Eladatl: A History of the East Los Angeles Dirigible Air Transport Lines (Paperback)

Eladatl: A History of the East Los Angeles Dirigible Air Transport Lines By Sesshu Foster, Arturo Ernesto Romo Cover Image

Eladatl: A History of the East Los Angeles Dirigible Air Transport Lines (Paperback)


Email or call for price

A breathtaking free fall into the long-buried (and fictional) history of a utopian era in American lighter-than-air travel, as told by its death-defying, aero-acrobatic heroes.

"Foster and Romo's 'real fake dream' of the future-past history of the East Los Angeles Dirigible Air Transport Lines is a superb and loving phantasmagoria that gobbles up real histories for breakfast and spits out the seeds."--Jonathan Lethem, author of Motherless Brooklyn

In the early years of the twentieth-century, the use of airships known as dirigibles--some as large as one thousand feet long--was being promulgated in Southern California by a semi-clandestine lighter-than-air movement. Groups like the East LA Balloon Club and the Bessie Coleman Aero Club were hard at work to revolutionize travel, with an aim to literally lift oppressed people out of racism and poverty.

ELADATL tells the story of this little-known period of American air travel in a series of overlapping narratives told by key figures, accompanied by a number of historic photographs and recently discovered artifacts, with appendices provided to fill in the missing links. The story of the rise and fall of this ill-fated airship movement investigates its long-buried history, replete with heroes, villains, and moments of astonishing derring-do and terrifying disaster.

Written and presented as an "actual history of a fictional company," this surrealist, experimental novel is a tour de force of politicized fantastic fiction, a work of hybrid art-making distilled into a truly original literary form. Developed over a ten-year period of collaborations, community interventions, and staged performances, ELADATL is a furiously hilarious send-up of academic histories, mainstream narratives, and any traditional notions of the time-space continuum.

"Poet Foster (Atomik Aztex) and artist Romo deliver a maddeningly accomplished inquiry into the secret history of East Los Angeles. . . . This is as much fun to read as it must have been to make."--Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"One of the wildest, most creative and deeply-cutting novels I've read in years, a genuine piece of newness in both content and form. To wade through this surreal narrative archeology is to experience, in the finest sense, literature as fever dream."--Omar El Akkad, author of American War: A Novel

"Visionary, hilarious, anarchic, this assemblage of breakneck dialog, blisteringly brilliant film criticism, bureaucratic documents, revolutionary chatter, mass transit, and fake dreams of the secret police, is the counterfactual novel to beat all counterfactual novels."--Mark Doten, author of Trump Sky Alpha

"Hilarious and prophetic and profound, truer than truth, and realer than all realities currently available for purchase, ELADATL is strong medicine against the erasures of history, a mega-vitamin for struggles yet to come. This book combats despair."--Ben Ehrenreich, author of Desert Notebooks: A Road Map for the End of Time

Sesshu Foster taught composition and literature in East L.A. for over 20 years, and at the University of Iowa, the California Institute for the Arts, and the University of California, Santa Cruz. His work is published in The Oxford Anthology of Modern American Poetry, Language for a New Century: Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond, and State of the Union: 50 Political Poems. His most recent novel is Eladatl: A History of the East Los Angeles Dirigible Air Transport Lines with Arturo Ernesto Romo, published by City Lights. His previous books include the novel Atomik Aztex and the poetry collection World Ball Notebook, both with City Lights, as well as City of the Future and City Terrace Field Manual. A celebrated writer, his literary awards are numerous: Sesshu was awarded the American Book Award and the Asian American Literary Award in Poetry for World Ball Notebook; the Believer Book Award for Atomik Aztex; an American Book Award for Invocation LA: Urban Multicultural Poetry; and finalist for the PEN Center West Poetry Prize, as well as the Paterson Poetry Prize, for City Terrace Field Manual. Sesshu is based in Alhambra, CA.Arturo Ernesto Romo-Santillano was born in Los Angeles, California in 1980. His artwork, mostly collaborative mixed media works but also drawing, has been circulated internationally. Fluency, agency and folly are central themes in his practice; he sees his artwork as a companion multiplier, folding folds, netting nets. His art-making is pushed through explorations on the streets of East and North East Los Angeles, which feed into an ongoing series of collaborations with writer Sesshu Foster. He lives in Alhambra, CA.
Product Details ISBN: 9780872867703
ISBN-10: 0872867706
Publisher: City Lights Books
Publication Date: April 6th, 2021
Pages: 328
Language: English