Note: This article appeared earlier this month in L.A. Weekly’s People Issue. John Rechy was the only author to make the list. Enjoy!
The greatest prose writer in L.A. lives among the lizards and lemon trees at the efflorescence of the Hollywood Hills. In a Beachwood Canyon backyard in perennial bloom, you find 84-year-old John Rechy, perpetual hustler in partial hermitage.
The arthritic decay of age is relatively modest. His former Fabian-esque pompadour has softened into an amber tuft. Thick plastic frames harness his deteriorating vision. But his memory remains immutable. His muscles are regularly honed by workouts at his home gym. His tongue stays barbed. His word processor keeps busy.
“The novel I’m writing now is a mixture of everything I’ve done before; mystery, horror, romance — everything and anything,” he says. “I even proclaim comics as a major influence.”
His 1963 debut, City of Night, furnished the El Paso–raised son of Mexican immigrants with literary immortality. Even if you’ve never read it, odds are you’ve heard its title bellowed by Jim Morrison in “L.A. Woman.” Norman Mailer and James Baldwin heralded the young author. Ken Kesey came calling during his original acid-test sweep through Texas. Read Rest of Review Here