West Of The West

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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, 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: 9780520201644
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 5/12/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 348
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.78 (d)

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

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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