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Becoming Los Angeles: Myth, Memory, and a Sense of Place

D.J. Waldie
In conversation with Carolina A. Miranda
August 20, 2020

“What do we talk about when we talk about Los Angeles today?” asks D.J. Waldie. A writer whose work has been called a “gorgeous distillation of architectural and social history” by The New York Times, Waldie is the author of Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir and other books that illuminate the ordinary and the everyday in lyrical prose. Becoming Los Angeles, his newest collection, blends history, memory, and critical analysis to illuminate how Angelenos have seen themselves and their city. From the ordinariness of L.A.’s seasons to the gaudy backdrop of Hollywood illusion, Waldie considers how the city’s image was constructed and how it fostered willful amnesia about its conflicted past. Encountering the immigrants and exiles, the dreamers and con artists, the celebrated and forgotten who became Los Angeles, Waldie arrives at an intersection of the city’s history and its aspirations. Please join us for a hometown celebration as Waldie discusses his love for L.A. and the renewed hope it takes to sustain the romance. A special introduction by David Kipen.

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