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Writing Los Angeles : A Literary Anthology (Hardcover)

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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."
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.
Number of Pages: 880
Genre: Literary Collections
Series Title: Library of America
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Penguin Group USA
Language: English
Street Date: September 1, 2002
TCIN: 12369839
UPC: 9781931082273
Item Number (DPCI): 247-04-5427
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