David L. Ulin is the author or editor of ten books, including Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles, shortlisted for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, and the Library of America’s Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology, which won a California Book Award. A 2015 Guggenheim Fellow, he is the former book editor and book critic of the Los Angeles Times, and a contributing editor to Literary Hub. A second edition of his book The Lost Art of Reading will be published in September, with a new introduction and afterword.
Keum Suk Gendry-Kim
RaveLos Angeles TimesVividly rendered ... The Waiting, is graphic novel as reclamation project, an attempt to preserve before it is too late not a documentary history so much as an emotional one ... There is an immediacy, an intimacy, that emerges from these panels, which reveal both memory and art-making as processes. Nothing is fixed, Gendry-Kim is suggesting. We know ourselves only from the bits of information we have been allowed to have.
PositiveThe Los Angeles TimesKing's new novel, Joyland, operates very much from this territory: a drama that unfolds in miniature ...a double vision — the 21-year-old actively living through his experience while his older incarnation reflects on it — gives the book an unexpected perspective, even as it reassures us that whatever happens in the novel, Devin will come out alive ... Joyland, however, is written with a lighter touch, an air of if not nostalgia then wistfulness ...grows only more heightened as the narrative progresses, making Joyland a coming-of-age novel as well, although such a process is bittersweet at best.
MixedThe Los Angeles TimesDespite its potential for drama, Lee develops her story through long dialogue sequences that read less like conversation than competing arguments. There is little sense of urgency and key aspects of the narrative — Jean Louise’s naïvete, for one thing, her inability to see Maycomb for what it is — are left largely unresolved.
If I’m hesitant to level such a criticism, it’s because, although Go Set a Watchman comes marketed as an autonomous novel, it is most interesting as a literary artifact.