Orlando Ortega-Medina discusses and signs "Jerusalem Ablaze"

Brentwood

Orlando Ortega-Medina at DIESEL, A Bookstore in BrentwoodDIESEL, A Bookstore in Brentwood welcomes Orlando Ortega-Medina to the store to discuss his collection of short stories, Jerusalem Ablaze: Stories of Love and Other Obsessions on Thursday, August 31st at 6:30 pm. 

In Ortega-Medina’s debut short story collection, characters are consumed by their fascinations with sex, death, and inescapable fate. Already receiving high acclaim, Jerusalem Ablaze has been shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize of 2017, an annual award given to a writer whose first book explores the LGBT experience, whether in poetry, prose, fiction or non-fiction.

The unnamed Japanese narrator in the opening story, Torture by Roses, takes a job working for millionaire Ikeda Yataro in Tokyo. All he has to do to become Ikeda’s heir is deliver meals and correspondence, but what Ikeda takes from the narrator is far greater. He wants to teach him how to hate, which would, for starters, entail calling off his engagement with his fiancee. The narrator, who is told to ask no questions, is a prisoner of sorts, which makes him akin to other characters throughout the book. In Cactuses, an aspiring writer meets an older, well-known author who is resigned to his inevitable, imminent death, “I just know,” he tells the young man, "that it will happen soon".  In Star Party, a man named Isaac is granted temporary asylum in the United States and can’t leave the country until his case is decided, and in And a Little Child Shall Lead Them, Sadie Hunter, a battered woman, gets no help from her mother or a priest. 

Ortega-Medina’s tales are predominantly somber and often dabble in the macabre. His prose is elegant and potent throughout with these stylish, sincere tales that go to dark, sometimes-uncomfortable places.

Orlando Ortega-Medina was born in California and is of Judeo-Spanish descent via Cuba. He studied English Literature at UCLA and has a Juris Doctor law degree from Southwestern University School of Law. Orlando is now a British citizen and currently lives in London, where he practices US immigration law.

Event date: 
Thursday, August 31, 2017 - 6:30pm to 7:30pm
Event address: 
DIESEL, A Bookstore
225 26th St.
Santa Monica, CA 90402
Jerusalem Ablaze: Stories of Love and Other Obsessions. Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781526202536
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - click to see which location!
Published: Cloud Lodge Books - August 29th, 2017