How many images does a person see over a lifetime? Where does advertising end and self-image begin? In media-saturated Los Angeles, the chauffeur Martin Tate has seen it all. Or has he? Privy to the lives of various passengers, he pieces together the story that connects a model, a musician, and a mogul. But they have their own stories to tell—and their own corners to turn. Where do they stand in the culture of the maze? Martin learns more than he cares to know. How long can he remain a spectator, or has he been participating all along?
Enter Blind Turn, a world of slick high-rises, ornate mansions, and roadways packed with ambition. Through the eyes of characters at different stages in life comes an urban portrait capturing the glossy surface and bottomless pit of desire. Will Mira find happiness? Will Godfrey make his comeback? Will Vincent finally escape? Goals abound, but is the outcome ever as expected? Amid the power plays, petty reprisals, and fantasies of adoration, an individual strains to find dignity. But all is not lost. The city of dreams occasionally presents an opportunity to wake up.
Interested in Japanese culture but discouraged by purely touristic or academic accounts? Japanese Summer invites the reader on a unique three-month journey through urban, rural, and hidden Japan. In contrast to a lengthy survey, this deft memoir offers a collection of vignettes in journal form. Those drawn to the arts and humanities will appreciate the contemplative tone and vivid descriptions. Informative passages touch on language, customs, and aesthetics while pertinent philosophical interludes address the paradoxes of culture in general.
On a more personal note, Japanese Summer also documents a fleeting period of young adulthood. The perception of mono no aware or “the sadness of things” emerges as a memorable season comes to pass. Themes of intimacy and alienation explored during the mid-nineties remain fresh if not more relevant today.
Signposts Vol 1: poems that don’t mess around. Three lines, three stanzas. Snapshots of time and place. Bookmarks that become pages.
Inspired by haiku and tanka, Signposts takes a different direction, shifting the emphasis from nature to urban existence. The results are sometimes dark. An appreciation of irony, however, triumphs over nihilism. A brief synopsis might read: work, loneliness, absurdity, longing. Those with a taste for black comedy and bittersweet anecdotes may recognize their demons.
Signposts Vol 2: more strange snacks for people on the go. Poems in a box.
Assorted aftertastes that come forward and linger on the tip of the tongue.
Combining a number of eastern and western poetic traditions, the Signposts series
offers a fresh account of change and pathos. Mini narratives born from ordinary
moments unearth the tragic and absurd aspects of longing. In this volume, the
fragile nature of human relationships points increasingly to the impermanence of
life itself. The possibility of transcendence is not broached, merely implied as a
question worth asking.
In the Information Age, statistics and advertising exist in abundance. Ideas for their own sake are harder to find, and often harder to stomach. Having no obligation to social agendas, they can afford to be honest. To what degree they reflect truth is not as important as their ability to encourage contemplation. In this spirit, Life Sentences serves up a cornucopia of one-liners sure to engage even the most stoic personality. From individuality and love, to society and politics, to philosophy and religion, the topics covered in this liberal compendium stir the pot—and occasionally put a lid on it. Readers who appreciate the bitter fruit of the aphoristic tradition will no doubt recommend that their friends also receive Life Sentences.
Take 100 words. Take 100 provocative words. Overhaul their meaning, bring them up to date, and make them more provocative still. The result: Redefinitions, a short work that surprises, entertains, and sparks conversation lasting deep into the night.
Todd Garlington spent his childhood in the Australian Capital Territory and his youth in the San Francisco Bay Area. Film school brought him to Los Angeles, but a love of language ultimately prevailed over an interest in images. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a Masters in Professional Writing. After a rigorous stint in film and television where he served more as a factotum than a wordsmith, he transitioned to the vocation of independent author. His written work explores temporality, decadence, and the paradoxes of personal and cultural identity.