Publishers Weekly (starred review): Elsewhere, California

Avery is nine when her family escapes L.A.’s gang violence and moves to the suburbs, becoming the only black people in the neighborhood. Feeling alienated, but impressionable, Avery adjusts by way of Tiger Beat, Shaun Cassidy collages, and a mouthy best friend. At 40, Avery has become a visual artist, her rich and sensual Italian boyfriend clearly instrumental in helping her find the self-acceptance that eluded her for so long. This wildly vivid novel unfolds…read more


Los Angeles Times  Review: Finding Oneself in ‘Elsewhere, California’  June 10, 2012

When hasn’t California been a cure? Either a plan B or C — or the “fix.” Fit within that reinvention story, Los Angeles in particular often figures as the white-hot destination: the place where the greatest transformation might take place. Though that gamble may bestow great dividends, too many discover that the odds more likely suggest the delivery of punishing, irrecoverable loss.  Dana Johnson’s first novel, “Elsewhere, California,” explores the space between… read more


Dana Johnson discusses Elsewhere, California on the KTLA Morning News, June 21, 2012

Please click image

Dana Johnson is interviewed on Bibliocracy Radio with Andrew Tonkovich, KPFK 90.7, June 27th, 2012  Listen here


Necessary Fiction Review by Michelle Bailat-Jones, July 9, 2012

“Elsewhere, California” is definitely a book that looks carefully at some of the fundamental tensions between America’s different cultures—African American, white American, Hispanic, immigrant culture. Indeed, one of the novel’s main preoccupations is…read more


Los Angeles Review of Books, May 25, 2015

Read Dana Johnson’s evocative and powerful review of Tracy K. Smith’s memoir “Ordinary Light” in the Los Angeles Review of Books.