is a profound and poetic book. It is a meditation not only on the strange and marvelous nature of Los Angeles but also on the nature of history, memory, and community itself. This is nonfiction writing at its very best."
--Susan Orlean, staff writer for the New Yorker
and author of seven books, including the New York Times
bestseller The Orchid Thief
will cement David Ulin's already well-deserved reputation as a leading literary critic. Like a good, long walk, his book is an exercise in patience, observation, and reflection. At the end of the journey, you feel you've been someplace--and you feel illuminated and enlightened."
--Hï¿½ctor Tobar, author of the New York Times
bestseller Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free
"An inspiring challenge to engage with urban life, Sidewalking
raises unprejudiced questions about city and 'city'--the built environment and the individual's own experience of it. L.A.'s famous sprawl and very human neighborhoods, its uneasy meld of public and private spaces, its legendary gridlock, its organic and artificial environments, all feature in what is no less than the teasing out of a new and nuanced interpretation of the nature of 'urbanity' itself."
--Janet Fitch, author of Paint It Black
and White Oleander
"I see this book as a benign remake of [the movie] Falling Down
. In this version, Michael Douglas, after abandoning his car, has the good fortune to bump into David Ulin, who not only offers to accompany him on his journey home but also suggests a few extensive detours. In the course of their walking-talk tour, Douglas learns that he has the good fortune to reside in a fascinating city and goes on to live a fulfilled--and inquiring--life."
--Geoff Dyer, author of numerous books, including But Beautiful,
winner of the Somerset Maugham Prize
"There are so many lines in this book I'd like to have at my fingertips, so many rational, logical, wholly original arguments for why Los Angeles is deeper and more soulful than it can seem, that I almost wish I could keep it in my pocket for whenever an outsider coughs up the usual hoary insults. As it is, Sidewalking
has taken up welcome and necessary residence in my mind. And, to be precise, David Ulin doesn't argue on behalf of his adopted city. He observes, he challenges, he shows his abiding and complicated love for the place. Which is only right, since when it comes to L.A.'s status as the most surprising and mysterious city in America, there is no argument." --Meghan Daum, author of The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion