California Calling is a lyrical self-interrogation of obsession, emigration, and identity. Natalie Singer’s story opens in a courtroom on a witness stand, where she’s forced to testify in a family breakup that changes the course of her life. At sixteen Natalie emigrates from Montreal and the secrets it holds to the golden promise of the California Bay Area, just as her Jewish ancestors fled Russia and went west for a new life. Through uneasy rituals of high school pep rallies and college sex in boats and the backs of pickups, to a summer tracing a serial killer through the heart of Gold Country, to an eventual journalism career in San Francisco and the deserts of Palm Springs, Natalie aches to forge an American identity. At once an intimately unflinching memoir and a probing examination of the family and cultural myths that shape us, California Calling calls upon history, reportage, witness interrogation tactics, music and pop culture, and the iconography of the West to explore whether we can cure loneliness through landscape. Ultimately, California Calling is a search for a state of belonging.
- LIDIA YUKNAVITCH This book split my heart open and reminded me how much immigrants matter, how much we all carry the traces of other worlds.
- The Chronology of Water
- CLAIRE DEDERER I couldn’t stop reading California Calling—I consumed it in one gorgeous gulp. This book shimmers like a California dream.
- Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning
- THEO PAULINE NESTOR Natalie Singer is an important writer we’ll be sure to be hearing from for years to come
- Writing is My Drink
- REBECCA BROWN Natalie Singer’s wonderful debut is about the myths we tell ourselves about ourselves as nations and individuals, and what we do when we learn about the truth beneath those myths. Singer situates California Calling within the geographic, literary and pop culture of the American West but the story she tells will ring true to anyone who is or knows a daughter, a woman, an immigrant.
- Gifts of the Body
Natalie Singer has been published in a number of journals, magazines and newspapers, including Literary Mama, the Washington Post, the Seattle Times, ParentMap, Alligator Juniper, and Full Grown People. Her work is included in the anthology Love & Profanity: A Collection of True, Tortured, Wild, Hilarious, Concise, and Intense Tales of Teenage Life published by Switch Press. She won the 2013 Pacific Northwest Writers Association nonfiction award, and was a finalist for the 2016 Red Hen Press and Autumn House Press nonfiction awards. She has taught writing at a state psychiatric facility for youth and at a juvenile detention center, and she has worked as a newspaper reporter and magazine editor. As a writer-in-residence at On the Boards, a contemporary performing arts collective in Seattle, her responses to performances have created a bridge of dialogue between artists and the community. Natalie earned her MFA in creative writing and poetics from the University of Washington. She was born in Montreal, lives in Seattle, and dreams of California.
- Hawthorne Books
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