So writes Thomas Steinbeck in “Montalvo, Myths and Dreams of Home,” one of twenty-seven stories featured in My California, an extraordinary creative outpouring from the state’s literary community in support of the beleaguered California Arts Council.
Fly-fish the pristine waters of the Owens River. Step up to the microphone in a California honky-tonk. Surf the biggest waves California has ever seen. Mingle with ducks in an urban oasis. Roller skate through LA’s Union Station.
My California (June 2004) is a personal journal, a collection of narrative travel and adventure essays by some of California’s most prominent authors.
This special anthology is a collaboration
Monica-based Angel City Press and CaliforniaAuthors.com.
All publishing proceeds will benefit the California
Arts Council, an agency forced to suspend school
writing, arts education programs and other grants
in 2003 because of massive state budget cutbacks.
To make the project possible, all
of the writers donated their work. Malloy
Incorporated has generously donated the first
printing of the book. The CaliforniaAuthors.com editor
and creative director and the team at Angel City Press
— including the sales manager and representatives
who work with Angel City Press — are also contributing
their services and talents. Los Angeles Publicist
Jackie Green is donating her services, too.
In addition, world-renown artist
David Hockney and the J. Paul Getty Museum have contributed
use of Hockney’s "Pearblossom
Hwy (11-18th April 1986 — second version)"
on the cover.
Pico Iyer, author of Abandoned and many other
books about the romance between cultures, including
the upcoming Sun After Dark. He has written
the book’s introduction, “California From
A Distance of 6,000 miles.”
Chabon, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The
Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and other
books. His contribution is “Berkeley.”
Jefferson Parker, Edgar-winning author
of eleven novels, including the upcoming California
Girl. His contribution is “Showing Off
Liu, author of Flash House and past
president of PEN USA West. Her contribution is “Transients
Thomas Steinbeck, author of
Down to a Soundless Sea. His contribution is
“Montalvo, Myths and Dreams of Home.”
devorah major, San Franciscos
2002 poet laureate and author of street smarts,
where river meets ocean and other books.
Her contribution is “Cotton Candy Mirrors.”
Gioia, award-winning Sonoma County poet,
critic and literary anthologist, currently chairman
of the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington,
D.C. His contribution is “On Being a California
Humes, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of
School of Dreams and six other nonfiction
books. His contribution is “The Last Little
Emmy-winning journalist, poet, performer and author
of Crossing Over and The New Americans.
His contribution is “The Line.”
Morrison, L.A. Times columnist, NPR commentator
and author of Rio L.A. Her contribution
is “Flirting with Urbanismo.”
Arax, Los Angeles Times reporter and co-author
of the bestseller, The King of California.
His contribution is “The Big Valley.”
Percival Everett, USC
English professor and author of numerous novels,
including the upcoming American Desert.
His contribution is “909.”
See, author of nine books, including Making
a Literary Life, and recipient of Guggenheim
and Getty fellowships. Her contribution is “Waters
Kamen Goldmark, author of And My Feet
Keep Walking Back to You and producer of the
coast-to-coast radio show “West Coast Live.”
Her contribution is “California Honky-tonk.”
Warshaw, former editor of Surfer magazine
and author of Maverick’s and The
Encyclopedia of Surfing. His contribution
Mackey, author of four volumes of poetry,
a novella, and nine novels and Writer in Residence
at California State University in Sacramento.
Her contribution is “The Distant Cataract
About Which We Do Not Speak.”
Stillman, author of the best-selling Twentynine
Palms. Her contribution is “Rocks in
the Shape of Billy Martin.”
Héctor Tobar, South
American correspondent for the Los Angeles Times
and author of The Tattooed Soldier. His
contribution is “Ode to Caltrans.”
Dumas, author of the best-selling Funny
in Farsi. Her contribution is “Bienvenidos
a Newport Beach.”
Kipen, San Francisco Chronicle book critic.
His contribution is “How Many Angels.”
Veronique de Turenne,
journalist and screenwriter whose work has appeared
in the Los Angeles Times, Salon
and other publications. Her contribution is “Centered.”
Anh Do, Asian affairs
columnist for the Orange County Register
and a vice president at Nguoi Viet Daily News.
Her contribution is “My Little Saigon.”
M. Powazek, designer, performer and author
who has written San Francisco Stories, a website
and book of his true tales of life in the city.
His contribution is “The Nicest Person in
Yost, an award-winning poet and writer
who co-edited California Poetry: From the Gold
Rush to the Present and Poetry Daily: A
Year of Poems. Her contribution is “Returning
D.J. Waldie, author of
Holy Land, a Suburban Memoir, and Where
We Are Now: Notes from Los Angeles. His contribution
is “An Ordinary Place.”
Haslam, author of Coming of Age in
California and other books. His contribution
is "Almost Home."
Weintraub, columnist and political blogger
for The Sacramento Bee. His contribution
is “The un-California.”