Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Los Angeles Review of Books

Today the Los Angeles Review of Books went live. And it's gorgeous:

From the About page:
The Los Angeles Review of Books is a nonprofit, multimedia literary and cultural arts magazine that combines the great American tradition of the serious book review with the evolving technologies of the Web. We are a community of writers, critics, journalists, artists, filmmakers, and scholars dedicated to promoting and disseminating the best that is thought and written, with an enduring commitment to the intellectual rigor, the incisiveness, and the power of the written word.
LARB was created in part as a direct response to the disappearance of the traditional newspaper book review supplement, and with it the great tradition of the comprehensive American book review, dedicated to full-range, long-form coverage of everything from architecture to young adult fiction, academic monographs to genre fiction, from the latest publications to classic texts. In our new, swiftly transforming world of books and publishing, the Los Angeles Review of Books stands for curated, edited, expert, smart and fun opinion written by the best writers and thinkers of our time. We seek to revive, and reinvent, the book review for a new generation.
LARB was created as both a literary and cultural arts magazine, publishing not only traditional long-form essays on books and literature, but also reviews of art, music, theater, and film; exclusive journalism and commentary on key issues of the day; on-location reporting from political hotspots around the nation and worldwide; editorials and commentary on politics, culture and society; audio and video interviews of artists, writers, philosophers and politicians, and much more.
LARB has a prestigious roster of over 250 award-winning writers and contributing editors, as well as over 100 contributing artists. LARB's collective of contributing editors have won Pulitzer Prizes, National and American Book Awards, PEN Awards, and every other kind of distinction. A sample of the Review's contributing editor staff include T.C. Boyle, Jane Smiley, Jeffrey Eugenides, Michael Pollan, Barbara Ehrenreich, Kevin Starr, Greil Marcus, James Franco, Manuel Castells, Antonio Damasio, Mike Davis, John Rechy, Reza Aslan, Chris Abani, Joe Sacco, Jonathan Gold, Carolyn See, Janet Fitch, Yiyun Li, Jane Smiley, Christopher Rice, Eric Lax, Richard Prince, and Jonathan Lethem.
LARB is also home to some of the most widely read book review columnists in the industry, including columns by Richard Rayner (“Paperback Writers”) and Susan Salter Reynolds (“Discoveries”).
The Los Angeles Review of Books is proud to be partnering with KCRW-FM (89.9) to advance literacy and the ongoing promotion of the cultural arts through joint events, a podcast series, and the regular KCRW segment “Reviews with the Los Angeles Review of Books.” To hear our segments on KCRW, please go to
LARB is not only sleekly designed, its editorial talent pool, led by Tom Lutz, is deep and smart. Don't expect the usual kind of reviews. See, for example, Maria Bustillos's "Abnegation," in which she reviews Tom Bissell's latest, but also draws wider conclusions about confessional literature.

Yes, I'm biased because I'm one of the zillion Contributing Editors--but this really is a spectacular new journal. Worth your time. (And your money: make a donation.) I'm really looking forward to watching LARB evolve. Go read it.
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