I’m James Ellroy, the demon dog of American literature, the author of sixteen books, twelve novels, a full length memoir, a book of short stories and two journalistic collections. Masterpieces, all.
I don’t follow the culture. I don’t read. I don’t go to movies. I don’t watch television or check out newspapers. If you’d like to know why I write the books that I write, I would say, look at the back flap of my hardcovers where it says, “James Ellroy was born in Los Angeles in 1948.”
What’s the deal with The Black Dahlia? There are a combination of factors that make the Black Dahlia case so compelling. The postwar L.A. milieu, the unsolved status, the fact that it’s America’s first media-manufactured homicide case, and the fact that we were all looking for the language to explain the utter savagery inflicted on Elizabeth Short. It’s all those factors.
READ MORE: “Exquisite Corpse: Surrealism and the Black Dahlia Murder,” reviewed by Rod Lott (Bookgasm).