Los Angeles Sends Writers in Novel Directions

Three Authors Share How the City Inspired and Influenced Their Stories

It is said that Los Angeles lacks a literary pulse—that the flash and glam of Tinseltown overpowers the cultural terrain. But writers here deftly channel this city’s rhythms, spinning fictions of folly and fortune that unfold under its roofs and along its streets. Last week, Zócalo, together with the Library Foundation’s ALOUD, honored L.A.’s literary side in a lively discussion with Fatimah Asghar, Omolola Ijeoma Ogunyemi, and Ryan Lee Wong, three first-time novelists writing in or about the city.

The event, “How Does L.A. Inspire First-Time Novelists?,” opened as each writer …

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| Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

How Do You Solve a Problem Like L.A.’s City Council?

In This Moment of Pain and Division, There’s Opportunity to Demand Real Change for Our Democracy

“Do we even need a city council?” That was the provocative title question posed at last night’s Zócalo/KCRW event at the Herald Examiner Building in downtown Los Angeles.

To get at …

tktk | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

California’s Most Remote Classrooms Are Surviving—How Can They Thrive?

One in Four Attend Rural School. But Sacramento and D.C. Aren’t Giving These Students One-Fourth of Their Time

When it came to the title question of the Zócalo/California Wellness event, “Can Rural Education Survive the 21st Century?,” the panelists were of one mind. Speaking to the live audience …

tktk | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

What Will First Contact Be Like?

Imagining the Alien Arrival Is a Creative Endeavor—One That Might Just Bring Humanity Together

An “ineffable sense of wonder” filled last night’s Zócalo event, “How Should We Prepare for Aliens to Arrive on Earth?,” an event produced as part of Experience ASU, a month-long …

‘Humor Is What Makes Us Human’ | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

‘Humor Is What Makes Us Human’

In an Age of Political Tyranny and Deep Division, Comedy Can Help Us Understand Our Leaders, Ourselves, and Each Other

Fittingly, the Zócalo/ASU Gammage event “What Can We Laugh About?” last night opened with a joke from Los Angeles Times columnist Gustavo Arellano, who was moderating: “Knock knock.”

The prompt audience …

tktk | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Can California Lead a Reproductive Justice Movement?

From Sister-Friends to 'Full-Spectrum' Doulas, the Golden State May Be a Model for Care

As the full weight of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade bears down on the nation, California is seeking to become a sanctuary state for reproductive rights. …