Elsewhere, California by Dana Johnson

Elsewhere, California

By Dana Johnson

  • Publication Date: 2012-06-01
  • Genre: Literary

Book Synopsis

We first met Avery in two of the stories featured in Dana Johnson’s award–winning collection Break Any Woman Down. As a young girl, she and her family escape the violent streets of Los Angeles to a more gentrified existence in suburban West Covina. This average life, filled with school, trips to 7–Eleven to gawk at Tiger Beat magazine, and family outings to Dodger Stadium, is soon interrupted by a past she cannot escape, personified in the guise of her violent cousin Keith.

When Keith moves in with her family, he triggers a series of events that will follow Avery throughout her life: to her studies at USC, to her burgeoning career as a painter and artist, and into her relationship with a wealthy Italian who sequesters her in his glass–walled house in the Hollywood Hills. The past will intrude upon Avery’s first gallery show, proving her mother’s adage: Every goodbye aint gone. The dual–narrative of Elsewhere, California illustrates the complicated history of African Americans across the rolling basin of Los Angeles.

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Latest User Reviews

  • Elsewhere California

    By Logan Martin, PC
    The author's depiction of the characters drew me into the story from the beginning. Her story telling is both insightful and revealing, weaving together the two struggles between where one comes from and where one is determined to go beautifully. I found the book to be a very good read.