A Breath of Sea Air

“You’re lucky, Althia,” said the Agent. “The Institute rarely accepts donors from the States.” They were sitting in a white office in downtown San Francisco. White walls, white floor, white desk, white chairs. Even the Agent was dressed all in white––a smart pantsuit with a wide, upturned collar. She had on a white wig, bobbed […]

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The Art of Giving Up

After the publication of his classic novel, Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison spent over forty years working on his sophomore effort, Juneteenth. When asked by an interviewer to explain the delay, he blamed it on a fire which destroyed his manuscript during the early 1970s. But now, nearly twenty years after his death in 1994, scholars […]

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Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, you get used to a few things, namely that the weather can turn on a dime. A foggy, overcast day can turn warm and sunny by mid-noon but by sunset the fog rolls back in again. Temperatures can vary so wildly throughout the bay––or even in San […]

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California Soul

It goes without saying that California has left a giant footprint on American culture. While the south has the blues, jazz, and rock and roll and New York has bebop, Broadway, and hip hop, California has Silicon Valley and of course Hollywood. But it is even more than that: It is the living embodiment of […]

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