Today's Christian Science Monitor reports on the "hot, new indie-lit scene" in Los Angeles and says it is especially hot in the neighborhood around Skylight Books on Vermont in Los Feliz. Writes Janet Lewis Saidi:
The Skylight vicinity is also a sort of spiritual home to a group of underground writers and artists finding commonality - if not actual community - inside this culture of endless freeways, gated communities, cellphones, and liposuction. Many of this underground literary set are friendly with some of Los Angeles' most celebrated new writers - Alice Sebold and Glen David Gold, Michael Chabon, and Mona Simpson - all of whom come out of the MFA program at University of California, Irvine...
Public-radio station KCRW's "Bookworm," based in Los Angeles, provides a serious forum for introducing literary authors to the nation. The books coverage in The Los Angeles Times has attracted attention from media watchers nationally. And the Atlantic Monthly's literary editor, Benjamin Schwarz, recently decided to relocate from Boston to L.A., while keeping his job at the Atlantic.
"There is an important literary scene in Los Angeles," said Mr. Schwarz in a recent phone interview, adding that he doesn't tend to view any city - even New York - as a "literary center" as such. But he points out that Atlantic Monthly writers Caitlin Flannegan, Mona Simpson, Sandra Tsing Loh, and Christopher Hitchens all currently reside in the Los Angeles area. And, he says, "for the kinds of stuff that we do, it's a better place to find fresh talent."
Skylight celebrates its seventh anniversary this weekend with a series of panels on "L.A. History Detectives." The full schedule is here; I am on a panel with D.J. Waldie and Mike Eberts on Sunday at 4 p.m. Skylight Books is at 1818 N. Vermont.