You'll Like it Here

You'll Like it Here

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By Ashton Politanoff

ISBN: 9781628974034

Publication Date: 9/6/2022


You'll Like it Here is a haunting bricolage, excavating the forgotten history of early 1900’s Redondo Beach through old news clippings, advertisements, recipes, and other ephemera that speak to the ills of male stoicism, industrialization, capitalism, and environmental displacement. Ashton used digital archives from the Redondo Reflex and other city-adjacent newspapers as the basis for his surrealist account, masterfully tracing this larger shift away from coastal maritime repose in the wake of the Spanish Flu, the Great Depression, and World War II through momentary fragments that feel as real and palpable as they do transient, mythological, and strangely reminiscent of our current times.

Formally, You'll Like it Here works in conversation with Michael Ondaatje’s The Collected Works of Billy the Kid, Maggie Nelson’s Bluets, Amina Cain’s Indelicacy, and Kathryn Scanlan’s Aug 9 Fog. The novel also embraces a multi-register, journalistic storytelling that questions the tenuous line between objectivity and subjectivity in documenting the unreliability of history—both personal and collective—brilliantly balancing voids of loss, absence, and disappearance with moments of natural transcendence and miraculous phenomena.


"You’ll Like It Here asks the reader to consider what is newsworthy in American life. The book’s construction—Politanoff’s curation and modification of purported fact—comes to complicate the very idea of “the news” itself, serving as a sort of cracked mirror. The tremendous narrative power of headlines to shape sentiment is not unlike the persuasive influence a novelist wields over his readers. With its illusion of comprehensiveness, its pleasing sequence of causes and effects, the news has played no small part in the establishment of America as both an idea and a seductive fantasy. Like a fiction, the West, too, is an experiment in enforced continuity. Politanoff’s book rediscovers our present anxieties—epidemics, environmental catastrophes, state violence—in an eerily recognizable historical account. A disquieting sensation emerges that we’ve somehow been here before—or, worse, that we’ve never really left. Here change is mimicked, when it can’t be deferred. Call it the eternal recurrence of California." —The Nation

"If Ashton Politanoff’s debut book You’ll Like It Here (Dalkey Archives) conjures a seaside ghost house, the rule lines that exist below the titles of its sundry fictions show up as thresholds—you enter each piece in a state of unknowing; upon encountering the content, you feel as if you have had the pleasure of being haunted" BOMB 

"A fascinating smudging of the notions of the novel ..You’ll Like It Here helps teach us how to be attuned to whatever wonder might break our daily tides."California Review of Books

"You’ll Like it Here is a worthy, unconventional entry into the genre of elegy." Full Stop

Biographical Information

Ashton Politanoff’s writing has appeared frequently in NOON, as well as New York Tyrant, Conjunctions, Egress, and other print and digital journals. Several of his stories have been anthologized, and he is a full-time English Instructor at Cypress College.