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Jervey Tervalon has a taste for observation in 'Monster's Chef'
Jervey Tervalon has a taste for observation in 'Monster's Chef'

The novelist Jervey Tervalon likes to share this interesting fun fact about his life: He was born in the same year as Michael Jackson, Madonna and Prince. Tervalon, 55, is a professional teller and gatherer of stories and also a busy literary networker. He grew up in Los Angeles, where celebrity culture can feel like a huge planet whose gravity is constantly sucking him in. The collision between the stars of movie, television and music industries, and the lives of ordinary Angelenos is the subject of his new novel, "Monster's Chef" (Amistad: 224 pp., $24.99). "Living in Los Angeles, you always hear celebrity stories," Tervalon says in a Pasadena cafe not far from...

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