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Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology (Library of America) [Hardcover]

By David L. Ulin (Editor)
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Item description for Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology (Library of America) by David L. Ulin...

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.

Publishers Description
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."

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Item Specifications...

Pages   1000
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.75" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.5"
Weight:   2.65 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Sep 30, 2002
Publisher   Library of America
ISBN  1931082278  
ISBN13  9781931082273  

Availability  0 units.

More About David L. Ulin

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! A book editor for the Los Angeles Times, David L. Ulin has also written for The Atlantic Monthly, The Nation, The New York Times Book Review, and LA Weekly. He lives in Los Angeles.

David L. Ulin currently resides in Los Angeles, in the state of California.

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Product Categories

1Books > Special Features > New & Used Textbooks > Humanities > English > American Literature
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Classics
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > United States > General
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > Collections & Readers
5Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > History & Criticism > General
6Books > Subjects > Travel > General > Essays & Travelogues

Reviews - What do customers think about Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology (Library of America)?

What is Los Angeles?  Jun 25, 2006
What is Los Angeles? The utopical golden land of new beginnings or the ruinous end of the American dream? It is both, as this anthology will show. A precious book for everyone looking for a comprehensive collection of the manifold ideas and representations Los Angeles has inspired through its history, "Writing Los Angeles" comprises two centuries of great literature. From William Faulkner to Joan Didion, from Nathanael West to James Ellroy, every great author shows a different aspect of the City of Angels: City of noir, city of apocalypse, city of pictures, city of dreams and nigthmare, "autopia", "lost world" and what else?
I found this anthology pretty useful and inspiring. Though not all voices are heard with the same intensity, it comprehends works by novelists, architects, journalists, urbanists. There are American voices and European voices, angry ones and enthusiastic ones. A must-be for every kind of audience.
City of the Angels  Jun 17, 2003
Los Angeles has always meant/will always be/is many things to many people. Some write it off as the City of Pilates-loving, Yoga meditating, Chai Tea Consuming Crack Pots. Well, is that and so much more as exemplified in the mind expanding, colossally comprehensive, edited by David Ulin: "Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology." That so many important writers have deemed Los Angeles as appropriate subject matter, both positive and negative, only supports the notion that the City of the Angels "gets" to everyone who comes in contact with it. Some like Faulkner and Fitzgerald came to Hollywood late in their careers and left disillusioned to say the least while Nathanael West and James M. Cain thrived and wrote some of their best stuff here.
"Writing Los Angeles" is exhaustively researched and some of the expected writers are represented here: Cain, West, Ellroy, Didion but what of Simone De Beauvoir and Umberto Eco? Probably the most important thing Ulin has done is introduce us to SoCal writers we didn't know or of whom we've forgotten: D.J. Waldie or Ruben Martinez, for example.
If nothing else, Ulin has proven that Los Angeles is fertile ground for the creation of writing of the highest order. And for this, we Los Angelenos are forever in his debt.
at long last!  Dec 31, 2002
"definitive" is a an overused adjective... but this volume is indeed just that. ulin's winning (and sometimes surprising) selection of material captures the breadth and depth of a literary milieu artfully and evenhandledly. (ulin must be uniquely well read and/or uniquely familiar with his material - some of his choices, e.g. robert towne's intro to chinatown screenplay, are fun just to consider in a potentially crusty dusty Lirbrary of America anthology). forget the heavy intellectual (and physical!) weight of this tome -- this is no door stop or boat anchor, its a joyous sojourn in the searing sun. brevity, clarity and wit!
A unique and diverse collection  Nov 11, 2002
Compiled and edited by David L. Ulin, Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology is a unique and diverse collection of fiction, poetry, essays, journalism, diaries, and more, contributed by over seventy writers (ranging from William Faulkner, M.F.K. Fisher, and Bertolt Brecht, to Ray Bradbury, Norman Mailer, and Tom Wolfe), and showcasing the "City of Angels". Through varied eyes, the teeming and diverse West Coast metropolis manifests its best and its worst during its eventful history as Writing Los Angeles explores a wide range of issues and events ranging from the post World War I economic boom to recent and nationally televised violence. A very highly recommended compendium of artistic, emotional, severe, gritty, nostalgic, and clear-eyed literary pieces, Writing Los Angeles vividly brings a city and its people to life throughout the generations.

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