A 'Lasciviously LA' Lunch With Crime Novelist James Ellroy

It is December 6, 1941. America stands at the brink of World War II. Last hopes for peace are shattered when Japanese squadrons bomb Pearl Harbor. Los Angeles has been a haven for loyal Japanese-Americans—but now, war fever and race hate grip the city and the Japanese internment begins.


Perfidia is a novel of astonishments. It is World War II as you have never seen it, and Los Angeles as James Ellroy has never written it before. Here, he gives us the party at the edge of the abyss and the precipice of America’s ascendance. Perfidia is that moment, spellbindingly captured. It beckons us to solve a great crime that, in its turn, explicates the crime of war itself. It is a great American novel.




JAMES ELLROY was born in Los Angeles in 1948. He is the author of the L.A. Quartet: The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, and White Jazz, and the Underworld U.S.A. Trilogy: American Tabloid, The Cold Six Thousand, and Blood’s A Rover. These seven novels have won numerous honors and were international best sellers.


Ellroy currently lives in Los Angeles.


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“Ellroy has a way of giving gravitas to ugliness and making brutality beautiful. . .
To see him operating this way, full of power and totally in his comfort zone, is an awesome thing to behold. His LA might not be a city of angels, but the devils he conjures up tell one hell of a tale. . . . At its black and dripping heart, Perfidia is a police procedural. But like all great procedurals, the case is just what gets people up and moving, allowing Ellroy to dip into radical politics here, rabid jingoism there. He back-lays groundwork and motivation for characters already fully alive in his other novels. . . . [Perfidia is] epic in its depth and evocation of an ugly time and an awful place that, with its sheen of youth and beauty, is too often made glossy and innocent in our memories.”

- Jason Sheehan, All Things Considered/NPR


photo: Jennifer Carroll

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"One of the great American writers of our time." — Los Angeles Book Review

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