Prospect Park Books– via Colleen Dunn Bates, publisher, and Susan LaTempa, editor– is pleased to announce that Paperback LA Book 1, A Casual Anthology: Clothes. Coffee. Crushes. Crimes. has gone to press. Publication date is May 9, 2018.
We plan four volumes, with Book 2 arriving in November 2018 and the others next year. Since this first volume has come together with a few sighs of “How did we do that that?” wonder, readers might question our motives. What’s the (in book-world time) hurry?
It’s simple. There’s so much great writing about LA that hasn’t been brought to you in a handy collection that we couldn’t have stood the stress of jamming it all into one volume. And someone’s bound to recommend something great that we will be desperate to include just as soon as Book 1 is on the shelves. So why try to fight it? We’ll give ourselves a few more chances to get some shots on goal. Our whole idea is to be casual as well as smart.
Book 1 includes excerpts from big, visionary novels. There are also a couple of essays and short stories in their entirety. We commissioned a new work to answer some gaps in our understanding of LA history. We added a baseball broadcast, a letter to a 19th-century bilingual newspaper, a ballad that hasn’t been set to music, and a primer on pulque. First person dispatches from well-known writers of earlier eras grabbed us with their vivid accounts of Hollywood hustling, immigrant terror, and rural– really rural– life within a streetcar ride of city hall.
A collection of one-liners rounds out the book, which means there’s something to read even it you have less than 30 seconds as you browse. Plus– pictures!
Three photo essays bring us along on a ramble through a number of neighborhoods, time periods and intentions.