Edited by Steffie Nelson
Published in February 2020 by Rare Bird

A collection of 25 new essays inspired by Joan Didion and the West.

Press Release

In The White Album, Joan Didion wrote that “a place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively…loves it so radically that he remakes it in his image.” Cruising the freeways in her Daytona yellow Corvette, taking it all in behind dark glasses, Joan Didion claimed California for all time. Slouching Towards Los Angeles is a multi-faceted portrait of the literary icon who, in turn, belongs to us.

This collection of original essays covers the turf that made Didion a sensation–Hollywood and Patty Hearst; Malibu, Manson and the Mojave; the Summer of Love and the Central Park Five–while bringing together some of the finest voices of today’s Los Angeles and beyond. Slouching Towards Los Angeles is love letter and thank you note; personal memoir and social commentary; cultural history and literary critique. Fans of Didion, lovers of California, and fellow writers alike will all find something to dig into, in this rich exploration of the inner and outer landscapes Joan Didion traveled, coloring our own journeys in the process.

Featuring: Ann Friedman, Jori Finkel, Margaret Wappler, Jessica Hundley, Christine Lennon, Catherine Wagley, Su Wu, Joshua Wolf Shenk, Lauren Sandler, Michelle Chihara, Sarah Tomlinson, Linda Immediato, Tracy McMillan, Dan Crane, Steph Cha, Caroline Ryder, Joe Donnelly, Monica Corcoran Harel, Alysia Abbott, Stacie Stukin, Heather John Fogarty, Marc Weingarten, Scott Benzel, and Ezrha Jean Black