The Cambridge Companion to the Literature of Los Angeles (Cambridge University Press)
Editor Kevin McNamara and contributors William Mohr, Scott Bryson, and Eric Avila will read from their selected pieces in this great new anthology of local literature! William Alexander McClung and Mark Shiel, who were originally scheduled to appear, will be unable to make it.
Kevin McNamara writes on cities and their cultures. A professor of literature and American studies at the University of Houston–Clear Lake, he received his Ph.D. from UC Irvine and has also taught in Turkey and the Czech Republic.
William Mohr is a poet who teaches literature and creative writing at CSU Long Beach. His longstanding project, Backlit Renaissance: Los Angeles Poets during the Cold War will be published by the University of Iowa Press in early 2011. (Photo of William Mohr by Linda Fry.)Scott Bryson is a professor of English at Mount St. Mary's College in Los Angeles. He is the author of The West Side of Any Mountain: Place, Space, and Ecopoetry (University of Iowa Press, 2005) and has edited several collections of literary criticism. His current scholarship focuses on urban theory and culture, primarily as it relates to the phenomenon of Los Angeles literature.
Eric Avila is the author of Popular Culture in the Age of White Flight: Fear and Fantasy in Suburban Los Angeles (University of California Press, (2004) and is currently working on second book project that considers the cultural history of urban highway construction in postwar America. He is a professor of History, Chicano Studies and Urban Planning at UCLA.
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.