Susan Straight's New Novel Depicts A Vision of LA Rarely Explored

Susan Straight's new novel draws on her experiences of growing downtown LA and its surroundings to create an image of a neighborhood 'reeking of cheap liquor and hurt.'

She describes how the Golden Gopher, a small dive bar on 8th street turned hipster hangout is able to 'capture all the weirdness of the city.' Although the bar itself has since been fully re upholstered and its dingy past turned into a motif, the surrounding block remains occupied by low rent hotels and an unchanged cowboy bar named El Gaucho.

Hector Tobar compares Straight to Raymond Chandler and John Fante for her ability to accurately depict the soul of the city through hidden lives of the LA basin's residents. He suggests you "enter into that imaginary L.A., and afterward you too may notice a little more as you wander through the real one. Perhaps you'll pause at a doorway or two and wonder about the tales that lie within."

Full Story: Where Hopes and Desperation Collide

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