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Bill Deverell, professor of history at the University of Southern California, describes how journalist Carey McWilliams wrote about Los Angeles and California, from migrant workers to the Zoot Suit Riots, and influenced writers like Hunter S. Thompson.
Edan Lepucki, author of California, and writers Charles Yu and Scott Timberg look at the problem of world building versus character development in fiction and science fiction.
Historian Sam Watters explains that despite Gertrude Stein's reported disdain for Hollywood and the movies, it what was in fact drew her back to America and L.A.
Gustavo Arellano, author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, discusses how throughout California's turbulent history, Mexican food has been the one unifying factor.
Hector Tobar, journalist and author of The Barbarian Nurseries, discusses how isolation and individualism contrasted with openness and possibility define Los Angeles and the California ethos.
David Ulin, book critic for the L.A. Times, reads from his essay "What Happened Here?" and picks apart the message and methods of Joan Didion's Slouching Toward Bethlehem.
Pulitzer-prize winning poet Gary Snyder shows the evolution of the Los Angeles River from a drainage ditch to a park for kayakers, hikers, artists, and neighbors.
Journalist David Kipen describes how Los Angeles, from the Bradbury
Book critic David Ulin opens the second part of Tales from Two Cities by posing the question "What does it mean to read and write from and of California?"
Poet and author Luis Rodriguez describes how de-industrialization impacted the cities of Los Angeles and Chicago where gang violence took root. He seeks to tap into the creativity of those communities in his writing.
Devil in the Blue Dress author Walter Mosley discusses the process of having his work adapted to film and television and whether he dreams of Denzel Washington.
Architecture critic for the Los Angeles Times Christopher Hawthorne discusses how the development of multiple screens will change the direction of architecture and how the depiction of LA in the movie 'Her' might not be far off.