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Scott Timberg:This is Edan Lepucki to my immediate right. Her is novel is called California. It comes out this summer. Charles Yu is next to her. He's the author of a number of short story collections and also the book, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe. Did I get that one right? Charles Yu:Yes. Scott Timberg:Alright. Were going to mostly rift on the same idea here about 10 different ways, which is how a writer is shaped by a place. The topic of this panel is the--has to do with alternate universes. These are two writers who did not find that convention realism worked for them. They didn't want to write a Henry James kind of novel. The question is, did California, the West Coast, Los Angeles had anything to do with their urge to, perhaps work harder to have to create a whole different world for their book instead of writing in the world that we all live in what some people call Consensus Reality. So I'm going to start by throwing out a basic question that no writer can really answer but let's see if they can. When did you, and either one of you can start, when did you become conscious that you wanted to write? This was something that was brewing inside you and that you wanted to sort of take you daydreams and your thoughts and make them into novel stories and so on. Edan Lepucki:I always knew. I have no other talents, and I dont even know if writing can be considered my talent. I dont want to be presumptuous. I love to read when I was a kid and as soon as I learned to read, I wanted to write and my parents are really supportive of that. Briefly, I considered being a pop star but it didn't worked out so well. But yeah, very early on that was, I wanted to do it, and I can'tmy dad likes to point out that I never showed any early signs of being a good writer. I was a mediocre at best and yet I kept doing it and I would say I was a writer even before. You know, I meet teenagers now who are working on like, 12-volume fantasy novels and I never actually wrote very much until I was in highschool I wrote poetry. But even before that I love books so much and I knew that someday I would write one and I've worked towards that goal from that time. Scott Timberg:How about you, Charles? Charles Yu:I think I started writing as a kid as well. I was writing poems from definitely by the age of 8. I wrote all through sort of school and I stopped for a while and I kept going but I start and picked it up again after I graduated from Law school. So I dont know if those two events are linked. Scott Timberg:I wonder if either a point, either of you guys got a sense that being in Los Angeles, you went to Berkley, you know, being in California that you were a long way away from the capital of the literary world. I mean, the stuff the you are reading in school would've been written for the most part in, you know, England, probably in New York would've been published out of these older literary centers. Was there ever a sense where you realized, Wow, I'm really at the edge of things. I'm far away from most of this stuff took place.? Charles Yu:I mean, in some sense, yes. I mean, I'm not sure I describe it as like a chip on my shoulder but I do have a sense of thinking when I sit down to make that there's New York off across the continent and I have to somehow convince them that whatever place I'm making matters, right, because it's outside of New York City, and so they kind of getthey get that, the city, right? How do I conveyyou know, I was born and raised in LA and I still live here. So how do I convey what it feels like to be here and that this is a kind of place that they should care about too. So I thinkI think that still factors in. I mean, it's almost like an intellectual sort of challenge like how do I make, you know, how do I make this sort of landscape that is like, you know, my native landscape? How do I reimagine in so as to be universal yet very specific at the same time? Scott Timberg:Right, right, right. How about you, Edan? Any thoughts on that one? Edan Lepucki:A few things. A lot of beautiful things just said there. One is that I didn't realize that I was from a peculiar place until I left it. Actually, I remember going to college. I went to Oberlin College in Ohio and I've never seen snow fall until I went to college and actually remember talking to my roommate and realizing that the snowflakes that you made in elementary school that are the size of a piece of paper, thats much bigger than a real snowflake. And I knew that that was the case and yet I never really matched up the reality of snow with my idea of snow and it was at that moment that I realized, you know, not everyones parentsI mean, my dads a location manager that seems like a reallya lot of people dont know what that even is. So I dont think I realized that I had a particular specific upbringing until I left it, and that was kind of a magical moment for me and then I realize, dont I have stuff that I can write about. Scott Timberg:I think thats often the case for writers no matter where they're from. I mean, didn't Joyce write [???][0:05:39.6] or Zurich or Paris or something like that? Yeah, often thats a way to get a better sense of it. Edan Lepucki:Exactly. Scott Timberg:Charles, did you have any kind of experience like that? Charles Yu:I mean, I think I still do. I think I have in a couple of ways because I do feel on the edge of things, marginal in a couple of ways. So geographically, you know, physical geography sort of cultural geography and I think ethnically, I think there's a kind ofon at least those three levels. I'm always a little bit struggling with, Does this story matter? So being an Asian American from LA, I do struggle with that. I'm like, how do I transform this into something that some person sitting at a high rise in New York City is going to care about. I mean, thatsit's probably overstatingit's definitely overstating it. But that is something that I still wrestle with a little bit is always trying to make the place new when it's always the still the same old place. Scott Timberg:Right. Well, let's talk for a minute more specifically about your books and I'll let you guys give a slightly richer description of your novels that I can do. But, Edan, your book, California, which comes out, what is it? July I think. Edan Lepucki:July. Tuesday, July 8th. Scott Timberg:Right. Set your clocks for this. It'swere in ait takes us a while to figure out what's going on so I won't spoil it too much, but were basically in a post-apocalyptic kind of California. We keep hearing about Los Angeles, what is was like in Los Angeles, how things stopped working in Los Angeles, were in the wilderness for a lot of the book. It's not clear if there's a civilization anywhere else. It's really evocative and wonderfully drawn. I wonder if there's something about California or about LA that drives you into a kind of post-apocalyptic world. Edan Lepucki:Well, the book is about a young married couple who leave LA because it's just in a state of ruin. It's horrible. It's funny that the easiest way to call it is post-apocalyptic but it's not as if one certain thing has happened. Scott Timberg:Right. As a reader, it doesnt feel like a bomb fell. But it feels like things are ending or blinding it down or something. Edan Lepucki:Yes. It's kind of a trajectory or decay. Scott Timberg:Yeah. Edan Lepucki:I'm definitely intoI mean, even on my drive here looking at, you can see buildings that have just been raised for whatever reason you don't know and it's very easy for me to create a narrative that goes towards destruction for one reason or another. I think even like the world of Joan Didion, you know, the feeling of dismay or unease that sort of goes through her work is really inspiring. Scott Timberg:But there's been a kind of emotional leveling in Didions work, even if not, the kind of civilization leveling. Edan Lepucki:Exactly. Sort of every ear on the Chaise Lounge empty, right? I really love that feeling and I think the city can stoke that even when it's beautiful and sunny out and I like those polls. I also think CaliforniaI remember I have cousins in New Jersey. This is kind of pre-internet. I think the world has caught up in style. It's what we used to always say that were such jerks. We used to say, oh you're two years behind at everything. And I do think there is something about California, you know, being on the forefront and of all kinds of things. Scott Timberg:Including the end of the world. Edan Lepucki:In the good, in the style and also, you know, zombies. Were going down. So I like that as well. Scott Timberg:You know, your book, Charles, your novel and again sketch it out more fully if you want but it's init's about a guy who repairs time machines and goes all through times doing it. It's a universe that in some ways different than ours. It seems you sketch out physical laws and so on that operate a little bit differently. It's been compared to books like Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Kurt Vonneguts books. So it's not literally set in a ruined California or any kind of Los Angeles but I feel like it's speaking to what were here for today, it feels like you're drawing from science films, you know. There have been so many films that have fragments of these things. I wonder if you were aware of that or inspired by that stuff when you're drawing it up. Charles Yu:I think it's interesting what you said, Scott. I mean, we started off saying that it's sort ofit's easier to sort ofor it's doing harder work to imagine an imaginary place. I think in some ways it's easier for me. I mean, the place that my book has set in is called Minor Universe 31 and it's described as a small, you know, small-scale universe. And I think it's probably easier to imagine a totally fake universe than an actual city, right, or even probably a city block. I'm probably riding around my weaknesses by just going here, you know. I just made this place up and you dont know any of the rules. Only I know them. And then even with the city, I mean, it doesnt touch on a lot of LA specifics. I'm from here, so I think they come out sort of but I couldnt write about LA straight so I made it so that Los Angeles, like half of it is broken off and sort of detached and then another half of Tokyo has come and theyve just sort of joined together in a kind of composite city. So again, made up places but they're easier for me because I can start, you know, from a blank slate. Scott Timberg:I wonder if you guys have and leave California for a moment if you like. I wonder if you have worlds whether fantasy novels, science fiction novels, slip stream, you know, anything in between in which an author has created a world thats so real that you feel like you know it. I mean, I'll toss out the two obvious ones. The books that made me and I think a lot of people, readers, and especially readers of this stuff were, you know, the Tolkiens Middle-Earth. I mean, that was so rich and the language was imagined in such detail and the history felt so consistent and I think in science fiction, the oneI mean, there are a lot of good ones but I think the gold standard is probably dune, you know, and you have an attempt to create obviously a very dry world that has not only this weird physical thing but where the culture hasyou know, a kind of desert culture has evolved around the physical limitations of it. Do you guys have books that youthat do that kind of thing that you really admire or maybe even are inspired by? Charles Yu:I think one that would come to mind would be Isaac Asimovs Foundation series. Scott Timberg:Yeah, those are awesome. Yeah. Absolutely. Charles Yu:Another in a totally different sort of conceptual part of the spectrum would be Jonathan Lethems As She Climbed Across the Table, which is set in Berkley. So this kind of amazingI don't know if its set in Berkley but it's set in like a particle accelerator lab, right where you havemaybe I've always imagined it that way but you gotreally what you have is the space of a relationship. So thats interesting to me not as a geographical place but that you're really just thinking about a whole universe thats really a romantic relationship between a man and a woman. Edan Lepucki:The Handmaid is probably my favorite of the speck of fiction. I love thethat book if I read that book and then fall asleep, all my dreams will be terrifying and I'll be wearing one of thoseand I love that book particularly because I'm interested in the way that language changes when language is taken away. And I think that she does a really great job of showing in the future where you can only say certain words or, you know, then Scrabble becomes really sexyI mean, become sexy if it's not sexy already. But that book is beautiful and I think-- Charles Yu:How do you play Scrabble? Edan Lepucki:What? Charles Yu:How do you play Scrabble? Edan Lepucki:I'll tell you after the panel. But other books that I find, you know, there are other books that are completely Realistic, you know, I love Stoner by John Williams. Thats just a story of a mans life. It's really nothing reallynothing really great happens. He's not remarkable in any way. He's an English teacher, who, you sort of follow his life and his wretched marriage but it's attention to his consciousness is really stunning to me. In that way, it's just another landscape. It's somebody elses brain, which might as well be both a planet that you inhabit and a planet youve never been to. Charles Yu:Actually, going back to what Edan said more recently books have interest me are the sort of more interior space books. Someone like, Nicholson Baker, who rights books where they basically take place in someones head. And so I thinkI like the idea of both of those that a space isand this is actually kind of one of the properties of Minor Universe 31 is that it's the size of that universe is not fixed. So it's a little bit elastic and can be the size of someones head or can be the size of something slightly larger. Scott Timberg:Right, right, right. You know, I dont know about you, I love authors that create the sort of alternate worlds, science fiction, fantasy, anything in between. The problem I have to admit and what, sometimes takes me away from science fiction is that often they expand so much energy on the world that the characters and the relationships and the characters are kind of flat. I mean, Pauline Celis is something similar about science fiction films that they, spend all this time on special effectsthe people dont feel real and because of that it's sort of dead. Thats not true of all science fiction films or science fiction novels but I think it's a risk. It's interesting to me that you guys have put so much emphasis on the characters and on the relationships between them. Is that something that you like in your own reading? Is it something you pay attention to as writers or is all this just purely sort of unconscious? Edan Lepucki:A character is probably the one and main reason why I read. I dont think plot is interesting unless the characters are there. I think thats what you're saying about bad science fiction being only the stuff in the world and not the people behind it who cares about this stuff if you dont care about the people. One of the reasons why I wanted to write this book is that the phrase Post-apocalyptic, domestic drama and I was like-- Scott Timberg:The time has come. Edan Lepucki:The time has come for the great post-apocalyptic of domestic drama. But I really was sort of fascinated by the idea of thinking about marriage at the end of the world. Like what would it be like to be alone with the person that you love the most in the world hopefully and there will be nobody else there and what are the pressures that are exerted on that relationship? And also, even though character and how people feel and what they want, all of that is most important to me. I'm sort of tired of stories whereI always make fun of this kind of storywhere it's about a husband and wife, one of them is possibly having an affair. They go in to the kitchen to wash the dishes. The plate breaks. The story ends. I dont want to read a story like that anymore. Charles Yu:Butter melts a little bit. Edan Lepucki:Yeah. All these objects, the objective correlative has gone off the rails and every object means something because there are no events happening. Charles Yu:I've written a lot them. Youll never see the idea Edan Lepucki:And I think that kind of story can actually be done very well. Scott Timberg:Well, Raymond Carver did it well. But I feel like it's a kind of story that caught on in writing programs too and I know you went to Iowa, right? And Carver could do it well and, you know, people-- Edan Lepucki:Yeah. Although I think that style of storys gone out ofI think it's gone into the weirder stratosphere since then. It's may be a backlash to that. I think psychologically that kind of novel can be terrific and actually quite juicy to read and page turning. It's been done so many times. So I think what is appealing to me about my project was, I get to work with people and thinking about they have lost everything. So what do you do when you have the bird of the past and you can't retrieve it? So those are the ideas that were making me excited but then I go to do kind of fun world building but in revision I had to do a lot more world building because it's not a skill that I've ever really practiced. Charles Yu:But it started fromI've read the books so I'll say the characters. Edan Lepucki:Yeah. Do it. Charles Yu:It's started first from the relationship it sounds like-- Edan Lepucki:Yeah. Charles Yu:--go outward from the two. Edan Lepucki:From there, exactly. Yeah. Charles Yu:Yeah, I mean, I find it hard to do it almost any other way. Well, I do it all the time probably 95% of the time, I start from the outside and I end up with these things that are hollow and eventually just kind of, you know, are inert. And I say, Why isnt this working? Oh it's because I got so sort of, you know, in love with my little idea that Scott Timberg:Yeah. I mean, what kind of concedes do you start with? I mean, did you think of a world you wanted to sketch out or do you think of a theme or how does it develop because youve wrote a lot of short stories, those all need their own inspiration. Charles Yu:Yeah. I mean, I think, you know, they usually start the way sort of Edans, you know, post-apocalyptic, domestic dramas, with just some phrase we go, okay, that sounds like something to get me going. And sometimes those lose steam for me because it was just an idea or I couldnt get inside of the idea enough, sometimes that they end up going somewhere else. I think they hardly ever turn into a story or something longer than that unless I can get from that kind of conceit into a good first line. I don't know. I think the first line too for me often will be, you know, pushing the boulder off the mountain because it probably means the subconscious has done a whole lot of work to get to the point where you're going into that world. So I think it's a little bit, you know, probably idiosyncratic but I do think that from the conceit to the point where you know you have your entry point even if it doesnt end up being the actual first line. Scott Timberg:Right. Charles Yu:Thats like the danger zone for me. I'm a hundreda thousand stories have been dashed on the rocks right there. Edan Lepucki:I wonder too if getting it to the first line then youve committed something to language, so then youve decided on voice and then already there, youve kind of married to some kind of new consciousness. Scott Timberg:No, I think yeah, that makes sense to me. I mean, as a writer of non-fiction, I think when I write a first line and I get a tone, you know, thats when I kind of know where I'm going and sometimes I might go back and change a little bit. But when youas you say, youve got a point of view on the material and that can orient you, you know. Edan Lepucki:Yeah. I've been thinking a lot because I have a 2-year-old and he's starting to tell stories. I mean, like my dad said, he's a mediocre storyteller. But what he says is he actually has a premise. He says like, A dog stepped in the bathtub. And then thats the end of the story and it made me think about how premise is not story because it's not connected with character and if they're not sort of emerging simultaneously then, you really dont have anything but a one sentence 2-year-old anecdote, which nobody wants to buy in a bookstore. Charles Yu:Are you worked up in your 2 and half kid? Edan Lepucki:Sometimes if he wants to get something, yes, hell tell me a story. Charles Yu:I like that. Edan Lepucki:I know. I'm abusive. Scott Timberg:I wonder if you two could mention a couple California writers who, Los Angeles or not, who, either you love or who inspired you or they can shape what you do or just be people whos work you like. Just pick a writer or two and tell us a little bit about them. Charles Yu:I'm going to have my technicality be Jonathan Lethem because he's a transplant and he did live in Berkley for a long time. So I think in some ways, you can see a little bit of theyou can see the marriage of the California and New York sort of in some of it, and you know, actually I wasI'm glad she's not here because I think Aimee Bender is one of my, you know, I actually like her writing a lot. Edan Lepucki:Is it too awkward to say I'm-- Charles Yu:I think a little bit because she would think-- Scott Timberg:It wouldyou would be very embarrassed-- Charles Yu:And if I just hand her a book to signshe's another oneI was drawnwhen I first started writing short stories, I was reading her work and, you know, in stores or sometimes in, you know, journals, like Paris review or something fancy like that. She writes, you know, these fables that sometimes really aren't in a place at all. I would've been , you know, curious to hear sort of, to your question, Scott, whether or not that has anything to do with, you know, living in LA. Scott Timberg:Edan, anybody for you? Edan Lepucki:I mentioned Joan Didion playis one of my favorite books. I love when she's eating the hardboiled and driving on the freeway. I just thinkwhenever I'm on the freeway and I'm really freaked outI need an egg. And I love the fragmented style and I dont think I really write like that. But I like that as a contrast of my own. Scott Timberg:Well, it's funny. As far as playas it lays, there was an excellent panel earlier today on architecture and sort of the built environment of Los Angeles and Didion came up and whoever was talking about Didion, it may have been John Christenson said that the book is very much an LA book, took place in LA, but you get no conventional sense of place from the book. She's on the damn freeway. Every memory I have of that book, she's in the car. Edan Lepucki:She goes to like, [???][0:23:50.7] Scott Timberg:Right. Edan Lepucki:She's on our Chaise Lounge. Scott Timberg:Right. I mean, you can read it and not get that much sense of the sociology or ethnic range or what the city looks like. Edan Lepucki:Yeah. It's a veryit's a Didion LA for sure. Scott Timberg:Yeah, and it's also just so much of it is in the car, you know, so much in the freeway thats sort of-- Edan Lepucki:Yeah, or it's in herit's very deep-- Scott Timberg:Yeah, in her kind of, you know, the on we of her mind-- Edan Lepucki:It's on we of Malibu. Scott Timberg.:Yeah, yeah. Anyway, this sort of restless movement back and forth across the, you know, the sort of ceaseless, you know, kind of unquenchable appetite and directionless and racing across the city on a freeway. It's hard to think of another city that would have a book that was one of its iconic books that really didn't take place in the city in any traditional way. You know, it takes place kind of in motion. In freeways, we think of it as being separate from the city. Edan Lepucki:Or there are these little sectionsit's a dialogue where there's nomaybe it has quotation marks but not as I remember them and it all feels like you're Mariah, you're sort of falling apart at the edges. I really like Michelle Hunevens work. Scott Timberg:Uh-huh. Yeah. Edan Lepucki:And I think someone whos really steep in the place writing about Pasadena-- Scott Timberg:She is very steepyeah. Edan Lepucki:And this isnt a book but I really love Six Feet Under, and I think that is a narrative about a family and other Angelinos that come into their lives because of their jobs as undertakers. I think I really love that. Scott Timberg:I'm going to read a line of, you know, something Aimee said to me and we can sort of bring this in. So I asked Aimee aboutAimee Bender, whose work most of you probably know. Her first story collection was The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, which wasjust felt very bold and fresh. You probably all know her work but it's not science fictional but it's certainly not realistic. It feels to me the draw from sort of folklore and there's a lot of Hans Christian Andersen and fable, you know, fable-like stuff. But it's also like a fable, it might be a different universe but it's very consistent. It tends to be very rigorous. Anyway, I asked her how growing up here had shaped her orientation as writer and she said, that it was because LA is famous for being a place you reinvent yourself. People come from the Midwest, change their name and become, you know, somebody else. But she said it's also a great place for pure invention because it's a city that nurtures daydreaming. And she said, Growing up here, I stared out of the window all the time driving from place to place and there was a ton of daydreaming time. So I think that was fruitful for writing, not the city itself but almost the city in motion, the city as observed by someone in a passenger seat. So she said that viewing life here and the city itself from a distance. I mean, were back on the freeway in the Didion novel, gave her a different sense than when she's in New York or a city with public transportation and a lot of walking. She feels that distance was important for her as a child starting to tell stories inside her own mind and that she thinks that LA is a great city despite the stereotype that it's for sort of pushy, you know, kind ofit's a great city for introverts. So I wonder if either of you have any thoughts on any of that. Charles Yu:I think so. I think there's something to, and this is back to the freeway. Thats certainly a pretty big experience and I dont mean that in the ugh, traffic. I mean that in themost of the time, you know, if you're in LA, you're not really in LA, right? You're in your car or you're in your house or you're in the place you're in. You're not in some place in between. So it's a more discreet discontinuous place than other. Scott Timberg:Right. It's been a city of private spaces for most of it. And the panel earlier, talk about how that may be changing but it's just been, you know, private pools, private architecturethere's been a real fight to create a public space in LA and thats got to shape the literature. Charles Yu:And I think that goes to Aimees comment maybe about introverts and daydreaming. You can be in a bubble, right? When your feet are in the ground and you're walking through, you got to get from 26th and 8th to, you know, 75th and whatever, right? You got to go through a bunch of places that you might not know. You might never have taken that particular path and-- Scott Timberg:You're talking about New York. Charles Yu:New York, right. And soin LA, you probably take, you know, the 4 or 5 or the 10 to the 110 and get off. So it's both the kind of private space and also maybe a little bit less room for just accident, I guess, right? Like, just accident-- Scott Timberg:There's less serendipity maybe? Charles Yu:Less serendipity. But I think that canthat reserve, that distance can foster than kind of ability to create your own, sort of sense that this is my channel. This is where I go into this space and I mysteriously transport and reappear. Edan Lepucki:I heard it's like a time machine. Charles Yu:It's what? Edan Lepucki:I said it's a time machine. Charles Yu:It's a time machine. Edan Lepucki:Interesting too, that combined withI now, against my will, live in the Berkley area, and something I miss about LA isit's hard for me to describe because when I try to tell people in Berkley how I prefer LA, they dontthey poo-poo it for some reason. But I try to say it's weirder and they say, Oh Berkley is so weird. And I'm like, no. There are people in LA who are deeply, deeply strange and you can find them in every neighborhood, in every socionomic class. I dont know what else to say except you can driving and it's usually when you're driving and you see something on the street and then you pick up somebody and they tell you about this great new project they're working on and I think there a differentthere's also this introversion, okay, but there's also all of these people who are constantly kind of pitching to you and not necessarily because they're in the business. But there is that quality or maybe it's that reinvention. I'm just thinking about how impossibleI mean, everyone always says thisbut how impossible it is to characterized this city. I'm looking at her right now and I'm thinking of painting it black in a specific 1980s Eco Parkand that is such a beautifully rendered specific world but thats one of like a huge patchwork and thats one of the things that I also love about the city. There's the weirdness of Sunset Boulevard where there's a random man selling puppies to you. And then, you know, you go down the block and there's some other strange Bermuda Triangle of neighborhood there and I'm sure every city has that quality. But there's something specifically Los Angeles about it that works for fiction. Scott Timberg:Well, yeah. One of the things thatyour panel talked about was how difficult it is toI mean, people have stopped trying I think to capture the entire city the way, again, double or certain novels about London or New York. We try to capture the entire thing. I mean, even in, say architecture writing, you can think of something like, you know, city of courts isMike Daviss book is really about LA in total. I mean, Norman Kleins history of forgetting is sort of too. But it's just gottenas the city has gotten bigger and more diverse, it's gotten harder to do that whether you're doing it as a fiction writer or a short story writer or writing about the built environment I think. It's just too complex to get it all at once. So the best you can do is get a patchwork and, you know, you get an individual subculture neighborhood and you make sure you get it right and you draw as much of it as you can. Charles Yu:I like the idea of Edans dad being a location manager. Because that sounds like-- Edan Lepucki:It's not that. I mean, he really like it. He finds-- Charles Yu:He manages locations? Edan Lepucki:He does. He finds locations to filmmostly television now. You know, I always say he gets the permits and sweet talks the neighbors. You know, when I was younger, he would make the signs, you know, all the signs in LA that are stenciled. But now he has people to do that for him. He's moved up in the world. Yeah. It's interesting that he got that job late because this is really datinghe used to be a [???][0:32:21.4] salesman and he movedwhich sounds comic. I need to write a novel about a [???][0:32:24.5] because that sounds like really good book. Scott Timberg:Yeah. I think a [???][0:32:28.7] salesman become a location manager in an unknowable city sounds like a greatthat will be Thomas Pynchons next novel if you dont do it. You know, speaking of next novels, let'sweve got Gary Schneider coming andwhy dont we close out? If the two of you could just give us a sense of where you're going with your next work. Edans novel isnt even out yet. So I'll let you be as vague as you like, but what's next for you guys? Charles Yu:Well, first I recommend that you all go out and buy Edans novel. I think I'm, you know, it's nice to be the only person in room whos probablywell, I've couple have read it but so I know the secret that you dont know yet. But you'll enjoy it. Edan Lepucki:It has a twist. Charles Yu:I'm working on a novel and it's rounding out into form and it is set in Los Angeles but not Los Angeles of this universe. So thats the qualifier. But yeah, thats what I've been trying to figure out how to do for the lasttoo long. Scott Timberg:How about you besides girding yourself for the-- Edan Lepucki:Yeah. I'm trying to get quite a person named Cecil Castellucci who has a novel coming out. Tin Star comes out on Tuesday. She always recommended that you finish her a new novelyou finish a draft of a book before your book comes out. So thats my goal. And Cecil got that from Aimee Bender. Yeah, she's here in spirit. So I dont think I'm going to succeed that but I'm on my way. So I'm writing a new book that is set in the present day. It's set in LA. It was supposed to be a crime novel but the crime has not occurred. So I'm not really sure what's going to happen. But it's about women in LA. Scott Timberg:Well, youve got a post-apocalyptic novel without an apocalypse, right? Sort of a science fiction novel without science. So I can tell what you're doing here. This is a little bit sneaky. Edan Lepucki:Yeah. This is one is realism though and it's more about motherhood. It's the terrors of motherhood. It's a horror novel. Scott Timberg:Yeah, it can be that way, can it? Well, thats great stuff guys. Thanks for being here and I hope you continue to create alternate universes. I'm Scott Timberg of Culture Crash, Edan Lepucki, Charles Yu. Thank you very much for coming. [Applause]