Monday, June 9, 2003  [!]
(Requires Flash) Got this one in email from a friend who's forwarded many a snopes-worthy email to me (that I've sent the snopes-linkage to debunk the item by reply.) Glad to get a link to this, instead from her!

6/9/03; 11:44:32 PM | Giggles | Discuss | # | |

From time to time I visit the California Authors site. This time I recognized a name. A fellow psych major from college: Aris Janigian wrote a novel, Bloodvine. Some of the bio matches up to the Aris Janigian I knew in college. Check out a few other things from a bio. Yep. Same one. Congratulations, Aris!!

The book is based on an event in the life of Aris' father. In this excerpt, Andy takes up hauling produce from Fresno to L.A. On this trip up the grapevine, the weather is c-c-c-old.

[Andy] pulled out and headed up the mountain, nudging the truck slowly forward, maybe ten, then fifteen miles per hour, in low gear. The transmission rasped and the engine growled and the whole truck shook as it climbed. A few miles upgrade the cab started to warm, and he could feel himself come back to life. It occurred to him that he�d nearly forgotten about the load back there. He recalled a story one of his ballplayers, Big Freddie the Injun, had told him about how his ancestors initiated their boys into the tribe by charging them with the delivery of a sealed sack to a distant place. In this sack was something precious that was the boy�s to keep when he�d reached his destination. A scout trailed the boy to make sure he didn�t die, or cheat. The sack, nearly as heavy as the boy, took three days and everything the boy had, and more, to deliver. The scout met him at the designated place and told him he�d done well and that now the contents of the sack were his. The boy took his knife out, cut the rope and reached into a sack of stones. His reward was the perseverance he�d learned. Nothing else. As Andy passed Gorman, he asked himself, Is the broccoli back there my sack of stones? [Read More]

A book review by Aram Saroyan. Wow! He gets a Saroyan to review his book in the LA Times! Tres cool!

Saroyan: Put "Bloodvine" on the shelf beside Mark Arax's "In My Father's Name" and Peter Balakian's "Black Dog of Fate," books that tell us more about what it's like to be Armenian and American. Aris Janigian is a strong, welcome new voice.

I'm on the lookout for any author signings in the L.A. area. Yep, he was at the L.A. Times Festival of Books. Giving a talk on Heart of the State: Writing from the Central Valley. Wouldn't you know it: That weekend I drove up the Grapevine through the Central Valley to the Bay Area to attend the wedding of a friend... from college.

6/9/03; 10:37:44 PM | Writing | Discuss | # | |