James Ellroy: Brilliant Author. Snappy Talker. Unchallenged Racist?
People are going batshit over Blood's a Rover, the new crime novel by Los Angeles writer James Ellroy, about the assassinations of MLK, RFK, and JFK. Just about everyone has something to say about it: The LA Times. The Boston Herald. The Washington Post. The Economist.
Not one of those pieces, however, mentions Ellroy's personal view on race, which is an integral element of his newest book.
I finished Blood's a Rover on Sunday, and spent my spare hours on Monday searching for clips of Ellroy speaking about his work. (Honestly, he's that fascinating.) After watching a sum total of 1.5 hours of video, I got the uneasy feeling that because right-wingery is an established part of his shtick, critics don't feel the need to broach the subject in interviews or reviews.
Ellroy has professed a love of racist language (which he mentions briefly during the Q&A at the end of this lecture at Zocalo), and in the below video of a pre-election lunch with Rose McGowan and Bruce Wagner, the crime novelist says that Obama "looks like a lemur."
That says to me, at least that Ellroy's actual views on race deserve as much attention as his fictional depictions of race.
If you know of stories or videos wherein Ellroy talks about race, feel free to post them in the comments.