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Justin Clark

To Forgive or to Shun

Two Sundays ago,  while having coffee with an Irvine woman he’d recently met on the Internet, Rabbi Juda Heschel made the inevitable disclosure. He recounted the felony that, seven years ago, destroyed his marriage, estranged his children, forced his synagogue to fire him and sent him to federal prison. “I’m......
(illustration by Deanna Staffo)

Crosstown Rivals

For nine hours, the college students seated across from each other at the Cal State Long Beach auditorium have been answering some rather obscure questions. Questions about American presidents, Babylonian mythology and particle physics. Questions that have left their shoulders slumped, their faces slack, their synapses exhausted and the contestants......
Photo by Drew Reynolds

Memoir and Mystery

Thanks to the truthectomies recently performed on the fabrications of James Frey and Nasdijj, it’s hard to imagine a more stressful moment to write and publish a memoir. But Bernard Cooper can. Back in 1991, Cooper flew to New York to accept the PEN/Hemingway award for Maps to Anywhere, a......
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Lost and Found

Photo by Dorothy GotlibRecently, Davy Rothbart had the chance to spend a day breaking into other people’s houses and removing their most prized possessions. For the creator of Found, a magazine dedicated to scavenged documents of all kinds, it was a golden opportunity: the chance to be both voyeur and......

T-Bone’s Dream

Photo by Justin ClarkAmong the farthest-flung of Hurricane Katrina’s victims were the 40 or so who waited on two idling buses in Echo Park on Saturday afternoon. They’d lost everything: homes, jobs, pets, loved ones. But excitement, not sorrow, was the prevailing mood. They were going to see a NASCAR......
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A Native American in Venice

Photo by Katherine FogdenAt first glance, it is tempting to view performance artist James Luna’s inclusion in this year’s Venice Biennale as simply the latest amusing example of Europe’s fascination with cowboys and Indians. From the spaghetti Western to Puccini’s 1910 opera La Fanciulla del West, a proto–Annie Get Your......
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Small Press Is Beautiful

BükAmerica If Thomas Paine were to publish Common Sense today (assuming such sedition would be permitted), where would he distribute it? Car washes, hotels and coffeehouses, say Gary Kornblau and Lisa Lyons. The co-publishers of L.A.’s newest press, Bük, are relying on those unlikely literary venues to revive Paine’s unlikely......

Young Man River

“I was the jar opener for 8,000 people!” Rodney Rothman tells me on a sweltering afternoon in May, sitting at the rearmost table of Cultura y Sabor, a Hollywood coffee shop. He’s dressed in a T-shirt and wears the relaxed and slightly disheveled look of someone just returning from vacation......

Coroner to the Suicides

Photos by Max S. Gerber“Do not enter. Call 911. I love you. It just hurts too much.” One sunny April morning David Campbell stands on the second-story landing of an upper-middle-class Woodland Hills home, reading this heartbreakingly terse note. Campbell has never met the woman who wrote it out in......
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