Writing Los Angeles

Writing Los Angeles

A Literary Anthology

Book - 2002
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Penguin Putnam
For writers Los Angeles has always been a place of paradisal promise and apocalyptic undercurrents. Simone de Beauvoir saw a kaleidoscopic “hall of mirrors,” Aldous Huxley a “city of dreadful joy.” Where Jack Kerouac found a “huge desert encampment,” David Thompson imagined “Marilyn Monroe, fifty miles long, lying on her side, half-buried on a ridge of crumbling rock.”

In Writing Los Angeles, The Library of America presents a glittering panorama of the city, encompassing fiction, poetry, essays, journalism, and diaries by over seventy writers. This revelatory anthology brings to life the entrancing surfaces and unsettling contradictions of the City of Angels, from Raymond Chandler’s evocation of the murderous moods fed by the Santa Ana winds to John Gregory Dunne’s affectionate tribute to “the deceptive perspectives of the pale subtropical light.”

Here are fascinating strata of Los Angeles’s cultural and social history, from the oil boom of the 1920s to the graffiti artists of the 1980s, from flamboyant evangelist Aimee Semple MacPherson to surf music genius Brian Wilson, from the German émigré intellectuals chronicled by Salka Viertel to the hard-bitten homicide cops tracked by James Ellroy. Here are its fragile ecosystems, its architectural splendors, and its social chasms, in the words of writers as various as M.F.K. Fisher, William Faulkner, Bertolt Brecht, Evelyn Waugh, Octavio Paz, Joan Didion, Walter Mosley, and Mona Simpson.

Art Pepper discovers Central Avenue in the heyday of the 1940s jazz scene; Charles Mingus describes an early encounter with the builder of the Watts Towers; screenwriter Robert Towne reflects on the origins of Chinatown; John McPhee powerfully conveys the devastation of Los Angeles mudslides; David Hockney teaches himself how to drive in record time; and Pico Iyer finds at Los Angeles International Airport “as clear an image as exists today of the world we are about to enter.”

Writing Los Angeles is an incomparable literary tour guide to a city of shifting identities and endless surprises.

Baker & Taylor
Collects short fictional works and excerpts, poetry, essays, journalism, and diary entries on the City of Light as contributed by top authors, in a volume that considers such topics as the city's history, culture, and architecture.

Book News
Having previously compiled an anthology of contemporary poetry and prose about the southern California megalopolis, Ulin here gathers of it in several genres, in whole or excerpted, from a range of periods and mostly by writers who did not live there. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Blackwell North Amer
In Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology, The Library of America presents a panorama in fiction, poetry essays, journalism, and diaries by more than seventy writers. Beginning with Helen Hunt Jackson's romantic portrayal of the city's early days, the anthology covers a century's worth of Los Angeles writing. It brings to life the entrancing surfaces and unsettling contradictions of the City of Angels, from Raymond Chandler's evocation of murderous moods fed by the Santa Ana winds to John Gregory Dunne's affectionate tribute to "the deceptive perspectives of the pale subtropical light."
Here are strata of Los Angeles history from the 1920s oil boom and the 1940s Zoot Suit Riots to 1950s beat culture and 1980s graffiti art, from flamboyant evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson to surf music genius Brian Wilson. The pleasures and discontents of the Hollywood movie colony are parsed by such observers as Nathanael West, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Christopher Isherwood.
Fragile ecosystems, architectural splendors, and social chasms are examined by writers as various as M.F.K. Fisher, William Faulkner, Bertolt Brecht, Evelyn Waugh, Octavio Paz, Joan Didion, Ray Bradbury, Charles Bukowski, Walter Mosley, Mona Simpson, and Charles Mingus. Art Pepper discovers the Central Avenue jazz scene of the 1940s; Salka Viertel recalls her circle of German emigre intellectuals; Garrett Hongo navigates the complexities of the city's racial patchwork; Tom Wolfe celebrates the subculture of custom car aficionados; John McPhee investigates the devastation of Los Angeles mudslides; screenwriter Robert Towne reflects on Chinatown's origin; David Hockney teaches himself to drive; James Ellroy delineates the world of hard-bitten homicide cops; Pico Iyer finds at LAX "as clear an image as exists today of the world we are about to enter."

Baker
& Taylor

Collects short fictional works and excerpts, poetry, essays, journalism, and diary entries on the City of Light as contributed by top authors, in a volume that considers such topics as the city's history, culture, police force, ecosystems, and architecture. 20,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Library of America, c2002
ISBN: 9781931082273
1931082278
Characteristics: xix, 880 p. : ill. ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Ulin, David L.

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