Slake: Excerpts II

by Ruby on July 16, 2010

Today, the Vroman’s blog presents the last installment of the Slake Magazine blog series! Wednesday, we had an interview with Joseph; yesterday and today, excerpts from the first edition. Be prepared: these are not your average, tame paragraphs.

Jervey Tervalon was awarded a key to the city of New Orleans for his best-selling novel Dead Above Ground. He also teaches writing classes at Vroman’s.

I’ve long suspected that I have some kind of reptile inside of me, not a superego or id, but a lizard so lazy that it responds only to the most desirable rewards, the juiciest flies. Somehow, my inner lizard settled on UC Santa Barbara as recompense for an education in the L.A. Unified School District, especially for what I had to go through at Foshay Junior High, where every day was a Kafkaesque institutional nightmare. Now, I fear, a lot more California schools are looking like Foshay misadventures. Who knew then that if you wanted to see the future of California public education that you’d look not to UC Santa Barbara but to Foshay Junior High?

–Jervey Tervalon, “Golden: The Education of a Young Pootbutt”

Erica Zora Wrightson writes about proximities, distances, and the ingredients of place. Her nonfiction can be found in the L.A. Weekly.

On Saturday mornings your daughter goes to the farmers market alone; it is too difficult for her to maneuver you in your chair through the crowd now, and the uneven pavement makes your back sore for days. The spring artichokes are huge. You watch your child trim the pointy tips. Her technique is uneven, but you will not correct her. You are learning to let go.

–Erica Zora Wrightson, “Artichoke”

Michelle Huneven’s most recent novel, Blame, was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award and named a finalist for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She has also written two other novels, among other things: Round Rock and Jamesland.

My father did like to hold forth. His subjects included geology, the Marxist view of capitalism, and his life as a teenage hobo. Once he’d stopped by my apartment when I was giving a dinner party. He took a chair and, in the slow drawl of a school science film, said: 7 million years ago where we’re now sitting was a trough in a deep sea. . . . He gave us the entire geological history of the Transverse Ranges as we ate. Nobody else got a word in edgewise. For dessert, he described the Army Corps of Engineers’ flood control systems.

–Michelle Huneven, “Separation”

Now that you’ve gotten a taste for Slake, make sure to pick up a copy! Vroman’s has plenty in stock, but the best place to get one is at the Slake event at Vromans on August 13th! We’ll see you there!