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Arizona, California authors read at Peregrine

Bruce Ferber

Bruce Ferber

On Saturday, April 19, Peregrine Book Company held a reading and panel themed around "place," more specifically, California and Arizona, featuring authors Bruce Ferber, Michaela Carter, Jim Natal and David Kukoff.

Ferber, who has written for television shows like "Bosom Buddies" and "Growing Pains" and was the executive producer and showrunner for "Home Improvement," read from his book called "Cascade Falls."

"It's about the failed promise of the American Dream," Ferber said. "What does the American Dream mean in this day and age as opposed to when I was growing up and how hard it is for people to attain that dream?"

Ferber said when people have a wife and two kids, but they're stuck working to pay the rent, they're not living a dream at all and just trying to pay the mortgage and support their family. He said he has seen a lot of people try to be successful and not be able to do so. Rather, they found themselves in miserable situations. Ferber said he read an article that said 80 percent of Americans hate what they do for a living.

Ferber stated that he hoped those at the reading and panel could relate to the story and the book's message.

"The message of the book is that no matter how much you have given up, you have to hold on to a little piece of that dream or else life isn't worth living," he said.

Carter read from her book "Further out than You Thought," which is set in Los Angeles during the 1992 Riots and said she was in Los Angeles during them. She said her book focuses around three friends on the edges of society and based on people she knew at the time.

She said the theme about "Place," the aforementioned two states and the American dream is found throughout all of their books.

"There's a dissembling of that dream and I hope we spark some discussions on it," Carter said.

Natal read from three of his poetry collections, stating that there is some interaction going in the poems with the perspective of either being in Prescott and writing about California or being in California and writing about Arizona.

He said there is an interesting "yin-yang" between California and Arizona where they play off each other.

"Sometimes in a positive way, sometimes in a negative way," Natal said. "I think that's kind of what happens with these states."

Kukoff's book was titled "Children of the Canyon," loosely based on his experiences of growing up in 1970s Los Angeles and knowing a lot of kids growing up in the counterculture. He said after a while, he started bumping into them and realizing that something had failed.

Kukoff said the book focused on what Los Angeles was like in the 1970s, freezing the moment in time, as well as understanding how the period in the counterculture informs much of the culture today

"The election of Reagan was kind of a response to the counterculture, almost a way of saying 'put the adults back in charge,'" Kukoff said. "It was a pivotal period where the country went from 'we're all in this together' to 'I'm getting mine.'"

Follow Jason on Twitter @PrescottWheels.

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