Monday, April 17, 2006

Literary Encounter: James Ellroy

James Ellroy, author of The Black Dahlia and LA Confidential, packed the store. He's politically conservative and proclaimed himself as "the white Knight of the far right." He opens his reading by calling his audience "panty sniffers and pederasts." He's almost a complete opposite of who I am. So, why do I find him intriguing?

Maybe because I'd read his memoir My Dark Places, chronicling his rough life beginning with the horrific murder of his mother. He's a real character, an eccentric writer. I don't think he'd be allowed to behave this way if it weren't a novelist. Novelists are given a kind of permission to be weird, I believe.

I'd read that his day job was as a caddy. He lugged around gold clubs at country clubs to pay bills. He'd told he'd remained a caddy until his sixth book! I admire that kind of dilligence.

4 comments:

Cheryl said...

Noel, you panty-sniffer. :-)

Jason Phoon said...

the greeks would approve of pederacy .. ^_^

circuitmouse said...

Oh, thank goodness! We've been given permission to be weird! Now I can let it all out...

*ps-- I recently explained to a friend who works as a dancer how to make money via mail order selling used underwear to gentlemen admirers, presumably to sniff... most novelists I know, alas, would not be able to afford his "private party lap dance" rate...

another writer said...

I saw JE read a few years ago at Skylight: then was irritated when he cancelled awhile back. He gives off this bizarre male sexual energy that I find seductive, even though he always looks like he could use a good scrubbing.