Orange County: A Literary Field Guide
A literary journey through Southern California’s storied county. The first-ever survey of poetry and prose from and about the region.
Even by California’s standards, the County of Orange teems with abundance: in sweeping topography along the azure Pacific, in sprawling suburbs, in promises of prosperity, and in its self-perpetuated reputation as a citrus-lined paradise. But the acclaimed fertility of this corner of California is not just agricultural or economic, as this new anthology shows. In this literary field guide, more than sixty writers—some well known, others emerging—lead readers on a tour that begins at the coast and heads inland over the Santa Ana Mountains, through the canyons, and into the cities of Anaheim, Irvine, and Orange in search of vistas of truth. Luminaries including M.F.K. Fisher, Michael Chabon, Philip K. Dick, Victor Villaseñor, Harryette Mullen, Steve Martin, and Susan Straight explore the complexities and contradictions of the county, locating readers in a place made in equal measure by 950 square miles of land and the imagination. A foreword by Gustavo Arellano, OC Weekly editor and author of Orange County: A Personal History and the syndicated column ¡Ask a Mexican!, unravels the idealized past and paradoxical present of this much-mythologized locale.