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Bukowski & Event

by Lionel Rolfe Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2002 at 5:47 AM
calclass@earthlink.net 323/906-0262 3941 Veselich Ave., Apt. 158, LA 90039



Contact: Ann Gusha, Williams Book Store, (310) 832-3631

Noted Los Angeles author and literary authority Lionel Rolfe who has recently published a new edition of his classic, Literary L.A., will appear with San Pedro poets Fred Voss and Joan Jobe Smith and poet Julia Stein and literary curator John Ahouse to have a “Bukowski &” event at Williams Book Store.

The store, at 443 W. Sixth St. in San Pedro, was Charles Bukowski’s favorite bookstore.Voss and Smith were close to Bukowski, and Smith published much of Bukowski’s first work.

John Ahouse, literary curator at USC’s Doheny Library, also started the Bukowski collection at Cal State Long Beach when he was special collections librarian there. Ahouse edited “Literary L.A.” and also contributed the introduction and two chapters.

Julia Stein, poet and writer, also contributed the chapter on Voss and Smith in the new third edition of “Literary L.A.”

Here are some recent reviews of the new edition of Literary L.A.:

“Indispensable ...”
David Kipen, San Francisco Chronicle

“Racounteur and journalist (Rolfe) ... has compiled an entertaining collection on writers including Jack London, Theodore Dreiser, Malcolm Lowry, Charles Bukowski and Huxley.”
Duncan Campbell, The Guardian (Great Britain)

“Schoenberg followers will be interested in the just-published book, Literary LA, by Lionel Rolfe. Schoenberg was the inspiration for Thomas Mann's critically acclaimed novel, Doctor Faustus, and the writer even inscribed a copy to the composer describing him as the "real one"... Rolfe, journalist and nephew of the violin maestro Yehudi Menuhin, gives an enjoyable and insightful account of the feud.
S. Suchitra Lata, The Hindu (India)

Now in its third edition, Literary L.A. was originally published in 1981 by Chronicle Books in San Francisco. A revised edition, In Search of Literary L.A., appeared ten years later. To mark the millennium, California Classics Books has expanded the classic study, with new emphasis on the bohemian and apocalyptic streams in Los Angeles writing, and including additional chapters by John Ahouse, head of literary special collections at USC's Doheny
Library, and L.A. poet Julia Stein.

Literary L.A. -- the book and the city -- is a rich blend of diverse strands and contrasting textures. Those who helped to weave this literary tapestry were -- like many who wound up being representative of Los Angeles -- often transients: literary gypsies in imposed or self-imposed exile.

Among the literary figures discussed in this latest edition of Literary L.A. are Oscar Zeta Acosta, Charles Bukowski, Henry Miller, Ken Kesey, Carey McWilliams, Charles Lummis, Jacob Zeitlin, Louis Adamic, Nathanael West, Robinson Jeffers, Malcolm Lowry, Thomas and Heinrich Mann, Upton Sinclair, John Steinbeck, Aldous Huxley, Jack London, Theodore Dreiser, and many others.

California Classics Books is that anomaly in Los Angeles -- a Los Angeles-based general interest publisher with a focus on the intellectual, literary, and social history of Southern California. For more than ten years it has steadfastly produced titles such as Fat Man on the Left: Four Decades in the Underground, Literary L.A., Being Frank: My Time with Frank Zappa (by Nigey Lennon), and other provocative books which present a side of Los Angeles that other writers and publishers rarely dare
to approach. The California Classics title Bread and Hyacinths: The Rise and Fall of Utopian Los Angeles, written by Lionel Rolfe, Nigey Lennon and Paul Greenstein, was recently sold to Paul Haggis, creator of television’s “Family Law” and “Thirtysomething.” A miniseries was being seriously considered for an HBO miniseries but the project was killed in the aftermath of September 11.

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