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DJ WALDIE


Nobody “sees” Los Angeles with more eloquence than D. J. Waldie.

   – Susan Brenneman, Los Angeles Times Deputy Op-Ed Editor (2014)

Waldie ... is one of the writers responsible for developing a Southern California aesthetic in which what’s most vivid about the place is everything we might take for granted somewhere else.

   – David Ulin, Los Angeles Times book critic (2014)

Waldie's meditation on suburbia finds the beauty in wonky detail and weaves a wholly unconventional narrative. I'd put this book up against the best of Baudrillard and Banham.

   – Jade Chang, author of The Wangs vs. The World (2016)

Only a writer as good as D. J. Waldie could turn houses tented for termite spraying into a poignant piece on life in Southern California.

   – Sara Libby, Voice of San Diego (2016)

D. J. Waldie’s … essays and memoirs conjure the idiosyncratic splendor of Southern California life.

   – Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times (2017)

Holy Land, a sparse, yet pointed memoir … has quickly inserted itself into the canon of modern suburban and cultural landscape studies. Holy Land grapples with race, class, and the contradictions of suburban production while simultaneously demanding that suburbs—and suburbanites—be treated with a sense of compassion and respect.

   – Alex Schafran, lecturer in Urban Studies, University of Leeds (2017)

More than anything I’ve ever read, (Holy Land) captures the torment and tenderness of the mundane and how that is shaped by our environment.

   – Ryan Enos, author of The Space Between Us: Social Geography and Politics

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DJ WALDIE


Nobody “sees” Los Angeles with more eloquence than D. J. Waldie.

   – Susan Brenneman, Los Angeles Times Deputy Op-Ed Editor (2014)

Waldie ... is one of the writers responsible for developing a Southern California aesthetic in which what’s most vivid about the place is everything we might take for granted somewhere else.

   – David Ulin, Los Angeles Times book critic (2014)

Waldie's meditation on suburbia finds the beauty in wonky detail and weaves a wholly unconventional narrative. I'd put this book up against the best of Baudrillard and Banham.

   – Jade Chang, author of The Wangs vs. The World (2016)

Only a writer as good as D. J. Waldie could turn houses tented for termite spraying into a poignant piece on life in Southern California.

   – Sara Libby, Voice of San Diego (2016)

D. J. Waldie’s … essays and memoirs conjure the idiosyncratic splendor of Southern California life.

   – Jeffrey Fleishman, Los Angeles Times (2017)

Holy Land, a sparse, yet pointed memoir … has quickly inserted itself into the canon of modern suburban and cultural landscape studies. Holy Land grapples with race, class, and the contradictions of suburban production while simultaneously demanding that suburbs—and suburbanites—be treated with a sense of compassion and respect.

   – Alex Schafran, lecturer in Urban Studies, University of Leeds (2017)

More than anything I’ve ever read, (Holy Land) captures the torment and tenderness of the mundane and how that is shaped by our environment.

   – Ryan Enos, author of The Space Between Us: Social Geography and Politics

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D. J. Waldie has published five books of non-fiction, each dealing with different aspects of ordinary lives and their neighborhoods. Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir explored the intersection of personality and place. Real City: Downtown Los Angeles Inside/Out observed the gentrifying city at the start of the 21st century. Where We Are Now: Notes from Los Angeles collected a decade of Waldie’s essays about cultural history and urban politics. Close to Home: An American Album is a meditation on the American snapshot. No Circus, in collaboration with photographer Randi Malkin Steinberger, explores the phenomenology of houses tented for termite fumigation.

His most recent publication is an investigation of the place of Los Angeles in the art of Ed Ruscha, included as an essay in the exhibition catalog Ed Ruscha and the Great American West.

In collaboration with Diane Keaton, he provided the text for two photographic explorations of domestic life. California Romantica  traces this history of the Spanish Colonial Revival style in Southern California. House examinis post-modern interpretations of home.

He also is the author of Poem: A Throw of the Dice Will Never Abolish Chance, an American translation of Stéphane Mallarmé’s Poème: Un coup de dés jamais n'abolira le hasard.

His essays for KCET explored the cultural and political histories of Los Angeles. He is a long-time contributing editor for the Los Angeles Times.

in 2017, he was awarded the William R. and June Dale Prize by the faculty of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at Cal Poly Pomona.

In books, essays, presentations, and commentary on urban issues, Waldie has sought to frame the suburban experience as a search for a sense of place. Often using his hometown of Lakewood as a starting point, Waldie’s work ranges widely over the history of suburbanization and its cultural effects.