FROM Eric Alan
Purging a House of Too Many Possessions Eric Alan and Rhonda Woo seem like your typical Los Angeles couple. Eric is a creative director and Rhonda is a fine artist. They have three daughters and live in West LA. But ten years ago they joined 31 other families to be part of a UCLA anthropological study that looked at middle class families and their material goods. Researchers came to their house and observed them as they went about their daily lives. Along the way, says Eric, something happened: They realized that in the hurly-burly of raising three young children, they had become simply inundated with stuff—especially toys. Two "before" shots from Eric and Rhonda's home, photos by J Arnold and CELF As a result of the study Eric and Rhonda decided they needed to change the way they lived. They brought in the architect Neil Denari to expand their home. As their house transformed into a sculptural, light and airy space it gave them another perspective on what they owned and they decided to get rid of a lot of their possessions. Rhonda started holding yard sales, and out went furniture, tchotchkes, and children's things. Now Eric and Rhonda's pristine home features mostly bare walls and few choice pieces of furniture and objects. They talk about the impact this change has had on their lives—and their family. You can find out more about the study they were part of in a book published by UCLA Center on the Everyday Lives of Families called Life at Home in the 21st Century . (It's currently sold out at Amazon, but copies are available through UNM Press .) In the newly streamlined kitchen, photo by Neil Denari
Morgan Parker: There Are More Beautiful Things than Beyoncé Morgan Parker says that the poems in her book There Are Things More Beautiful than Beyoncé take a stand against the clichés of the dominant culture.
Gov. Jerry Brown: California and China will fight climate change together President Donald Trump reportedly wants the U.S. to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, and he’s expected to announce a decision soon. California Governor Jerry Brown heads to China to strengthen climate and clean energy ties.
George Saunders: Lincoln in the Bardo (Part I) Lincoln in the Bardo dramatizes a grieving President Lincoln as he visits the grave of his beloved son Willie, who died at age eleven. In the novel, the buried dead believe they're not dead -- "they're sick and refer to their coffins as "sick boxes."