| Aug 28, 2009
William A. Emerson Jr., who covered civil rights flash points as part of a cadre of gutsy Southern reporters and later served as editor in chief of the Saturday Evening Post, has died. He was 86.
Emerson, whose health had declined after a stroke, died...
| Nov 7, 2008
Literary and cultural critic John Leonard, an early champion of Toni Morrison, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and many other authors, and so consumed and so informed by books that Kurt Vonnegut once praised him as "the smartest man who ever lived," has died. He...
| Dec 3, 2006
NOIR is the indigenous Los Angeles form: It was created here, it grew up here and from here it spread, not only as a genre but as a way of looking at life, character and fate. As a framing lens, it's now so powerful that it seems not only to be a strategy...
| May 6, 2009
Some years ago, when they still lived in Malibu, the late John Gregory Dunne and his wife, Joan Didion, entertained a prominent magazine journalist and author at dinner. It was December and, afterward, they invited their guest to accompany them to their...
| Sep 18, 2009
In the prologue to "Nothing Was the Same," Kay Redfield Jamison writes, "It has been said that grief is a kind of madness. I disagree. There is a sanity to grief, in its just proportion of emotion to cause, that madness does not have."
| Aug 2, 2009
"Inherent Vice" is Thomas Pynchon doing Raymond Chandler through a Jim Rockford looking glass, starring Cheech Marin (or maybe Tommy Chong). What could easily be mistaken as a paean to 1960s Southern California is also a sly herald of that era's end....
| Dec 20, 2009
This is a decade that ended much as it began: with anxiety over technology and a feeling that the world as we know it might be coming to an end. Remember? Ten years ago, we were dealing with Y2K anxiety, and even the most skeptical of us -- if we're...
| Sep 16, 2010
During the all-too-brief life of their physically disabled son, Jesse, who died in his sleep five years ago at the age of 17, the actors Marianne Leone (who played the mother of actor Michael Imperioli on HBO's "The Sopranos") and Chris Cooper (an Academy...
| Feb 21, 2010
The Room and the Chair
Alfred A. Knopf: 316 pp., $25.95
Lorraine Adams is a singular and important American writer. "The Room and the Chair" establishes this without question: It is remarkable for its ambitions and its...
| Feb 7, 2010
It's the night after New Year's Eve and hundreds of kids are crammed into the Smell, the downtown DIY tabernacle of the Los Angeles avant-garde. A sweating mass of art students, skate punks and subterranean scene staples ecstatically moshes to a...
| Jan 31, 2010
Brian Moore was born in Northern Ireland, immigrated to Canada and spent much of his life living here in California, in Malibu. He wrote scripts, short stories and a string of novels, many of which, like "The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne," "Black Robe"...
| Dec 20, 2009
In 1958, Malcolm Cowley edited the first collection of interviews with contemporary authors from the pages of the Paris Review. Over the intervening half-century, the Review has packaged up more than a dozen additional volumes of this material, most...