Susan Straight is a recipient of the L.A. Times Book Prize’s Robert Kirsch Award for Lifetime Achievement. Born and raised in Riverside, Straight has made the region the subject of her fiction and nonfiction, and is a teacher in UC Riverside’s creative writing program. Her 2001 novel “Highwire Moon” was a finalist for the National Book Award; her honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship and Lannan Literary Prize.
Latest From This Author
Every year, summer reading lists are published, with “beach reads, perfect for the season.”
The first time I saw the images of “In the Sunshine of Neglect” — an exhibition in Riverside by curator Douglas McCulloh on the vast territory of landscapes in my beloved native county — a beautiful confluence of memory, history, image and dreams came pooling into the space.
I came to know death through short stories. I was nine years old.
The latest California secession movement showed off its fantasy map of the state last month.
Since I was a child, I’ve been obsessed with photographs, probably because I’m of the generation between nothing and everything.
You might not believe it.
John Rechy, his skin still beautifully burnished and brown when I saw him last year, his forearms still powerful, his words unfurling with precise irony and humor, is a writer I’ve been thinking about in the evening while looking at the horizon just after the sun has hesitated in the western sky.
In September, in Nebraska, my dog and I saw an elk head on the roof of a white Suburban, the spreading antlers glistening with dew, the massive skull wrapped in blue plastic, in a service area off Interstate 80.
The Fourth of July I remember most vividly from my childhood in Riverside was an anarchic celebration on a huge green field where my brother almost lost an eye.