How L.A.’s Writers Spent the Two-Year Pandemic

How L.A.’s writers spent their two-year pandemic

By Meredith Maran

Two years ago, when the pandemic paused life as we knew it and many Angelenos started tending to stricken loved ones, stuck-at-home children and sourdough starters, L.A. writers started tending careers stymied by shuttered bookstores, delayed publication dates and canceled book tours.

Los Feliz mystery writer Charles Finch put fiction aside to write his 2021 memoir, “What Just Happened: Notes From a Long Year.” Highland Park husband-and-wife journalists Geoff Manaugh and Nicola Twilley published “Until Proven Safe: The History and Future of Quarantine,” which they’d begun researching years before the subject became global news. In May of that long year, a coalition of writers’ organizations petitioned the L.A. City Council for emergency relief. “These artists … are central to the publishing, entertainment, and new media sectors that are a core component of our economy. Our city cannot afford to leave writers behind.”

Shortly after lockdown began, The Times commissioned writers’ quarantine diaries, yielding entries like novelist Anna Solomon’s: “An eight-city tour was in the works. I know my loss is minuscule in the scheme of losses right now. Still, my novel … took years to write.” The June 2020 piece concluded, “It’s well worth listening to these voices, because whatever future we can imagine ourselves into next might depend on them.”

That imagined future is now upon us as we enter Year Three of the ever-mutating, ever-mind-melting COVID-19 pandemic. We asked seven Los Angeles writers what they’ve done with this crazy time and what it’s done to them. Read the full story at the L.A. Times.

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