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Los Angeles

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The City of Angels—possibly the most surreal place in the United States—is a unique amalgam of past and present, tradition and revolution, dreamscape and reality. Whether in history books or on the silver screen, the Los Angeles landscape has long served as an ever-shifting backdrop against which countless American anxieties and aspirations play out.

In Los Angeles, the New York-based novelist and short-story writer A.M. Homes checks us into the famed hotel Chateau Marmont and uses life at this iconic landmark as a multifaceted prism through which she views and experiences Los Angeles culture, past and present. Built in the 1920s, the Chateau Marmont is where the famous and infamous have always come to stay—some for a few days, others for months at a time—and sometimes, like John Belushi, to die. It is a mythological mecca, the focal point for a city of visionaries, romantics, and dreamers. And it is the site where Homes, as she mines the strange heart of Los Angeles, shows herself to be an uncommonly nimble and entertaining cultural anthropologist.

 

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