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James Ellroy, prickly peacock


James Ellroy, of course, found a way to make it all about James Ellroy--I didn't bother with his panel but I did go to the cocktailer after and there they told me all about it.  What I heard was this: when Ellroy found out he was not the sole author emeritus on stage but actually on a panel with other mere mortal authors, he bristled and walked.  All of this was painfully obvious to the onlooking audience.  My pal at this conference, Malina Stefanovska, who heads the french and Francophone Studies department at UCLA, and who was moderating this panel (and who is an Ellroy fan), tracked him down, they tell me, and brought him back.  When he returned he read like the mock-stud he is, legs spread like a Gower Gulch extra, &c.  What a faux-butch peacock he is--I watched Claudine's video of him reading and I just had to laugh.  By the time I spoke to Malina all about it at the bar in the Culver Hotel, she told me that she could forgive prickliness for the sake of indulging superior talent.  Percival Everett, on the other hand, was the precise opposite, gentlemanly, marketing-shy, even a bit--well--genuine, I understand.  Ellroy is not my cup of joe, nor even are panels of writers in general; but after the cocktails I made off with Simon Liberati's novel Jayne Mansfield 1967.  This is in French.  You can always depend on Vis-a-Vis to provide some drama, anyway.