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Past Tense: California: State of Change

Photos by Bob Martin for The New York Times

As Seen by The New York Times
November 10, 2018

In California, there were deserts and mountains, vast farmlands and a thousand miles of publicly owned beach. There were people from everywhere and opportunity that only a country like America could offer the working man or woman, and their children, too. From San Francisco to San Diego, from Hollywood to the world, California offered succor, health and, oddly, anonymity. If you didn’t like the view, you moved. If the boss gave you grief, you dropped him.

The sun shone mercilessly, but no one asked for mercy.

Everybody was rich because anything was possible.

Read the entire essay on Past Tense

NY Times Sunday Book Review: ‘And Sometimes I Wonder About You’

Walter Mosley breaks every rule in the private-detective-story stylebook in his new mystery featuring Leonid McGill, AND SOMETIMES I WONDER ABOUT YOU (Doubleday, $26.95). His New York sleuth’s disorderly domestic affairs keep threatening to overwhelm the crime elements, and a vital piece of the plot isn’t introduced until midway through the book. And when Mosley does wrap things up, he makes no effort to connect any of the multiple subplots.

So why the devotion? To begin with, McGill is one of the most humane (and likable) P.I.s in the business. He’s a short man, and every time a male character is introduced McGill automatically estimates his height. (“Just a centimeter or two north of six feet”; “Standing face to face, we were the same height”; “Medium-­sized. . . . but with bad posture.”) Although he hesitates to call himself a family man, he’s dedicated to his clinically depressed wife and the brood of grown children he considers his own. And despite being a hard man with a rough past, he does his best by his clients, even taking on the posthumous case of a despondent man he regrets turning away: “I could afford to do a good deed for some poor schlub down on his luck.” Read the rest of this entry »

Walter Mosley on Little Green

Walter Mosley and Ta-Nehisi Coates

On Friday, May 31 at 4:00pm EDT, The New York Times Bestselling author Walter Mosley talks about his book LITTLE GREEN, with Ta-Nehisi Coates, Senior Editor, The Atlantic. Watch the conversation live, here.

 

In an L.A. Childhood, the First Mysteries

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My first memory and so, in some essential way, the beginning of my life starts with me on my knees in front of an old console television set. I was 3 years old and didn’t know where I was or even that the TV was there because my eyes were closed. There was a sense of excitement tingling in my shoulders and thrumming at the back of my head; an electricity that made me want to laugh out loud, but I didn’t laugh.

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