Freeman's CaliforniaJohn Freeman
10 October 2019
3 October 2019
The sixth volume in the series that has been hailed by NPR, O Magazine and Vogue, Freeman’s: California features stunning new work from a broad selection of writers, revealing everything that is important and fascinating about America’s most populous state.
In Freeman’s: California, Lauren Markham describes how four generations of her family have lived in and tried to manipulate the water in one of the driest parts of the state and how water and land means everything. Rabih Alameddine recounts becoming a bartender in the mid-1980s as his friends began to die of AIDS. Rachel Kushner reminisces on all the amazing cars she’s owned and their peculiar, vivid personalities. Natalie Diaz narrates the process of making her body into a professional basketball player, and how that assembly stalled some of the internal vulnerabilities she’d felt as a gay native woman growing up in California. And Elaine Castillo visits her brother in prison.
Amid the raging the forest fires plaguing California, William T. Vollmann drives to the Carr fire and sees how fire has become the new state of normality for California. And Jaime Cortez riffs on pulling over at a rest-stop and smelling the fires of Paradise burning.
Meanwhile home is in transition as Karen Tei Yamashita recalls a Japanese-American who goes to Japan after the dropping of the bomb, writing back and forth. Reyna Grande explores how her mother fell out of society and became a woman who collects recycling, while she and her siblings have become model immigrants.
Also featuring a haunting ghost story from Oscar Villalon, bold new fiction from Tommy Orange, and stunning poems from Mai Der Vang, Juan Felipe Herrera, Maggie Millner and more, Freeman’s: California assembles a diverse list of brilliant writers.