Matthew Specktor is the author of the novels American Dream Machine and That Summertime Sound, as well as a nonfiction book about the motion picture The Sting. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Paris Review, The Believer, Tin House, Black Clock, and Salon.com, among other publications. He is a senior editor and founding member of the Los Angeles Review of Books.
From a Q & A at Salon.com between Matthew Specktor and Bret Easton Ellis:
Bret Easton Ellis: You grew up in a relative showbiz environment and I didn’t. Let’s start there.Learn more about the book and author at Matthew Specktor's website.
Matthew Specktor: Right. But when I read “Less Than Zero,” I thought, Jesus, I’ve never seen my world described this way. Or any way, for that matter. People think of “Hollywood” as a metonym, as if it and “Los Angeles” are the same thing. They aren’t.
Well, you grew up in Santa Monica, and I grew up in the Valley, in Sherman Oaks. And my dad wasn’t a part of Hollywood — he was in real estate. It wasn’t until I was 10 or so that he started to do well, and it was then that I became cognizant of my upbringing as privileged. You know, going to a lot of restaurants during the week for dinner, and I’m attending Buckley, this very exclusive private school and I’m wearing a uniform, etc.
Yep. My dad was a talent agent, but he didn’t start to do particularly well until I was in high school. By which point, the only thing I wanted to do was get out of Los Angeles. I desperately needed to bail.
That desire was paramount for me, as well.
We didn’t know each other then, and you’re a few years older than I am, but we did the exact same thing. I applied to Bennington and I applied to Hampshire. I chose the latter almost strictly for reasons that had to do with sex. (Laughing.) A bigger student body, and so more...[read on]
Read about the role place plays in Specktor's writing.
The Page 69 Test: American Dream Machine.