David Littlejohn: Biographical sketch
I was born in San Francisco, as were my parents and grandparents. My grandfather’s grandfather came to California in 1850, along with a lot of other people. I’ve come to regard this state as a unique and creative culture of its own, and have crafted my life so as to be able to live, work and write here--as often as not, about California.
I went to Berkeley to study architecture (it was nearby, and it was cheap). By my junior year, I discovered that I was a better writer than I was an architect. During those years, I also discovered what an exciting, tolerant, cosmopolitan place Berkeley was, and vowed to make it my home. After graduate school in the east, I came back and joined the faculty herel--a dream job that I held for 35 years.
The English Department (where I started), and even more the Journalism School (where I moved after six years), encouraged me to keep up my own writing. I had begun writing book reviews and articles for national magazines to pay my bills at Harvard; back in Berkeley, I expanded my field to writing criticism of all the arts, which led to ten years of television programs on KQED and the PBS network (268 programs) as their “Critic at Large.” At the same time, the university’s generous provisions for sabbatical and research leaves enabled me and my family to spend extended periods in England , France and Italy. During these leaves, and the long summer breaks, I was able to write most of my 14 books, eleven of them (including two novels) for commercial publishers, the other three privately printed.
I’m now retired from teaching, but not from writing. I still try to do about ten reports a year on the California cultural scene for the Wall Street Journal (a job that began in 1990), write articles and introductions when asked to by friends and have finished two (as yet unpublished) books since my retirement.
I broke my neck diving in a lake in the Sierra at 14, and walked around the world on crutches after that. Things took another dip later in life, and I’ve been using a wheelchair for the past ten years. There may be a book in that story also.
Dr. Johnson: His Life in Letters [editor], Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1965
Black on White: A Critical Survey of Writing by American Negroes, Grossman/Viking, New York, 1966
Interruptions: Essays, Reviews, and Reflections, Grossman, New York, 1970
Gide: A Collection of Critical Essays [editor], Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1970
The André Gide Reader [editor], Knopf, New York, 1971
Dr. Johnson and Noah Webster: Two Men and Their Dictionaries, The Book Club of ` California, San Francisco (limited edition), 1971 Three California Families (privately printed, San Francisco, 1976)
The Man Who Killed Mick Jagger [fiction], Little, Brown, Boston, 1977; London 1978
Going to California [fiction], Coward McCann, New York, 1981; London, 1981
Architect: The Life and Work of Charles W. Moore, Holt Rinehart Winston, New York, 1984
The Ultimate Art: Essays around and about Opera, Univ. of California Press, Berkeley, 1992
The Fate of the English Country House, Oxford Univ. Press, New York, 1997
The Real Las Vegas [editor], Oxford Univ. Press, New York, 1999
Poems for Sheila (privately printed, Arion Press, San Francisco, 2003)
The Big One: A Story of San Francisco, Eloquent Books, May 2011
Looking At Cezanne, an interactive book, coming out January 2012 Also 400+ articles and reviews.
Samuel Johnson Andre Gide
Looking at Cezanne (an interactive book) early 2012
Lois Wallace, Wallace Literary Agency, New York
Prentice-Hall, Grossman/Viking, Alfred A. Knopf, Little, Brown, Coward McCann, Holt Rinehart Winston, University of California Press, Oxford Univ. Press, Arion Press (SF)
Mostly at UC Berkeley: Cal Performances, College of Environmental Design, Berkeley Art Museum, UC Library. Also MoveOn.org
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