Monday, September 21, 2009

You’ve Got Me Under Your Spell

On Tuesday, James Ellroy’s new novel, Blood’s a Rover--the third and final installment of his Underworld USA trilogy--will appear on American bookstore shelves. Soon afterward, the Washington Post Book World should podcast an interview between Ellroy and Art Taylor, a book critic, fiction writer, and assistant professor of English at George Mason University. Before either of those events, Taylor has posted a previous conversation he had with Ellroy in his blog, Art & Literature. Their exchange begins this way:
Art Taylor: Blood’s a Rover marks a magnificent end to the Underworld USA trilogy, a crowning achievement for sure. Had you seen these books as a trilogy from the very beginning?

James Ellroy: I knew the second novel would be my big novel of the 1960s. The history was easy to foresee: the civil rights movement, the ultimate assassination of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, more Cuban exile shit, more mob shit, Howard Hughes buying up Las Vegas, general civil rights unrest, the Klan, and my two survivors from American Tabloid, Ward Littell and Pete Bondurant, getting further into the shit. It took longer to put Blood’s a Rover together, because going from ’68 to ’72, you’re going to have the summer of the political conventions and the ’68 election and all that hoo-ha, but my mob guys had to get to a cool locale, and it took me a while to come up with the Dominican Republic and Haiti. It’s full of voodoo, which is cool shit and certainly intensifies all the black militant shit in L.A.
You’ll find the whole interview here.

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