Author James Ellroy writes in today's West Magazine about returning in June to live in Los Angeles after a lengthy self-exile. "The L.A. mandate," he says, "was always enticement and expansion. That marks all growth as just and true. Hometowns should offer the proper balance of safety and inspiration. I call inspiration a sense of danger contained. L.A. got too safe 25 years ago. I got out then. My life got too dangerous five years ago. I pondered safety zones for a long interval. I learned that I'm only safe here." The story of course revisits his mother's murder, his past thievery and the Black Dahlia. If you are a fan of Ellroy's books, prepare for a return to familiar turf:
My wife and I divorced. My runner's ways killed the marriage. I've been blessed with forgiveness tempered with humor. A steel-buffed friendship remains. The film version of "The Black Dahlia" comes out in September. I'm writing the sequel to "The Cold Six Thousand." It will be my greatest novel yet. Opportunists enjoy bragging rights—if they deliver. I always have and always will.
It will be my last non-L.A. novel. From that point on, I'm a hometown writer exclusively.
Photo: Damon Winter/Los Angeles Times