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by Amra Brooks

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Amra Brooks was born and raised in California. Her novella California was published by Teenage Teardrops (primarily a record label that does limited edition vinyl releases) in December 2008. Currently she is working on a book of fiction titled The Scariest Movie Ever Made, a collection of poems called The Pinking Sky, and a collaborative book project with painter Maureen Gallace who shows at 303 Gallery in New York and was in last years Whitney Biennial. In addition, Amra writes critical essays and reviews about contemporary art, music, film, and literature. Her writing has appeared in Artforum, Spin Magazine, index, the LA Weekly, The Encyclopedia Project Volume F-K, and many other publications. She has taught at the University of California in Santa Cruz and San Diego, and Naropa University. Currently she lives in Pennsylvania where she teaches writing at Muhlenberg College.

"I read this in one blazing sitting, this California was my California. Afterwards I walked around with memories, aches, longings that I could have sworn were my own, but no. Brooks just gets down in to that place where selves are made -- after school, in the dark, on dirty carpet that you can still smell."
-- Miranda July

"Amra Brooks stacks one perfect, slicing detail upon another to create a swirling, sexy, often devastating portrait of a self, a family, a coast, and an era. Looping wildly through fact and fiction, unloosed from the confines of chronology, and shot through with a bracing candor, California is a 'tiny sliver of strength' with the makings of a post-punk literary classic."
-- Maggie Nelson

"Amra Brooks' California is beautifully written and felt. The spare, rhythmic sentences cut to the bone of experience; the novella is both compassionate and unsparing in its judgments. With her special intelligence and unblinkered eye, Brooks transforms the state of California into the state of her character's mind, its sense and sensibility becoming hers. This is a marvelous book."
-– Lynne Tillman

"Amra Brooks' novella California is surprising, beautiful, heartfelt, outrageous, cool, funny, and strong. Her quicksilver dispatch of each these ingredients (I mean, writing so good) demonstrates to all who are willing and able to know that to live inside such a big sunny contradictory state a girl (and her book) might need to be quietly full of courage."
-- Eileen Myles