What might Marilyn Monroe, Cesar Chavez, Susan Sontag, Albert Einstein have to say about Los Angeles? Their diary entries, along with those of other actors, musicians, activists, cartographers, students, geologists, cooks, merchants, journalists, politicians, composers, and many more—provide a kaleidoscopic view of Los Angeles over the past four centuries, from the Spanish missionary expeditions of the 16th century to the present day. Book editor, critic and Los Angeles native David Kipen has scoured the archives of libraries, historical societies, and private estates to assemble a remarkably eclectic story of life in his beloved Los Angeles. Join us for a special staged reading of these first person accounts—representing a range of experiences and voices as diverse as Los Angeles itself.
David Kipen was born and raised in Los Angeles. He opened the nonprofit Boyle Heights lending library Libros Schmibros in 2010. Former literature director of the National Endowment for the Arts, book editor/critic of the San Francisco Chronicle, and contributor to multiple volumes of California cultural history, Kipen teaches full-time in the UCLA writing program. A familiar voice on public radio, he also serves as book critic for Los Angeles Magazine and critic-at-large for The Los Angeles Times.