The King of Lighting Fixtures
168 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Release Date:19 Sep 2017

The King of Lighting Fixtures


The University of Arizona Press
Wanderers and writers, gangbangers and lawyers, dreamers and devils. The King of Lighting Fixtures paints an idiosyncratic but honest portrait of Los Angeles, depicting how the city both entrances and confounds. Each story serves as a reflection of Daniel A. Olivas’s grand City of Angels, a “magical metropolis where dreams come true.”

The characters here represent all walks of L.A. life—from Satan’s reluctant Craigslist roommate to a young girl coping with trauma at her brother’s wake—and their tales ebb and flow among various styles, including magical realism, social realism, and speculative fiction. Like a jazz album, they glide and bop, tease and illuminate, sadden and hearten as they navigate effortlessly from meta to fabulist, from flash fiction to longer, more complex narratives.

These are literary sketches of a Los Angeles that will surprise, connect, and disrupt readers wherever they may live.
What unites the work is a sense of place.’—Los Angeles Times

‘Olivas, the king of flash fiction, flexes both magical realist and realist muscles.’—NBC News

‘The collection cements his place in the magical realism tradition of García Márquez and Urrea, and showcases his skills as a master stylist and self-aware observer of life's little vignettes.’—Shelf Awareness

‘[A] bold insistence on leaving a few seams visible, a few threads frayed—even on pulling the rug away entirely—makes the book resound as a fascinating exploration of both the art of storytelling and the ways in which fiction echoes the messiness of life.’—Foreword Reviews

‘Assured and perceptive, offering a view of another Southland from Chandler’s and Didion’s.’—Kirkus

‘Because some pieces are of such brevity and wit, readers will take delight in reading twice.’—La Bloga

‘An exceptional collection of original and entertaining stories by a master of the short story format.’—Midwest Book Review ‘A sharp, smart collection punctuated with inventiveness and wit: in the ongoing effort to depict Los Angeles as lit by something other than the glare of Hollywood, Daniel A. Olivas reminds us that the vast topography of the entire city and its neighborhoods are vibrant with their own unique electricities.’—Manuel Muñoz, author of What You See in the Dark
‘Comic, wry, very Angeleno, and essential Southern California.’—Susan Straight, author of Between Heaven and Here
‘The short story is a delicate artifact and Olivas knows it: the right balance is achieved only if what is said is in harmony with what is left unmentioned. His Los Angeles is not only from bottom up but from east to west and from south to north.’—Ilan Stavans, author of On Borrowed Words
Daniel A. Olivas is the author of seven books, including The Book of Want: A Novel and Things We Do Not Talk About: Exploring Latino/a Literature through Essays and Interviews. He earned his degree in English literature from Stanford University, and law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. Since 1990, Olivas has practiced law with the California Department of Justice. A second-generation Angeleno, he makes his home in Los Angeles with his wife.
Good Things Happen at Tina’s Café
Bar 107
Mateo’s Walk
The Subtenant
Orange Line
Carbon Beach
Fat Man
Kind of Blue
La Diabla at the Farm
Things We Do Not Talk About
Better Than Divorce
Elizondo Returns Home
Mamá’s Advice
Like Rivera and Kahlo
The Lost Soul of Humberto Reyes
The King of Lighting Fixtures
Still Life with Woman and Stroller
A Very Bitter Man
Silver Case
The Last Dream of Pánfilo Velasco
Meeting with My Editor
Gig Economy
The Three Mornings of José Antonio Rincón
The Great Wall
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