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Like writing, cities are all about process, the back-and-forth between our aspirations and our abilities; we walk to discover them and to discover ourselves. In this dialogue, moderated by Los Angeles native Louise Steinman, Vivian Gornick and David L. Ulin investigate the role of the city as both literary and psychic landscape. For Gornick, who was born and raised in the Bronx and is the author of the new memoir of self-discovery, The Odd Woman and the City, New York is the city that provokes. While for Ulin, as a Manhattan-raised Southern California transplant and author of the compelling inquiry, Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles, L.A. is the terrain that inspires. What do their journeys have in common? What sets these two cities, and their literature, apart?

Vivian Gornick

Vivian Gornick is the author of the acclaimed memoir Fierce Attachments, a biography of Emma Goldman, and three essay collections, two of which, The Men in My Life and The End of the Novel of Love, were finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her most recent book, another memoir The Odd Woman and the City, is a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award as well.


David L. Ulin

David L. Ulin is the author or editor of eight previous books, including 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. A 2015 Guggenheim Fellow, he is the former book critic and book editor of the Los Angeles Times.


Louise Steinman

Louise Steinman is curator of the award-winning ALOUD series and co-director of the Los Angeles Institute for Humanities at USC. She is the author of three books: The Souvenir: A Daughter Discovers Her Father’s War; The Knowing Body: The Artist as Storyteller in Contemporary Performance; and The Crooked Mirror: A Memoir of Polish-Jewish Reconciliation. She was a 2015 Fellow at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in Captiva, Florida. Her work appears, most recently, in The Los Angeles Review of Books, and on her Crooked Mirror blog.


Reservation Policy for Free Programs:
As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at approximately 7 PM.

 

Standby Policy:
Standby numbers are distributed in person only one hour before the program, on a first-come, first-served, basis. There is no advance wait list for full programs. Standby patrons will be admitted subject to availability. Most programs will be available via podcast.

 

Book Signing Policy:
ALOUD is one of many free programs at the Los Angeles Public Library made possible by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. Most ALOUD author programs are followed by book signings. At least one copy of the author’s book must be purchased from The Library Store in order to participate in any post-program book signing, and you will be asked to show proof of purchase. Please be prepared to show your proof of purchase when you enter the book signing line. Proceeds support the Los Angeles Public Library.

 

Main image credit: Catherine Grieco


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the reservation policy for ALOUD?

    As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at 7 PM.

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park for ALOUD programs?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.


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