards, a finalist for an Edgar Award, and one of the Los Angeles Times’ “Best Books of 2003.” She lives and works in Los Angeles.
One of the San Francisco Chronicle's 100 Recommended Books of 2015

"Los Angeles is home to many great storytellers, but Nina Revoyr is one of its finest scribes....[Lost Canyon] pulses with both beauty and terror, and the struggles of these characters, their physical and mental reckonings, are enough to make readers sweat without getting off the couch."
--Los Angeles Times

"Revoyr [is] an edgy and spellbinding writer with an uncanny gift for aligning human struggles with nature's glory and perils....With ravishing descriptions of the magnificent landscape, unrelenting suspense, incisive psychology, and shrewd perspectives on matters of race and gender, Revoyr has created a gripping tale of unintended adventure and profound transformation."
--Booklist, Starred review

"A suspenseful adventure story that explores how people react to danger, uncertainty, fear, and life-or-death choices....This is an exciting, page-turning adventure story that reveals how good people can do things totally contrary to their own moral code, and the conclusion will both surprise and satisfy."
--Publishers Weekly

"Revoyr travels LA's patchwork neighborhoods--delineating gangs and money, color and prejudice--and nicely sketches 'the grand, untamed Sierra.' Like Deliverance, a tense...morality tale formed in the crucible of physical duress."
--Kirkus Reviews

"With a nod to James Dickey's Deliverance...A direct, bangin' read for those interested in how people deal with physical and moral challenges."
--Library Journal

"An exciting blend of literary fiction and thrilling suspense--a harrowing trip into physical danger and a clever meditation on race relations and bravery."
--Shelf Awareness

A Book Riot Quick Pick/Book of the Week for the week of August 28, 2015

"What a pleasure it is seeing characters that live and breathe in the same textured universe that we do....Linked to complicated national issues, imbued with layered representations of Angelenos, [Revoyr] has brought us an intellectually adroit, emotionally nerve-wracking, page-turning thriller."
--Los Angeles Review of Books

"Even at its deadliest, Revoyr makes the high altitude seem mesmerizing....Revoyr has created characters we care for, issues we need to think about, and vistas that linger, making reading her book almost as much of a rush as scaling the sheer, icy rock of the Sierra Nevada."
--San Francisco Chronicle

Four people on a backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada find more adventure than they ever imagined. Each of them is drawn to the mountains for reasons as diverse as their own lives. Gwen Foster, a counselor for at-risk youth, is struggling with burnout from the demands of her job and with the loss of one of her teens. Real estate agent Oscar Barajas is adjusting to the fall of the housing market and being a single parent. Todd Harris, an attorney, is stuck in a lucrative but unfulfilling career--and in a failing marriage. They are all brought together by their trainer, Tracy Cole, a former athlete with a taste for risky pursuits.

When the hikers start up a pristine mountain trail that hasn't been traveled in years, all they have to guide them is a hand-drawn map of a remote, mysterious place called Lost Canyon. At first, the route past high alpine lakes and under towering, snowcapped peaks offers all the freedom and exhilaration they'd hoped for. But when they stumble onto someone who doesn't want to be found, the group finds itself faced with a series of dangerous conflicts, moral dilemmas, confrontations with nature, and an all-out struggle for survival.

Moving effortlessly between city and wilderness, Lost Canyon explores the ways that race, class, and culture shape experience and perception. It examines the choices good people must face in desperate situations. Set in the grand, wild landscape of the California mountains, Lost Canyon is a story of brewing social tensions and breathtaking adventure that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
One of the San Francisco Chronicle's 100 Recommended Books of 2015

"Los Angeles is home to many great storytellers, but Nina Revoyr is one of its finest scribes....[Lost Canyon] pulses with both beauty and terror, and the struggles of these characters, their physical and mental reckonings, are enough to make readers sweat without getting off the couch."
--Los Angeles Times

"Revoyr [is] an edgy and spellbinding writer with an uncanny gift for aligning human struggles with nature's glory and perils....With ravishing descriptions of the magnificent landscape, unrelenting suspense, incisive psychology, and shrewd perspectives on matters of race and gender, Revoyr has created a gripping tale of unintended adventure and profound transformation."
--Booklist, Starred review

"A suspenseful adventure story that explores how people react to danger, uncertainty, fear, and life-or-death choices....This is an exciting, page-turning adventure story that reveals how good people can do things totally contrary to their own moral code, and the conclusion will both surprise and satisfy."
--Publishers Weekly

"Revoyr travels LA's patchwork neighborhoods--delineating gangs and money, color and prejudice--and nicely sketches 'the grand, untamed Sierra.' Like Deliverance, a tense...morality tale formed in the crucible of physical duress."
--Kirkus Reviews

"With a nod to James Dickey's Deliverance...A direct, bangin' read for those interested in how people deal with physical and moral challenges."
--Library Journal

"An exciting blend of literary fiction and thrilling suspense--a harrowing trip into physical danger and a clever meditation on race relations and bravery."
--Shelf Awareness

A Book Riot Quick Pick/Book of the Week for the week of August 28, 2015

"What a pleasure it is seeing characters that live and breathe in the same textured universe that we do....Linked to complicated national issues, imbued with layered representations of Angelenos, [Revoyr] has brought us an intellectually adroit, emotionally nerve-wracking, page-turning thriller."
--Los Angeles Review of Books

"Even at its deadliest, Revoyr makes the high altitude seem mesmerizing....Revoyr has created characters we care for, issues we need to think about, and vistas that linger, making reading her book almost as much of a rush as scaling the sheer, icy rock of the Sierra Nevada."
--San Francisco Chronicle

Four people on a backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada find more adventure than they ever imagined. Each of them is drawn to the mountains for reasons as diverse as their own lives. Gwen Foster, a counselor for at-risk youth, is struggling with burnout from the demands of her job and with the loss of one of her teens. Real estate agent Oscar Barajas is adjusting to the fall of the housing market and being a single parent. Todd Harris, an attorney, is stuck in a lucrative but unfulfilling career--and in a failing marriage. They are all brought together by their trainer, Tracy Cole, a former athlete with a taste for risky pursuits.

When the hikers start up a pristine mountain trail that hasn't been traveled in years, all they have to guide them is a hand-drawn map of a remote, mysterious place called Lost Canyon. At first, the route past high alpine lakes and under towering, snowcapped peaks offers all the freedom and exhilaration they'd hoped for. But when they stumble onto someone who doesn't want to be found, the group finds itself faced with a series of dangerous conflicts, moral dilemmas, confrontations with nature, and an all-out struggle for survival.

Moving effortlessly between city and wilderness, Lost Canyon explores the ways that race, class, and culture shape experience and perception. It examines the choices good people must face in desperate situations. Set in the grand, wild landscape of the California mountains, Lost Canyon is a story of brewing social tensions and breathtaking adventure that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.
"Revoyr does a remarkable job of conveying [protagonist] Michelle’s lost innocence and fear through this accomplished story of family and the dangers of complacency in the face of questionable justice."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Revoyr's fourth novel is a coming-of-age saga in which racism cuts across loyalties between family and friends . . . Gripping and insightful."
--Kirkus Reviews

Michelle LeBeau, the child of a white American father and a Japanese mother, lives with her grandparents in Deerhorn, Wisconsin--a small town that had been entirely white before her arrival. Rejected and bullied, Michelle spends her time reading, avoiding fights, and roaming the countryside with her dog Brett. She idolizes her grandfather, Charlie LeBeau, an expert hunter and former minor league baseball player who is one of the town's most respected men. Charlie strongly disapproves of his son's marriage to Michelle's mother but dotes on his only grandchild.

This fragile peace is threatened when the expansion of the local clinic leads to the arrival of the Garretts, a young black couple from Chicago. The Garretts' presence deeply upsets most of the residents of Deerhorn--when Mr. Garrett makes a controversial accusation against one of the town leaders, who is also Charlie LeBeau's best friend.

In the tradition of To Kill a Mockingbird, A River Runs Through It, and Snow Falling on Cedars, Revoyr's new novel examines the effects of change on a small, isolated town, the strengths and limits of community, and the sometimes conflicting loyalties of family and justice. Set in the expansive countryside of Central Wisconsin, against the backdrop of Vietnam and the post-civil rights era, Wingshooters explores both connection and loss as well as the complex but enduring bonds of family.
“The Age of Dreaming is a masterpiece of the sort that doesn’t just seduce the reader—it leaves you transformed. Nina Revoyr deserves to be counted among the top ranks of novelists at work today.”—Jerry Stahl, author of I, Fatty

“This is a riveting, wise, and gorgeous novel.”—Mary Yukari Waters

“Brilliant and original. . . . The carefully restrained voice of its narrator recalls Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day.”—Alison Lurie, Pulitzer Prize winner

Jun Nakayama was a silent film star in the early days of Hollywood, but by 1964, he is living in complete obscurity—until a young writer, Nick Bellinger, reveals that he has written a screenplay with Nakayama in mind. Jun is intrigued by the possibility of returning to movies, but he begins to worry that someone might delve too deeply into the past and uncover the events that led to the abrupt end of his career in 1922. These events include the changing racial tides in California and the unsolved murder of his favorite director, Ashley Bennett Tyler.

The Age of Dreaming is part historical novel, part mystery, and part unrequited love story.

Nina Revoyr was born in Tokyo to a Japanese mother and a Polish-American father, and grew up in Japan, Wisconsin, and Los Angeles. She is the author of two previous novels, The Necessary Hunger and Southland, which was a Book Sense 76 pick, winner of the Ferro-Grumley and Lambda Literary awards, a finalist for an Edgar Award, and one of the Los Angeles Times’ “Best Books of 2003.” She lives and works in Los Angeles.
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