Matthew Specktor

Matthew Specktor is Senior Fiction Editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books. He is the author of three books, including American Dream Machine, which is forthcoming from Tin House. 
 

"There was an empty swimming pool nearby.  It must've been February.  Italian cypresses rose up in inviting cones; the scalloped houses dropped off in stages beneath us and eventually the whole thing flattened out into that ash-colored plane, that grand and gray infinity that is Los Angeles from the hills: God's palm, checkered with twinkling lights and crossed with hot wind...

People blame Los Angeles for so many things, but my own view is tender, forgiving.  I love L.A. with all of my heart.  This story I have to tell doesn't have much to do with me, but it isn't about some bored actress and her existential crises, a troubled screenwriter who comes to his senses and hightails it back to Illinois.  It's not about the vacuous horror of the California dream.  It's something that could've happened anywhere else in the world, but instead settled, inexplicably, here.  This city, with its unfortunate rap.  It deserves warmer witness than dear old Joan Didion."

— Matthew Specktor, American Dream Machine