Lunch Bucket Paradise
Lunch Bucket Paradise: A True-Life Novel
It’s 1950, and the great suburban experiment has begun. A new house with three small bedrooms, a garage where you can spend all Saturday tuning up the Chevy or Ford, the promise of a sycamore blooming someday out front by the edge of the postage-stamp, golf-course green lawn. Working people never had it so good. At least, for now. But over the next twenty years, life will change for the narrator’s blue-collar family as tract homes proliferate, wages soar and then collapse, the inner cities burn, and another war begins in faraway place called Viet Nam.
“A brilliantly clear window onto a world that seems alternately seductive, threatening, and intensely nostalgic (and often all three). I love his storytelling and admire his language. But I have no desire to visit Frog Island with him.” - Jeff Greenwald, author of Snake Lake
A chapter from Lunch Bucket Paradise was included in New California Writing 2011, edited by Gail Wattawa, published by Heyday Books, with a forward by Malcolm Margolin, and contributions from Rebecca Solnit, Mark Arax, Susan Straight, Mike Davis, William T. Vollmann, Michael Chabon and others.
Sam Maloof: 36 Views of a Master Woodworker
Purchase from Heyday
Sam Maloof: 36 Views of a Master Woodworker
The first craftsman to receive a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant, a man whom his friend and fellow furniture maker Jimmy Carter called “the best woodworker that ever lived,” Sam Maloof was one of the great masters of midcentury modernism. His pieces’ sensuous, inviting design and immaculate workmanship elide any distance in critical perception between craft and art, and his furniture is found in private domains throughout the world and in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian. Warm and gregarious, Maloof was loved by those who knew him. His Southern California compound became the hub of a rich network of artists and artisans; and today, six years after his death, thousands of visitors pass through his home and workshop to catch a glimpse of a life so rich in beauty.
This engaging book, released on the centennial of Maloof’s birth, skillfully weaves together the words of family, friends, and associates to present thirty-six perspectives on a great artist. Far from the solitary genius we often imagine a creative person to be, the person who emerges from these stories is both the proud product of the community from which he originated and an anchor of the Pomona Valley arts scene he helped create. Surprising and illuminative, Sam Maloof places not only art, but also the role of the artist, at the heart of our culture.
Published in collaboration with The Sam and Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts & Crafts
Follow press coverage and events for Sam Maloof: 36 Views of a Master Woodworker.
The Roads Taken
The Roads Taken: Travels Through America’s Literary Landscapes
University of Georgia Press/Interlink Books (paper)
At once a memoir and humorous road trip, a literary history and extended nature piece, The Roads Taken reconnects Americans to each other and to the land they live and work in – and often forsake. From Thoreau’s Maine Woods to Jack London’s San Francisco Bay, from Hemingway’s rural Michigan to Willa Cather’s Nebraska, the book pilots readers across the well-traveled pages of our national literature and the well-read contours of the American landscape.
Winner of the Associated Writing Program’s award in creative nonfiction.
Library Journal called The Roads Taken “a winner, highly readable and evocative of time, place, and literary characters.” Publisher’s Weekly deemed it “hilarious” and “thought-provoking.” The Baltimore Sun praised the book’s “rich, alternately humorous and profound prose.” Kirkus Reviews called it “a smart and unsentimental journey…there is much art here, and much sense, but mostly genial, articulate, and discerning guidance to some obscure places in America and in the mind.”
Read a selection from the book about New Orleans in the Utne Reader.
Under the Dragon
Under the Dragon: California's New Culture
Written with and photographed by Lonny Shavelson; foreword by Andrew Lam
Heyday Books/The Oakland Museum of California
An exhaustively researched account of the profound cultural changes now taking place in California as the state emerges as the nation’s leading “majority of minorities.” A fascinating look at the way individuals are building their own identities from an increasingly diverse pool, whether they are African American Buddhists, Latino Muslims, or a group of Asian-American jazz musicians reinterpreting Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with the aid of instruments from China, Japan, Africa, and the Caribbean.
Selected by The San Francisco Chronicle and the Kiriyama International Literary Prize as one of the outstanding books of the year. Under the Dragon served as the source for “Trading Traditions” – a multimedia exhibition in partnership with sound designer Jim LeBrecht, at The Oakland Museum of California and the California Museum of Sacramento.
See images from Under the Dragon on photographer Lonny Shavelson's website.
Toxic Nation: The Fight to Save Our Communities from Chemical Contamination
Written with Lonny Shavelson
In the small agricultural town of McFarland, California, children were dying from cancer at a rate more than four times the national average. Their parents, mostly farm workers, blamed pesticide exposure. In this hard-hitting examination, Fred Setterberg and Lonny Shavelson uncover an explosive mixture of personal histories; scientific, medical and economic consequences; social upheaval; and potent grassroots organization in McFarland and towns like it across the United States. Toxic Nation is about the struggle of people who have faced the health effects of chemical contamination head-on, and the democratic uprising engendered by that confrontation.
Publishers Weekly stated: "This is a timely account of the powerful grassroots anti-toxics rebellion under way in many communities. The authors found otherwise apolitical people in Amish, Mexican American, African American and other neighborhoods, uniting compassion and grace with realpolitik to raise questions about the still-unproven health effects of some 65,000 synthetic chemicals. This vivid reportage on 'American democracy at its messy best' cries out for national attention."
Fred and Lonny discuss Toxic Nation on NPR’s Tech Nation with Moira Gunn.
Grassroots Philanthropy: Field Notes of a Maverick Grantmaker
Written with Bill Somerville
Set aside the mountains of paper that characterize conventional philanthropy and focus instead on forging enduring partnerships with outstanding individuals. Dare to change the world in imaginative ways that prove deeply satisfying, exciting, and (dare we say it?) fun.
Based on four decades of Bill Somerville's experience as a foundation executive, Grassroots Philanthropy is an unorthodox guide to decisive, hands-on grantmaking. Straightforward, persuasive, and exhilarating, Somerville's courageous and thoughtful approach to grantmaking will energize and motivate foundation and nonprofit leaders alike.
You can read an excerpt from Grassroots Philanthropy on Philanthropic Ventures Foundation's website, as well as read over 25 reviews of the book, which has recently been translated into Chinese, and published in by Beijing Normal University Press.
Travelers' Tales America
Travelers' Tales America: True Stories of Life on the Road
Edited by Fred Setterberg
Walk, sail, drive, paddle, and gallop across this great land with some of its most renowned writers. You'll discover a country you never knew before. Notable authors include: Dave Barry, James Fallows, Jan Morris, Sallie Tisdale, E. Annie Proulx, Calvin Trillin, and Charles Kuralt.
"Setterberg has compiled an armchair traveler's delight of over 100 essays and short excerpts on the human experience in the United States as seen by the contemporary traveler. Charles Kuralt, Andrei Codrescu, Jan Morris, Jonathan Raban, Philip Caputo, and many others write about the Westminster Kennel Club dog show in New York, aloneness in a New Mexican wilderness, diamond hunting in Murfreesboro, TN, and caving in West Virginia. From awe-inspiring natural beauty to overwhelming commercialism, these sometimes humorous, often poignant essays evoke a country and people of variety, individuality, and familiarity." - Library Journal
Review in the LA Times.