Alta Asks Live: Judith Freeman

Explore Raymond Chandler’s relationship with Los Angeles, his female characters, and murder most foul.

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Raymond Chandler is considered one of the founders of classic noir fiction, and his work—books like The Big Sleep and Farewell, My Lovely—helped define the genre. Chandler biographer Judith Freeman joins Alta books editor David L. Ulin to talk about the man who brought us fictional private eye Philip Marlowe and explore Chandler’s relationship with Los Angeles, his female characters, and murder most foul.

Freeman wrote about Chandler's femme fatales for Alta.


About the author

Judith Freeman is the author of a short story collection, two nonfiction books, and five novels, including The Chinchilla Farm and Red Water, and the forthcoming MacArthur Park (Pantheon Books, 2021). Her novel Set for Life won the Western Heritage Award, and her biography of Raymond Chandler, The Long Embrace, was named one of the best books of 2007 by Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, and Slate. She is the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in fiction, and was also awarded the Erle Stanley Gardner Fellowship from the Harry Ransom Center. Her essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post. She lives in Idaho and Los Angeles with her husband, the artist-photographer Anthony Hernandez.

About the moderator

David L. Ulin is the author or editor of 10 books, including Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles, short-listed for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, and Library of America’s Writing Los Angeles: A Literary Anthology, which won a California Book Award. A former books editor and book critic for the Los Angeles Times, he has written for the Atlantic Monthly, the New Yorker, the Nation, the New York Times, and other publications. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Lannan Foundation.

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