THURSDAY, JANUARY 10 AT 7PM
dear los angeles
BY david kipen
in conversation with joe donnelly
The City of Angels has played a distinct role in the hearts, minds, and imaginations of millions of people, who see it as the ultimate symbol of the American Dream. David Kipen, a cultural historian and avid scholar of Los Angeles, has scoured libraries, archives, and private estates to assemble a kaleidoscopic view of a truly unique city.
From the Spanish missionary expeditions in the early 1500s to the Golden Age of Hollywood to the strange new world of social media, this collection is a slice of life in L.A. through the years. The pieces are arranged by date—January 1st to December 31st—featuring selections from different decades and centuries. What emerges is a vivid tapestry of insights, personal discoveries, and wry observations that together distill the essence of the city.
As sprawling and magical as the city itself, Dear Los Angeles is a fascinating, must-have collection for everyone in, from, or touched by Southern California.
With excerpts from the writing of Ray Bradbury • Edgar Rice Burroughs • Octavia E. Butler • Italo Calvino • Winston Churchill • Noël Coward • Simone De Beauvoir • James Dean • T. S. Eliot • William Faulkner • Lawrence Ferlinghetti • Richard Feynman • F. Scott Fitzgerald • Allen Ginsberg • Dashiell Hammett • Charlton Heston • Zora Neale Hurston • Christopher Isherwood • John Lennon • H. L. Mencken • Anaïs Nin • Sylvia Plath • Ronald Reagan • Joan Rivers • James Thurber • Dalton Trumbo • Evelyn Waugh • Tennessee Williams • P. G. Wodehouse • and many more.
"Los Angeles is refracted in all its irreducible, unexplainable glory."
- LA Times
David Kipen was born and raised in Los Angeles. He founded the nonprofit Boyle Heights lending library Libros Schmibros in 2010. Former literature director of the National Endowment for the Arts, book editor/critic of the San Francisco Chronicle, and contributor to multiple volumes of California cultural history, Kipen teaches full-time in the UCLA writing program. A familiar voice on public radio, he also serves as book critic for LA magazine and is critic-at-large for the Los Angeles Times.
Joe Donnelly is an award winning journalist, editor, and writer. His short story, "Bonus Baby," was selected for the prestigious O. Henry Prize Stories 2016 collection. In his past life he was the deputy editor of the LA Weekly and the co-founder/editor of Slake. His book, L.A. Man: Profiles from a Big City and a Small World was published in April, 2018. He is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of English and Journalism at Whitter College.
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