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California

Illustration by Chad Wys

The Partition

Mainly, she wanted to be left alone. She didn’t want a husband or a wife or a partner or a lover, she didn’t want a companion or a pet or friends, she didn’t want to be closer to her parents or siblings or relatives. She enjoyed her solitude, relished it. She had plenty to occupy herself—her work, her house and garden, her hobbies. She was not at all lonely. She was thoroughly happy, being alone.

This perplexed people.

Photo by Ryan Bradley.

The Air Keeps It Interesting

1. In the darkness it was nothing but a thin low thrum, moving to a higher pitch as it neared. The Goodyear Blimp was somewhere out there. I stared into the sky off Venice Beach, California, trying to locate the thing. A woman in a polo shirt (Goo [...]

Illustrations by Jen Renninger

Total Loss

Fire does not abide by reason. In its destructive trail, there are empty bank accounts, unreturned voice mails, FedExed checks, hours upon hours of smooth-jazz hold music, fine print written in inscrutable jargon, and the summary Laurie learned to say for expediency’s sake: “My house exploded in a catastrophic fire. Can you please help me?”

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Jodie Evans Has a Code

There she is, brandishing handcuffs at Karl Rove, interrupting a Beverly Hills book signing to make a citizen’s arrest. Or she’s holding a banner, or marching, or doing a video interview. Sometimes she’s camouflaged under a big floppy hat or b [...]

© Heiko119 | Dreamstime.com

Knock, Knock

It was just for the summer. And when he came back from Berkeley at the end of August, he would bring her a sea horse from the biology lab, which was next door to the physics lab where he would be smashing and separating and studying atoms in a way t [...]

Brian L. Frank

California and the Imagination

"California as land’s end, world’s end: It collapses underneath the weight of such a reading, as it must,” David L. Ulin writes in our lead story. “It reveals the limits of our history—demographic history, social history, history of techno [...]

Mapping: California’s Techno-Sublime

Those who complain about California from the outside tend to single out its hippies and bohemians. But when Californians complain about Californians, the eye-rolling is more frequently directed at a (supposedly) new class of slick and humorless “te [...]

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