Fiction. Latino/Latina Studies. ANYWHERE BUT L.A. ranges from contemporary narratives to more traditional cuentos de fantasma, giving us a vivid and honest portrait of modern Latinos in search of their place in the world. Funny yet poignant, Olivas's characters frequently amuse, sometimes disturb, and often remind us of our own vulnerability. People who at first seem ordinary and uncomplicated reveal their deepest secrets and anxieties related to a variety of issues, such as race, gender, sexual orientation, and the human condition in general. We glimpse into the complex emotions and attitudes of characters who are trying to cope with the mysteries of life. These stories ring with humor, insight, and power, and like the cities they describe, they shift and slide and refuse to be pinned down as they drive the reader to the very core of human existence through the colorful mural of a thriving Latino community.