West of the West: Imagining California: An Anthology

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Conceived as a novelistic journey through the worlds of California, West of the West offers a vivid and diverse collection of writings on the state where extremes of every sort are dramatically evident in the weather, geography, and people. This richly fascinating collection represents the experience of California both physical and metaphysical, in fiction, poetry, essays, travel writing, confessions, reportage, and social criticism. The authors are native Californians, born-again Californians, exiles, émigrés, ...

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New York, NY 1991 Trade paperback New. Brand NEW in mint/ gift condition. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 332 p. Audience: General/trade.

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Overview

Conceived as a novelistic journey through the worlds of California, West of the West offers a vivid and diverse collection of writings on the state where extremes of every sort are dramatically evident in the weather, geography, and people. This richly fascinating collection represents the experience of California both physical and metaphysical, in fiction, poetry, essays, travel writing, confessions, reportage, and social criticism. The authors are native Californians, born-again Californians, exiles, émigrés, critics, and visitors of every kind—Jack Kerouac, Joan Didion, Amy Tan, Simone de Beauvoir, Carey McWilliams, Tom Wolfe, Gore Vidal, Octavio Paz, Jean Baudrillard, Ishmael Reed, Allen Ginsberg—to name just a few.

An anthology of fact and fiction written about California captures myriad visions of theelusiveness and genius of place long associated with the Golden Land.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
To Theodore Roosevelt, California was ``west of the west''; to Joan Didion, it is a ``place in which a boom mentality and a sense of Chekhovian loss meet in uneasy suspension.'' Michaels ( The Men's Club ), Scherr (coauthor of Face Value ) and Reid (coauthor of Pure Silver ) here assemble a distinctive collection of writings--fiction, poetry, essays, travelers' tales, reportage, journals--to analyze the California mystique. Most of the material covers the last 50 years, though a few pieces reach back into the 19th century. Topics are as varied as the state's scenery: sex and drugs, murder, youth gangs, internment of the Japanese in World War II, Hollywood, hippies, Esalen, student revolt in the '60s, the desert. Simone de Beauvoir records her impressions of San Francisco and Berkeley; Umberto Eco writes about cults and the Jonestown suicides; Amy Tan takes us to a meeting of the Joy Luck Club; Tom Wolfe introduces the Pump House Gang. Whether the reader views California as Paradise or purgatory, this anthology will confirm either vision. (Oct.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060973643
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/28/1991
  • Edition description: 1st HarperPerennial Edition
  • Pages: 352

Meet the Author

Leonard Michaels is the author of The Men's Club. David Reid is editor of Sex, Death and God in L.A. (California, 1994). Raquel Scherr is coauthor of Face Value: The Politics of Beauty.

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Table of Contents

CONTRIBUTORS:
Carey McWilliams Julián Marías Vincent Bugliosi David Thomson Ben Hecht Michael Wood Gore Vidal Stephen Bach Irene Oppenheim Leonard Michaels Jean Baudrillard M. F. K. Fisher Octavio Paz Jane Vandenburgh Tom Wolfe Danny Romero Randall Sullivan Mary Austin Simone de Beauvoir Henry Miller Jack Kerouac Robinson Jeffers Linda Niemann John Steinbeck Gertrude Stein Clarence King Joan Didion Richard Rodriguez Rudyard Kipling Frank Norris Maxine Hong Kingston Herb Caen Kenneth Rexroth Ralph J. Gleason Allen Ginsberg Mario Savio Warren Hinckle Stanley Booth Henry Bean Renée Lieberman Raquel Scherr Maya Angelou Gretel Ehrlich Amy Tan Gary Soto Ishmael Reed Randy Shilts Thom Gunn Theodora Kroeber Czeslaw Milosz Shiva Naipaul James D. Houston Leo E. Litwak Jonathan Lieberson Umberto Eco Aldous Huxley Walt Whitman

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