David L. Ulin

Columnist

David L. Ulin is the former book critic of the Los Angeles Times. A 2015 Guggenheim Fellow, he is the author or editor of nine books, including "Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles," the novella "Labyrinth," “The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time” and the Library of America’s “Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology,” which won a California Book Award. He left The Times in 2015. 

Recent Articles

  • Stephen King's 'Drunken Fireworks' -- available only on audio

    Stephen King's 'Drunken Fireworks' -- available only on audio

    Stephen King likes to play with delivery systems. In 1996, he wrote “The Green Mile” as a serial novel, publishing it in six monthly installments. Four years later, he issued “Riding the Bullet” as an early e-book, while in 2008, he debuted the story “N.” as a series of short web-only videos, posting...

  • The Grateful Dead and the old, weird America

    The Grateful Dead and the old, weird America

    For about 10 minutes on Sunday morning, I regretted not going to Santa Clara to hear the Grateful Dead. This was after I saw the set list from the first of the five “Fare Thee Well” shows scheduled to conclude July 3, 4 and 5 at Chicago’s Soldier Field. “Alligator,” “Cream Puff War,” “What’s Become...

  • Berkeley-based Poetry Flash faces an uncertain future

    Berkeley-based Poetry Flash faces an uncertain future

    Poetry Flash, the venerable Berkeley-based poetry newsletter, is in financial trouble and faces possible eviction. As contributing editor Dawn-Michelle Baude has written in an e-mail circulated to supporters, “Poetry Flash is in dire circumstances, partly due to a $600.00 rent increase, taking...

  • 'The Spectators' illustrates the push and pull of city life

    'The Spectators' illustrates the push and pull of city life

    I am a walker in the city. For me, the sidewalk is the cornerstone of urban life. In my Los Angeles neighborhood, I go days without getting in a car, walking to the bank, the dry cleaner, the grocery store, strolling the streets in the late summer evenings, watching the sky turn purple, black. ...

  • (Re-)defining nonfiction, again

    (Re-)defining nonfiction, again

    Let me propose a simple definition for nonfiction: Any piece of prose that isn’t fiction. What does this mean? That nonfiction is capacious, amorphous, that it contains a multitude of subjects and approaches. Journalism is one thing, as is history, analysis. Memory-based writing is a very different...

  • 'The Ferguson Report' offers a damning indictment

    'The Ferguson Report' offers a damning indictment

    The timing couldn’t be more appropriate: This week, barely five days after Dylann Storm Roof allegedly killed nine people at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Justice Department’s “The Ferguson Report” (New Press: 174 pp., $20 paper), first made public in March, comes...

  • Milan Kundera's 'Festival of Insignificance' on being and smallness

    Milan Kundera's 'Festival of Insignificance' on being and smallness

    There's not much to Milan Kundera's 10th novel, "The Festival of Insignificance" — his first work of fiction since 2000's "Ignorance" — but then that's part of the point. Revolving around five middle-aged friends living in Paris, it offers not a narrative so much as a collection of vignettes, or...

  • In 'The Invaders,' an unlikely family tries to fit into the Connecticut country club life

    In 'The Invaders,' an unlikely family tries to fit into the Connecticut country club life

    Karolina Waclawiak wants to talk about class. We're sitting at Stark Bar on the campus of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It's the end of the workday, and office workers and museum goers alike are letting themselves loosen in the gently failing early evening light. "I wanted to look at class...

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