At the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on Sunday, I got a chance to sit down with novelist and nonfiction writer Judith Freeman to discuss the lure of Southern California as a literary landscape, and also the influence of Raymond Chandler on the city and its cultural life.
"When I moved here, one of the first writers that I started to read, through a friend of mine, was Raymond Chandler. And I thought, Wow, that's Los Angeles," Freeman said. "And I still think that he really got the city, he got underneath the city, he got everything about the city."
Freeman's 2007 book "The Long Embrace: Raymond Chandler and the Woman He Loved" explores Chandler's experience of Los Angeles; as part of the research, she tracked down every place in the city he ever lived. Chandler, of course, is represented on our new interactive map of literary L.A.
In addition to "The Long Embrace," Freeman is also the author of four novels and a collection of stories.
"You know," she said, "I really grew up in a house without books, in Utah. So I came to reading very late, when I was about 19 years old. When I discovered literature, I said, Oh my God. Who knew?"
To see our complete conversation, watch the video above.
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