There’s a line in one of the short stories in the collection, “One-Night Stand,” where a young stand-up comic says, “L.A. isn’t a city; it’s a state.”
But this city offers so much of the best and even the worst.
Whenever I’m fortunate enough to travel this country and speak with others, I find that people think of Los Angeles as entertaining, thrilling even. I’ve been asked about movie stars, the Walk of Fame, the beach, and the Hollywood sign, but what has always appealed to me most is the day-to-day life of Angelenos. Not the ocean, not the actors, but the day-to-day pain of its citizens. The graffiti, the pigeons; the pink slips, the traffic. I tried to make the stories as diverse as the setting itself. I believe everyone has a story to share, and it was my job to do just that. I also wanted to write a throwback collection. Lately, I’ve found that so many collections are written like novels–the same character appears in the stories; it takes place on the same day, etc. I wanted to write a collection that was eclectic–that a reader could start on the fifth story or the eighth, and it wouldn’t matter.
I hope that readers will relate to the sentiments expressed in this book. I think loss is the greatest bond we possess as humans. There isn’t a single person who hasn’t experienced it in some fashion. We’ve all lost something dear to us; something profound. If a reader comes away from Loss Angeles feeling more connected to others and him or herself, I’ll have done my job.
Mathieu Cailler is a writer of prose and poetry. His work has been widely published in national and international literary journals. Before becoming a full-time writer, Cailler was an elementary school teacher in inner-city Los Angeles. “I came to writing in a rather circuitous way. I always penned jokes for stand-up comedy appearances but later realized it wasn’t just comedy that applealed to me, but all writing.” A graduate of Vermont College of Fine Arts, Cailler was awarded the Short Story America Prize for Short Fiction and a Shakespeare Award for Poetry. His chapbook, Clotheslines, was recently published by Red Bird Press. LOSS ANGELES is Cailler’s first full-length book.
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