April 16, 2013 - 7:00 PM
3394 22nd St. at Guerrero
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Celebrating the launch of American Dream Machine, the new novel from Matthew Specktor, writer and Senior Fiction Editor for the Los Angeles Review of Books. Specktor will be in conversation with author Glen David Gold. Book sales and signing to follow.
There was an empty swimming pool nearby. It must’ve been February. Italian cypresses rose up in inviting cones; the scalloped houses dropped off in stages beneath us and eventually the whole thing flattened out into that ash-colored plane, that grand and gray infinity that is Los Angeles from the hills: God’s palm, checkered with twinkling lights and crossed with hot wind…
People blame Los Angeles for so many things, but my own view is tender, forgiving. I love L.A. with all of my heart. This story I have to tell doesn’t have much to do with me, but it isn’t about some bored actress and her existential crises, a troubled screenwriter who comes to his senses and hightails it back to Illinois. It’s not about the vacuous horror of the California dream. It’s something that could’ve happened anywhere else in the world, but instead settled, inexplicably, here. This city, with its unfortunate rap. It deserves warmer witness than dear old Joan Didion.”
Matthew Specktor, American Dream Machine
About the Novel: American Dream Machine
“American Dream Machine is grand, complex, lush, intelligent and lively, funny as hell and generous in ways you don’t often find. It’s also a strikingly original portrait of Los Angeles. People speak of Chandler’s Los Angeles, or Didion’s, or Nathaniel West’s. Someday, they’ll speak of Specktor’s the same way.”
—Victor LaValle, author of Big Machine and The Devil in Silver
“American Dream Machine is the definitive new Hollywood novel. It’s almost impossible to write now about the movie business without resorting to well-established mythology. Somehow, here, Matthew Specktor has figured out a way to do so.”
—David Shields, author of Reality Hunger and The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead
“This is the novel about Los Angeles that I’ve been waiting for—a mythical LA full of longing and distances and illusion. Specktor has captured the LA I know, the one all around me and the one in my head, a city of invention and grit, surface and underbelly. Funny, poignant, and gorgeously written.”
—Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe and Sorry Please Thank You
About the Authors: Matthew Specktor and Glen David Gould
Matthew Specktor is Senior Fiction Editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books. He is the author of three books, the most recent of which, American Dream Machine, is published by Tin House Books.
Glen David Gold is the author of two novels, Carter Beats the Devil and Sunnyside. His essays, memoirs and short fiction have appeared in McSweeney’s, The New York Times Magazine, and London’s Independent.
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