Angel, Jodi 1971–
Angel, Jodi 1971–
PERSONAL: Born 1971. Education: University of California, Davis, M.F.A.
CAREER: Writer. University of California, Davis, guest lecturer in fiction writing.
The History of Vegas: Stories, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Jodi Angel's short stories in The History of Vegas, are typically narrated by adolescents living bleak lives. Facing such difficulties as violence, dysfunctional families, and dissatisfaction with relationships and school, the young characters typically engage in casual sex and drug use while gradually confronting the problems in their lives.
The bleakness in Angel's stories has been consistently noted by reviewers. Tiffany Lee-Youngren, writing in the San Diego Union-Tribune, observed that Angel's tales are "each and every one, brutal kicks to the gut, harsh and voyeuristic reminders that the world is a messed-up and dangerous place where even the absolutions of youth offer little sanctuary." Reviewers for Publishers Weekly and Kirkus concentrated as well on the gritty realism in the stories, the Publishers Weekly reviewer concluding that Angel "is best when she reveals the disappointments her characters are in for, but can only half see."
In addition, most reviewers praised Angel's skillful use of language, in both narrative and dialogue. As Lee-Youngren noted, "Her creative plots and sharp handle on adolescent diction bring as much pleasure to such dire reading as can be hoped for, or expected."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, May 15, 2005, review of The History of Vegas: Stories, p. 553.
Publishers Weekly, May 30, 2005, review of The History of Vegas, p. 38.
Sacramento News and Review, July 28, 2005, Alex Baca, "Just a Phase," interview with Jodi Angel.
San Diego Union-Tribune, August 7, 2005, Tiffany Lee-Youngren, review of The History of Vegas.
Jodi Angel Home Page, http://www.jodiangel.com (October 20, 2005).