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Mingling with the Paris Review and PEN

October 7, 2011 | 12:48 pm

Panelists Michael Tolkin, Jonathan Lethem, Ann Louise Bardach and David Kipen at the Paris Review / PEN event.
On Thursday night, PEN Center USA made the Paris Review welcome on the West Coast. The plan was wine and mingling, followed by a panel of Southern California literati answering advice questions posed on the Paris Review's blog, all at the Standard Hotel in West Hollywood.

A robust crowd of literary Angelenos turned out to take part. The panel included screenwriter and novelist Michael Tolkin ("The Player"); David Kipen, formerly of the NEA and now proprietor of the bookstore/lending library Libros Schmbiros; Tom Lutz, editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books; Ann Louise Bardach ("Without Fidel: A Death Foretold in Miami, Havana and Washington"); and author Jonathan Lethem, who has two books coming out this fall -- a collection of nonfiction work, "The Ecstasy of Influence: Nonfictions, Etc." and "The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick," which he co-edited. They fielded questions lobbed by the Paris Review's Sadie Stein.

Also spotted in the audience were Marisa Silver ("Alone With You"), National Book Award finalist Rachel Kushner ("Telex from Cuba"), Janet Fitch ("White Oleander"), David Francis ("Stray Dog Winter"), Seth Greenland ("Shining City"), Simon Reynolds ("Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past"), Matthew Specktor ("That Summertime Sound"), Geoff Nicholson ("The Hollywood Dodo"), Cecil Castellucci ("Boy Proof"), Andrew Winer ("The Marriage Artist"), PEN head Adam Somers and Stephen Elliott ("The Adderall Diaries"), in town finishing his first film.

Of course, that's not all, and apologies to those I missed. I had to depart early, so missed the finale, which I assume included post-panel mingling.

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-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Panelists Michael Tolkin, Jonathan Lethem, Ann Louise Bardach and David Kipen. Panelist Tom Lutz is, I think, blocked by David Kipen. Credit: Carolyn Kellogg

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