And then there's this: William T. Vollmann at Skylight Books tonight
William T. Vollmann, the prolific and powerful writer, is touring the west coast in support of his just-released book "Imperial." Tonight he reads at Skylight Books in Los Feliz at 7:30p.m.
"Imperial" -- and its companion volume of photographs -- focuses on California's Imperial County, which borders Mexico. It's a place where the desert meets agriculture, where the California dream smashes up against an often-harsh reality.
In 2008, reviewing Vollman's book "Riding Toward Everywhere" in our pages, Marc Weingarten wrote:
Vollmann thinks a lot about savagery and the human capacity for suffering. It's a major preoccupation of his numerous novels and volumes of reportage.... The author, as he explains near the beginning [of "Riding Toward Everywhere"], is a man given to frequent reflection -- even self-recrimination at times -- about his place in the world.
As Vollman has a tendency to report right from the center of things, his book -- and his reading -- should be interesting. Although odds are against it, he may have found a better way of being in Imperial County.
-- Carolyn Kellogg
Photo: William T. Vollmann in 2005. Credit: Kent Lacin / For The Times