The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of Los Angeles

Front Cover
Kevin R. McNamara
Cambridge University Press, May 6, 2010 - Literary Criticism
Los Angeles has a tantalizing hold on the American imagination. Its self-magnifying myths encompass Hollywood glamour, Arcadian landscapes, and endless summer, but also the apocalyptic undertow of riots, environmental depredation, and natural disaster. This Companion traces the evolution of Los Angeles as the most public staging of the American Dream - and American nightmares. The expert contributors make exciting, innovative connections among the authors and texts inspired by the city, covering the early Spanish settlers, African American writers, the British and German expatriates of the 1930s and 1940s, Latino, and Asian LA literature. The genres discussed include crime novels, science fiction, Hollywood novels, literary responses to urban rebellion, the poetry scene, nature writing, and the most influential non-fiction accounts of the region. Diverse, vibrant, and challenging as the city itself, this Companion is the definitive guide to LA in literature.
 

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Contents

landmarks
1
1 The literature of the Californios
13
2 The Anglo invention of Los Angeles
23
3 LA fiction through midcentury
35
4 British expatriates and German exiles in 1930s1940s Los Angeles
49
suburban Eden and the fall into history
59
6 Los Angeles and the AfricanAmerican literary imagination
75
AsianAmerican and Latino literature
87
10 Los Angeles science fiction futures
123
11 Hollywood fictions
135
12 The Southland on screen
145
13 Scenes and movements in Southern California poetry
157
Reimagining nature in Los Angeles
167
15 Essaying Los Angeles
177
Guide to further reading
191
Index
197

8 The literature of urban rebellion
101
9 City of sleuths
111

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About the author (2010)

Kevin R. McNamara is Associate Professor of Literature at the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

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