Why Can’t Older Californians Act Like Grown-Ups?

While an Aging Generation Has More and More Fun, Young Californians Are Stuck on a Treadmill of Work and Responsibility

At a moment like this, younger Californians should read Mona Simpson.

The novelist, who is also a UCLA English professor, may be best known these days as Steve Jobs’ biological …

What Came First—the Fiction or the Science?


Did most astronauts grow up watching Star Trek—and is it possible they learned anything useful from the adventures of the USS Enterprise? Is it coincidence that Isaac Asimov was the …

What Raymond Chandler Didn’t Understand About L.A.

His Southern California Was About the Darkness Under the Glitz. Mine Is About the Smell of Smog Mixed With Sea, the Gardeners of the San Gabriel Valley, and the Neighborhoods Philip Marlowe Ignored.

I have to make the kind of confession that is just terrible for an L.A.-based mystery writer: I am not a fan of Raymond Chandler. He has set a tone …

California Needs a New Vision of Its Apocalypse

Why Do Novelists and Screenwriters Keep Rehashing the Same Old Stories of the End Days?

What explains the success of California? Fear of the apocalypse.

Fear of a publishing apocalypse, to be precise. Most of us never would have heard about Edan Lepucki’s debut novel, California, …


A Prodigal Son Glimpses Salvation On the Road to L.A.

“First order of business on any long drive is to find yourself a shield,” I say to no one in particular as I rev up my car. …