‘Money Walks’: The new L.A. Times fiction serial, Part 1


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Today the L.A. Times launches a project in fiction, a multi-contributor serial called ‘Money Walks.’ The first installment, written by Mary McNamara, introduces us to a world much like our own, different only in that all the money has disappeared. Or maybe that isn’t different at all.

In ‘Money Walks,’ each short chapter will be written by a different Los Angeles novelist, including Jerry Stahl, Marissa Silver, Seth Greenland, Denise Hamilton and Aimee Bender. Mary McNamara promises she’ll wrap it all up April 24.


That’s the eve of the Festival of Books, where you’ll be able to see all of our participating authors. Many are on panels, where they’ll be taking questions.

If you catch them in the right mood, they might tell you what it’s like to be handed the narrative baton, asked to write 600 words and given a deadline of, oh, yesterday. Or how they decided to steer the fortunes of the church of Rev. Franco Laguna and his treasurer Maureen, who has ‘a quivering sharpness; when she walked, he sometimes thought he could hear the sunlight, the breeze, the atoms of the air scream as they were shorn in two.’

It’s hard not to hope for the best for them; the reverend, at least, seems so nice:

After a few moments, Franco lifted himself out of his chair and went to sit in the church courtyard. After weeks of rain, the weather had grown suddenly warm and the Victorian boxwood had begun its heady nocturnal bloom.

The money had been slipping away for some time now, he realized, slipping away from everyone, with their credit cards and automated bill-pays, as if it had never existed at all.

But it had. He remembered the damp and crumpled dollar bills he had hoarded as a child, money from the tooth fairy and mowing lawns, from his Confirmation and birthday cards. They had existed, though he could not for the life of him remember what he had used them for.

Installments will continue almost every day between now and April 24; don’t miss Chapter 1.

-- Carolyn Kellogg