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  1. What: LAVA Literary Salon: A Dashiell Hammett Evening Where: Los Angeles Athletic Club, Saturday April 27 Cost: $100 including mid-century buffet dinner Ticket link: ABOUT THIS SALON: Dashiell Hammett is remembered for both for his contributions to hard-boiled crime fiction and his stand against McCarthyism. Join Hammett scholar and granddaughter Julie M. Rivett as she explores her grandfather?s controversial political life, his relationship with Lillian Hellman, and the decades of consequent troubles that have tangled Hammett?s estate. Don?t miss this rare opportunity to hear an insider?s perspective on an important and too often misunderstood literary legacy. Julie Rivett and special guest Richard Layman will close the evening with discussion and a question-and-answer session. Layman has written or edited eight books on Dashiell Hammett, including Dashiell Hammett: a Descriptive Bibliography, Shadow Man: The Life of Dashiell Hammett, and Discovering The Maltese Falcon and Sam Spade, nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America. Together Layman and Rivett have edited four books by or about Dashiell Hammett. Selected Letters of Dashiell Hammett: 1921-1960 and Dashiell Hammett: A Daughter Remembers by Jo Hammett were published in 2001. The Return of the Thin Man, with Hammett?s screen treatments for two of the beloved Thin Man film series sequels, was released in 2012. The Hunter and Other Stories, featuring unpublished and previously uncollected Hammett fiction, will make its debut in November 2013. We are honored to welcome members of The Long Beach Shakespeare Company, who will present scenes featuring the legendary Hammett characters The Continental Op, The Femme Fatale and Nick and Nora Charles. ABOUT THE BUFFET Boris Chernyak, Executive Chef of the Los Angeles Athletic Club, is creating a special Salon menu inspired by the gourmet fare that was popular in high-end American restaurants circa 1950 and would have been enjoyed by the authors we celebrate. SALADS: Nicoise salad / Waldorf salad / Mixed greens / Assorted dressings and condiments ENTREES: Carving station with Baron of Beef Au Jus and horseradish cream / Parmesan-crusted Golden Tilapia / Chicken Tetrazzini SIDES: Potato au Gratin / Grilled Vegetables/ Rice Pilaf / Steamed Asparagus ABOUT THE SERIES LAVA?s Literary Salon is a place for lovers of great Los Angeles writers to come together in historic spaces for good company, fine food, and fascinating discussions by experts in the field. Join us in the historic Los Angeles Athletic Club, where Raymond Chandler, then a young oil executive, played bridge and eavesdropped on the powerful men who would shape the city and his detective fiction. It?s impossible to understand Los Angeles literature out of context of the place. In the 1920s and 1930s, L.A. was bursting at the seams, as one of the biggest boom towns the world had ever seen. And as the city grew, it attracted a varied and fascinating population: East coast intellectuals, filmmakers, European refugees, hustlers and visionaries of all stripes. In this young city without an established cultural scene, the intelligentsia congregated in book shops, each with its own personality shaped by the book seller who curated the selection and the space. In the Salon series, we celebrate the forgotten history of L.A. book culture, from Hollywood Boulevard to downtown?s Bookseller?s Row, in an original presentation by Howard Prouty. Each book shop?s story illuminates the literary life of the city, and the emotional growth of the writers who called Los Angeles home. (Please note, Howard Prouty will not be presenting at the April 2013 Salon) Past Salons have celebrated the life and work of John Fante, Raymond Chandler, Jim Tully, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Dorothy Parker and the booksellers Jake Zeitlin, Stanley Rose, Louis Epstein (Pickwick Books) and Ernest Dawson (Dawson?s Bookshop).
  2. It all plays out against the bulldozed orange groves packed with new urban sprawl and under the desiccating sun: thwarted dreams and double crossing lovers, mothers, daughters, husbands and speculators. When it goes south, it goes fast. The gun smoking, the bodies piled up, the house foreclosed, and the bitter truth sinks in: you can't eat the sunshine. This Esotouric bus adventure celebrates the life, work, myths and passions of hard-boiled American novelist James M. Cain. In his best known novels (each one also made into a classic film) "The Postman Always Rings Twice," "Mildred Pierce" and "Double Indemnity," Cain painted a jaundiced portrait of a Southern California that was in stark contrast to the orange groves and mission bells sold by the city's boosters. Cain's LA was full of loose women with murder on their minds, lust-drenched cads who'd destroy their lives for a dame, rotten kids, suckers and saps. How did this East Coat sophisticate go from editor of "The New Yorker" to populist novelist accused of writing dirty books? The tour explores Cain's life and work with a focus on his time in Southern California, where his observations on Malibu, Hollywood, Pasadena and the low rent 'burbs of Glendale are as provocative today as they were seventy years ago. The tour will also cover the artisans who transformed Cain's tales into movies, including Billy Wilder, Raymond Chandler, Joan Crawford and Lana Turner. Serenade: James M. Cain's Southern California Nightmare is a complex portrait of a fascinating character who was seduced and transformed by his time in the Southland, a hard working movie industry professional who sank into drink and despair, ultimately a uniquely Californian artist. The tour draws on Cain's essays, short stories, novels, films and the memories of his friends and colleagues to paint a portrait of Los Angeles in the 1930s and 1940s through the eyes of the writer. The tour spans Cain's L.A. from Hollywood to Glendale and along old Route 66, and includes illuminating visits to Forest Lawn Memorial Park (a Glendale institution and site of the funeral of Mildred Pierce's "other" daughter, Ray), the Glendale Train Station where the "Double Indemnity" murder plot played out, and the punch line to a Billy Wilder joke so subtle, it's taken 63 years for anyone to get. Join us on the bus to share in the laughter and the pathos of Cain's SoCal. info

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