The literary image of Los Angeles has evolved since the 1880s from promotional literature that hyped the region as a New Eden to contemporary visions of the city as a perplexing, sometimes corrupt, even apocalyptic place that foreshadows and reflects all that is wrong with America. In Imagining Los Angeles, the first literary history of the city in more than fifty years, critic David Fine traces the history and mood of the place through the work of writers as diverse as Helen Hunt Jackson, Mary Austin, Norman Mailer, Raymond Chandler, Joan Didion, Carolyn See, and many others. His lively and engaging text focuses on the way these writers saw Los Angeles and used the image of the city as an element in their work, and on how that image has changed as the city itself became ever larger, more complex, and more socially and ethnically diverse. First published in 2000, Imagining Los Angeles is available now for the first time in paperback. This is essential reading for anyone interested in the literature and changing image of Southern California.
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(229mm x 140mm x 19mm)
University of Nevada Press
Publisher: University of Nevada Press
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Author Biography -
David Fineis Professor Emeritus at California State University, Long Beach, where he taught American Literature and American Studies since 1968. His first book wasThe City the Immigrant, and American Fiction, 1880-1920(1977), and he has edited, or co-edited, four collections of literary essays, Unknown California, Los Angeles in Fiction(1985, 2nd edition 1995), San Francisco in Fiction(1995), andJohn Fante, a Critical Gathering(1999). He has published a few dozen critical articles in academic journals and reviewed books in a number of scholarly publications, newspapers, and magazines. He was former literary editor ofWestways MagazineandThe Californians. He has served as Fulbright lecturer in New Zealand (1986) and visiting professor of English at University of Alberta, Edmonton, (1989-90). He has just completed a novel, his first. His most recent book, Imagining Los Angeles: a City in Fictionhas won the Southern California Historical Society's Pfleuger Award as the best regional book of the year (2000)."