Each of Michael Nava's last three novels has won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Mystery, and if his new book doesn't win as well, I'll eat this announcement. The new book, The Death of Friends (Putnam's, 1996) is his best yet-it's both an excellent mystery story and a mesmerizing look into the apocalyptic post-Rodney King Los Angeles, its surface glamour, its seedy underbelly. Nava may well have written the best book about L.A. since Mike Davis' City of Quartz and he's here at Small Press Traffic giving his first writing workshop ever.
About this workshop, Michael Nava says, "Writing is both art and craft. Since art arises from individual consciousness, writing as art cannot be taught but writing as craft can. A craft consists of a set of skills which, once understood and practiced, can be turned to the writer's artistic purposes. These skills include such concrete elements of fiction as characterization, description, dialogue, plot and point of view, as well as such intangible elements as getting started, finding your voice and thinking through the logic of a narrative. We will, by lectures, readings, discussion and writing exercises, explore the craft of fiction."