Susan Orlean on the literary culture of Los Angeles

Susan Orlean talks about her book “The Library Book” at the L.A. Times Festival of Books. 


Susan Orlean is a prolific writer and author of seven books, including her most recent, “The Library Book,” which tells the story of a “devastating” fire at the Los Angeles Central Library.

Sitting down for a video chat at the L.A. Times Festival of Books, Orleans talked about developing an appreciation for, and gaining an education on, the literary traditions and culture of Los Angeles through doing research and writing her book.

“L.A., despite all of the preconceptions about it as a city, is really a city of readers and writers and library goers. It’s a place that’s got an incredibly rich literary history that is as luminous as its Hollywood history, but people don’t know that as much.”


Orleans also recounted what it was like to go through images illustrating what the fire had done to the venue.

“It’s really horrifying. It really looks like an image of hell,” said Orlean. “What’s astonishing even more is that the library managed to recover and rise again literally from the ashes.”

Susan Orlean talks ‘The Library Book’ while on a panel at the L.A. Times Festival of Books »

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