Loading Events

How does one become a writer? For acclaimed novelist Judith Freeman— born the sixth child of eight in a devout Mormon household, married at seventeen, and divorced  at twenty-two with a young child—it was an unlikely path. In her arresting, lyrical memoir set in the patriarchal cloister of Utah in the 1950s and 1960s, she explores the circumstances and choices that informed her course through a thicket of profound difficulties towards becoming a writer. Joined by L.A. native and novelist Michelle Huneven, Freeman visits ALOUD to share her illuminating portrait of resilience and self-discovery.


Judith Freeman

Judith Freeman is the author of four novels—Red Water, The Chinchilla Farm, Set for Life, and A Desert of Pure Feeling—and of Family Attractions, a collection of stories, and The Long Embrace, a biography of Raymond Chandler. She lives in California and Idaho.

Michelle Huneven

Michelle Huneven is the author of four novels including Round Rock, and Jamesland, both New York Times Notable Books and finalists for the LA Times Book Award. Her third novel, Blame, was a finalist for both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the LA Times Book Award; and her fourth novel, Off Course, was a New York Times Editor’s Choice. She was the recipient of a GE Younger Writers Award, a Whiting Award for Fiction, and a James Beard award for her work reviewing restaurants for the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly and other publications. She has taught at the Iowa Writers Workshop and been a senior fiction editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books.  A short story, “Too Good to Be True,” was recently published in Harpers. Michelle teaches creative writing at UCLA and lives in Altadena, California with her husband, dog, cat, and talkative African Gray parrot.

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: Family photo from The Latter Days

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.

Top of Page