Echo Park Noir Reading at Skylight: For my neighbors -- Elizabeth Stromme, author of the moody Joe's Word: An Echo Park Novel, will be giving a co-reading over at Skylight Books with Alan Rifkin tonight at 5 p.m.
I finished Joe's Word 10 days ago, and I can already tell I'll never be able to look at the neighborhood the same way again. It's about a beaten-down but still half-prideful public writer working out of the crumbling Jensen's Recreation Center in the depressed mid-1990s. (The Jensen building, which has one of the best neon signs you'll ever see -- a bowler throwing a strike, every 30 seconds or so -- is now apparently for sale, for the low price of $5.6 million. If I was a rich man, yadda-bladda-fadda, etc.) The novel works largely as an overall mood, and what's striking is how quickly that mood has changed in Echo Park since then, despite some recent backsliding into gang violence and shabbiness. L.A.'s a remarkably fluid place, and books like these are great little historical reminders of how different things were in the not-so-distant past. Or future???.
So come on out. It's better than sitting in your back yard, smelling the ash.Posted by at October 26, 2003 11:16 AM