Thursday, December 29, 2011

James Ellroy

James Ellroy was born in Los Angeles in 1948. His L.A. Quartet novels—The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, and White Jazz—were international best sellers. His novel American Tabloid was Time magazine’s Best Book (fiction) of 1995; his memoir, My Dark Places, was a Time Best Book of the Year and a New York Times Notable Book for 1996. His novel The Cold Six Thousand was a New York Times Notable Book and a Los Angeles Times Best Book for 2001.

From a conversation between Ellroy and novelist David Peace, in the Guardian back in 2010:

DP Did you write American Tabloid knowing it would be the first book of a trilogy?

JE As I began the finishing of Tabloid, I saw that it was a trilogy, and I saw that the second book would be the big book about the 60s.

DP Had you also envisaged the third book?

JE Not in any kind of detail, no. Because the politics and the social upheaval of America during the 60s are so obvious – you got the anti-war protests, the civil rights movement, the racism of the South, Howard Hughes buying up Las Vegas – I had a lot of it right at the gate. But when you go into 1972, as this book [Blood's a Rover] does, it's less charted territory.

DP At what point did you decide on the various timeframes for each novel?

JE I had decided to end the first two books with the assassinations (of JFK in 1963, and Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy in 1968), and then the death of Hoover in '72 unfolded as the logical conclusion to the trilogy.

DP These are huge stories, huge histories. What are your research methods?

JE They are...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue