From one of our most astute writers comes an irreverent, hilarious portrait of the state of California, its unlikely governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, celebrities she can't place, famous salons, and the neglected office of one very special 9,000-year-old woman.
Amy Wilentz is the author of The Rainy Season, Martyrs’ Crossing, and I Feel Earthquakes More Often Than They Happen. She has won the Whiting Writers Award, the PEN/Martha Albrand Non-Fiction Award, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Rosenthal Award. She writes for The New Yorker and The Nation and teaches in the Literary Journalism program at UC Irvine.
"No one has registered the experience of a New York intellectual sensibility crashing into the culture of image quite this well since Joan Didion in Slouching Towards Bethlehem." -- John Freeman, The Seattle Times
"There's plenty about California that demands satire, and it turns out that Wilentz...has a fully operable and most engaging sense of humor." -- Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post
"Wilentz paints expert and convincing portraits. Her observations prove charming, incisive, even true." -- Marc Porter Zasada, Los Angeles Times
"As Amy Wilentz documents in this delightful romp of a memoir, it takes true grit -- and a capacity for improvisation -- to leave the certainties of the East behind and start life all over again on the coast of dreams." -- Kevin Starr, author of Inventing the Dream and Coast of Dreams
"Hard not to laugh.... I grew up in the Lakewood that so appalls her.... Nevertheless, I did leave as soon as I could for a big Eastern city where the women were as smart, swift, funny, and furious as Amy Wilentz." -- John Leonard, Harper's