The Misread City: New Literary Los Angeles

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Scott Timberg, Dana Gioia
Red Hen Press, 2003 - Fiction - 286 pages
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This new and necessary book ? a collection of author profiles, literary journalism, and speculative pieces about the Southland?s writing and publishing scene ? aims to capture the Southern California of here and now. We want to get at the Los Angeles that came after the gumshoes, the wisecracking Englishmen, after the Boosters, the Beats, and the boozers, after the despairing heroines of Joan Didion and the coked-up rich kids of Bret Easton Ellis. What is literary Los Angeles about now? Do these old templates survive, the way Hawthorne?s Puritans still echo through the fiction of New England and Cooper?s frontiersmen still stalk the literature of the mountain West? Without ignoring the city?s rich past, we have tried to focus on the present-living writers active in the final decade of the last century and the first few years of the new one. One guiding conviction is that the literary arts have taken their own shape in Southern California; from its poetry to its pulp fiction, a shape that often baffles its Eastern and British visitorsContributors include: Brendan Bernhard, Wanda Coleman, Jenny Factor, David Fine, Kate Gale, Lynell George, Peter Gilstrap, Laurence Goldstein, Pico Iyer, Ken Kelley, David Kipen, Ron Koertge, Suzanne Lummis, Susan Moffat, John Powers, David St. John, Sara Scribner, Paul Skenazy, Timothy Steele, Ariel Swartley, David L. Ulin, Amy Uyematsu, Gina Valdes, Marcos M. Villatoro, Charles Harper Webb, Chryss Yost.

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About the author (2003)

Scott Timberg, a Palo Alto native, made the mistake of spending most of his first twenty-eight years on the East Coast. A graduate of Wesleyan University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he worked for five years as an editor and writer for New Times Los Angeles. He currently covers the arts and culture for the Los Angeles Times.

Dana Gioia was born in Los Angeles in 1950. He received his B.A. and M.B.A. degrees from Stanford University. He also has an M.A. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University. For fifteen years, he worked as a business executive in New York before quitting in 1992 to write full-time. He has published three collections of poetryDaily Horoscope (Graywolf, 1986), The Gods of Winter (Graywolf, 1991), and Interrogations at Noon (Graywolf, 2001), which won the American Book Award. He has also written an opera libretto, Nosferatu (Graywolf, 2001). The first editions of Can Poetry Matter? (Graywolf, 1992) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. A prolific essayist, reviewer, and translator, Gioia has also published nine anthologies of poetry and fiction. Dana Gioia was appointed Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts in February 2003.

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