Elsewhere, California

Elsewhere, California

by Dana Johnson
Elsewhere, California

Elsewhere, California

by Dana Johnson

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Overview

“Avery’s evolution—a black woman trying to claim her place—is as heartbreaking as it is humorous, powerful as it is poignant.” —Los Angeles Times

As a young girl, Avery escaped the violent streets of Los Angeles to a more gentrified existence in suburban West Covina. But this new life, filled with school, visits to 7–Eleven to gawk at Tiger Beat magazine, and outings to Dodger Stadium, is soon interrupted by a reminder of the past in the form of her violent cousin Keith.

When Keith moves in with her family, he triggers a series of events that will follow Avery throughout her life: to her studies at USC, to her burgeoning career as a painter and artist, and into her relationship with a wealthy Italian who sequesters her in his glass-walled house in the Hollywood Hills. The past will even intrude upon Avery’s first gallery show, proving her mother’s adage: Every goodbye ain’t gone.

“In this debut novel, Johnson brilliantly knits the dual narratives together, maintaining a dynamic balance between nimble language and rowdy, vulnerable characters. The real achievement is the honest, compassionate, and unflinching willingness to honor teenage struggles for identity, confidence, and love while listening to Led Zeppelin and rooting for the Dodgers.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“[An] extraordinary novel . . . Avery is about as complex and compelling a heroine as I’ve read recently . . . a luminous, funny, and poignant tale that speaks directly to a whole generation raised in a state of cultural confusion.” —Danzy Senna, author of You Are Free and Caucasia



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781582437842
Publisher: Catapult
Publication date: 06/12/2012
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 919,431
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Dana Johnson is the author of Break Any Woman Down, which won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction and was a finalist for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. Born and raised in and around Los Angeles, California, she is an associate professor of English at the University of Southern California.

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