Susan Straight’s new novel, Between Heaven and Earth, is the final book in the Rio Seco trilogy. Take One Candle Light a Room was named one of the best novels of 2010 by The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and Kirkus, and A Million Nightingales was a 2006 Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Her novel Highwire Moon was a Finalist for the 2001 National Book Award. Her short story “The Golden Gopher” won the 2008 Edgar Award for Best Mystery Story. She has published stories and essays in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Harpers, McSweeney’s, The Believer, Salon, Zoetrope, Block Clock, and elsewhere. She is Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside. She was born in Riverside, California, where she lives with her family, whose history is featured on susanstraight.com.
Max Presneill is an artist and curator. His paintings are represented by Garboushian Gallery, Beverly Hills, and Durden and Ray Fine Art, Los Angeles. He has exhibited at museums, institutes and galleries in London, New York, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Mexico City, Sydney, Istanbul and Paris, as well as numerous projects throughout the US.
He is currently the Curator of the Torrance Art Museum and Director of ARTRA Curatorial. He was the Founder and former Director of Raid Projects in Los Angeles (1998-2008) and from 2005-2008, he was the Director/Curator for the Mark Moore Gallery.
Lisa Occhipinti is an artist, photographer, author and instructor based in Venice, CA. She creates multi-layered paintings, distinct book sculptures and poignant photos based upon books and vintage graphics. She has written and illustrated The Repurposed Library, and her bookmobiles have been included in a recent book on paper arts titled Papercraft.
With a BA in Fine Art, Lisa studied in France with Parsons School of Design and in Italy with The School of Visual Arts. She was a faculty member at the New Hampshire Institute of Art for five years. While there she coordinated and taught their first summer abroad program at the Burren College of Art in Ballyvaughn, Ireland. She has won a full fellowship from the Clowes Fund for a residency at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT and was awarded a residency at the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild in Woodstock, NY. Her work is in private and corporate collections worldwide including Hilton Hotels, Hyatt Hotels, Prologue Films, J Crew, Star City, The Dana Farber Institute and Wheaton College Permanent Collection.
Jeff Weber was raised in an academic family. His father was Director of Libraries at Stanford University. His grandfather was both an English professor and the first rare book librarian at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. His education was from UCLA, with a BA in history of the ancient Middle East, and a Master of Library Science from Indiana University.
He worked for Zeitlin & Ver Brugge Booksellers, Los Angeles. Jake Zeitlin, the owner, was the doyen of American antiquarian booksellers. Many young booksellers began their businesses as a result of working for Zeitlin. He started his business, Jeff Weber Rare Books, in 1986 and continues in this field today. He specializes in the history of science, medicine, California, bibliography, fine printing, book arts and fore-edge paintings. He issues traditional monthly catalogues and works primarily by mail order. He has lectured widely and written two books, The Fore-edge Paintings of John T. Beer and An Annotated Dictionary of Fore-edge Painting Arts & Binders.