Matthew Specktor biography

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Matthew Specktor

Matthew Specktor

Matthew Specktor Biography

Matthew Specktor was born in 1961 in Los Angeles. He received his Bachelor's Degree in creative writing and literature from Hampshire College in 1984, and holds an MFA in fiction writing from Warren Wilson College.

Specktor is the author of the novels American Dream Machine and That Summertime Sound, as well as a nonfiction book of film criticism. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Paris Review, The Believer, Tin House, Black Clock, and other publications. He is a founding editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Matthew Specktor's website

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Interview

Matthew Specktor discusses American Dream Machine

American Dream Machine is set strongly in Los Angeles. It portrays the city in a way that's incredibly vivid--it looks like LA, it feels like LA, a city that is famously hostile to writers. What role does place play in your writing?
LA seems to have suffered over the years as the object of satire, derision, and hostility. In fact, with the possible exception of Chandler, it's hard to think of a great writer who's treated Los Angeles without pronounced ambivalence. Less Than Zero, The Day of the Locust, Play it As It Lays, The Player, What Makes Sammy Run. These books all organize themselves around a pretty jaundiced view of LA, or certainly of Hollywood. That's fair: they're all great books, and I think literature isn't where you go for false optimism. At the same time, I wanted to treat Los Angeles very differently. I grew up here, and I wanted to shower as much thoughtful affection upon it as I could, the way that Philip Roth did upon Newark or Saul Bellow did upon Chicago, etc. I wanted to paint a more comprehensive picture of this place in its warmer, and more human, dimensions. To address not just glamor and disillusion, but also the more ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Matthew Specktor at BookBrowse
American Dream Machine jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Matthew Specktor but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
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  • Edward Bloor

    Edward Bloor

    Edward Bloor (born October 12, 1950) is an American author best known for his work in teenage and young adult fiction. Born into a diverse community in Trenton New Jersey, Bloor enjoyed an active lifestyle as a child, often ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    American Dream Machine

    Try:
    London Calling
    by Edward Bloor

  • Michael Chabon

    Michael Chabon

    Novelist, screenwriter, columnist and short story writer Michael Chabon was born May 24, 1963 in Washington, DC.   He grew up in the suburbs of Columbia, Maryland with his parents Robert, a physician, lawyer, ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    American Dream Machine

    Try:
    Telegraph Avenue
    by Michael Chabon

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