Monday, April 16, 2007

Megan Abbott

Steve Allan interviewed Megan Abbott at "Noir Writer."

The opening exchange:

NoirWriter: THE SONG IS YOU is set in Hollywood. Why is tinsel town such a great setting for noir novels?

Abbott: Part of it is tradition. So much classic noir is set in LA that, by setting stories there, you can kind of write your way into that world. But I think a lot of is thematic. The whole concept of Hollywood as a dream factory, as celluloid fantasy, as a glossy scrim concealing a darker reality—that’s pretty perfect for noir, for all its themes of deception and betrayal. There’s also the tradition of California as the end of the frontier, as the land of milk and honey, the promised land. That works both ways for noir. You have the idea of all these desperate souls coming to this place to see their dreams realized, only to discover the dream is a lie. At the same time, though, located at the end of the frontier, there is this nihilistic quality to Los Angeles and Hollywood—it’s a dropping-off point. An awful terminus, like you see in Nathanael West, Horace McCoy. And of course there’s the glamour of Hollywood too. The famous nightclubs, the movie star scandals. That stuff is just fun to write about.
Read the entire interview.

(Hat tip to "The Rap Sheet.")

--Marshal Zeringue