Heather Scott Partington

Heather Scott Partington is a writer, teacher, and book critic. She is the winner of an emerging critic fellowship from the National Book Critics Circle and the Critic-in-Residence for UC Riverside’s Palm Desert MFA. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times Book ReviewThe Washington PostUSA TodayThe Los Angeles Times, and The Los Angeles Review of Books, among other publications. She lives in Elk Grove, California, with her husband and two kids. 

Alta Asks Live: Mary Melton

Can a mom forge a deeper connection with her autistic son — and a divided country — on a 15-day journey along Route 66? Mary Melton, who did just that, joins Alta Asks Live on Wednesday, July 15 at 12:30 p.m. PST. 

Alex Espinoza examines his experiences with anonymous sexual acts within a broad historical and cultural context.

Talking with Alex Espinoza

The author of Cruising writes about how sexual encounters with male strangers provided him with “solace and acceptance.”

Three Questions with Brian Evenson

The author discusses his influences, his work, and the new stories that will emerge from this historic moment in time.

Three Questions with Lawrence Wright

The acclaimed writer considers the 1918 flu, recommends sci-fi authors, and discusses his novel The End of October.

Three Questions with Edan Lepucki

The California author discusses her recent work, favorite sci-fi books, and where the pandemic will take fiction.

Three Questions with Katie M. Flynn

The Companions author discusses her new novel, favorite science-fiction titles, and what it’s like to write during a pandemic.

Alta Asks Live: Sara Borjas

Writer, poet, and educator Sara Borjas will join Alta Asks Live to discuss her debut poetry collection, how the current global movements around racism and oppression are represented in the arts and why that's important, and so much more.

Alta Asks Live: Alex Espinoza

Author Alex Espinoza will join Alta Asks Live to discuss the connections and inspiration found at a 50-year-old California writers community, his historical look at the radical pastime of cruising, and so much more. 

David L. Ulin says that “science fiction grows out of its moment, and out of the writer’s engaged response to those times.”

Talking with David L. Ulin

Alta’s books editor discusses how science fiction is “responsive,” the influence of music on his writing, and the emerging body of pandemic and quarantine literature.

Novelist Katie M. Flynn says she’s become “deeply skeptical of the tremendous influence tech companies have on our lives.”

Talking with Katie M. Flynn

Sci-fi novel The Companions is set in a post-pandemic California where survivors are in quarantine and the consciousnesses of the deceased are the intellectual property of a tech company.

Tod Goldberg, author of Gangster Nation, is also a podcaster and a professor. He draws inspiration from “bingeing TV and reading poetry, [which] do the same thing to my brain,” he says.

Talking with Tod Goldberg

The Gangsterland series examines identity and the moral consequences of violence.

Alta Asks Live: David L. Ulin

Books Editor David L. Ulin joins Alta Asks Live to discuss the groundbreaking work of author Philip K. Dick, how the sci-fi genre is especially timely right now, and the challenges Alta writers faced while trying to report during a nationwide shelter-in-place.

The central characters of Rishi Reddi’s Passage West are people who leave “what is near and familiar and travel—either psychologically, geographically, or socioeconomically—far from where they started.”

Talking with Rishi Reddi

The first-time novelist explores ideas of identity and citizenship among South Asian immigrants in California’s Imperial Valley of the early 20th century.

Edan Lepucki says that her work asks a central question: “How can we truly know another person?”

Talking with Edan Lepucki

Sixty essays tackle a question of identity: Who were our mothers before they became mothers?

Alta Asks Live: Katie M. Flynn

The Companions author Katie M. Flynn joins Alta Asks Live and Heather Scott Partington on Wednesday, June 24 at 12:30 p.m. PST to talk about what inspired her to write her debut novel about a pandemic, and what comes next for her — and for the rest of us.

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