Behind the scenes at the L.A. Times Festival of Books, book critic David Ulin talked to Margaret Atwood about Los Angeles, literature and what it’s like to write a serial novel. Atwood, who had been awarded the Innovators Prize at the L.A. Times book awards Friday night, spoke to a full crowd at the festival on Saturday.
“For years it was thought of as really a movie town and people didn’t read,” Atwood said of Los Angeles. “You heard that all the time, but it turns out not to have been true.”
Ulin asked Atwood about some of her favorite Los Angeles-based writers; she cited Nathanael West, Joan Didion and Raymond Chandler. Each of them appears on our new interactive map of literary L.A.
Atwood has created a serial novel for Byliner, “Positron,” which she is writing in real time. Like many other authors, she says an inspiration is the way Charles Dickens published his books, along with a less-expected model: daytime soap operas.
To get the full story from Margaret Atwood, watch the video above.