Sunday, July 28, 2013

Matthew Specktor

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, among other publications. He is a senior editor and founding member of the Los Angeles Review of Books.

From Specktor's Q & A with Lauren Eggert-Crowe for The Rumpus:

The Rumpus: One of the things that I love about American Dream Machine is that it’s not starstruck. It is not an L.A. novel that’s enchanted with the silver screen or the curious imaginary life that L.A. seems to espouse.

Matthew Specktor: Definitely not. One of the things that made this book a particular challenge was that I have very mixed feelings about the movie business, and about Los Angeles in general. Usually when people say they have mixed feelings about something, it’s a sort of euphemistic way of saying they hate it. And the truth is, in certain respects I do. I do have complicated feelings about Hollywood, but I also have tremendously affectionate ones. It was a question of how to combine those things. Ambivalence tends to make for good literature.

Rumpus: I have to say, reading your book, I left my comfort zone a little bit. Because I realized I hardly ever read books by men or about men.

Specktor: I was very aware as I started writing it, I thought, wow, this book is really dude-heavy. And I realized I’d just have to surrender to that for a while. There’s a moment about two-thirds of the way through where the narrative consciousness aligns finally with a woman’s point of view, that of Emily White, and I was so happy to have gotten there! I thought, finally there’s a woman who can just come in and take over. (Laughter) I was so happy about it at first that...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Matthew Specktor's website.

Read about the role place plays in Specktor's writing.

The Page 69 Test: American Dream Machine.

--Marshal Zeringue