Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir   (W.W. Norton, 1996; revised edition, 2005)
Hold dear to Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir, the most resonant book about suburban life. Author D. J. Waldie composed it in 316 fragments, at turns reportorial and soulful – children playing under the oleanders, dogs setting off a roundelay of barks, conviviality on the sidewalks – to chronicle the birth and life of Lakewood.
— Joan Katharine Whittemore, Boston Globe
Infinitely moving and powerful, just dead-on right, and absolutely original.
— Joan Didion, novelist, journalist, and memoirist

House with Diane Keaton (Rizzoli, 2012) 

Where We Are Now: Notes from Los Angeles (Angel City Press, 2004)

California Romantica with Diane Keaton (Rizzoli, 2007 and 2019)

Close to Home: An American Album (J. Paul Getty Museum, 2004)


Holy land : ricordi suburbani. Traduzione di Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir (Il Canneto Editore, 2011)

Real City: Downtown Los Angeles Inside/Out with Marissa Roth (Angel City Press, 2001)


Ed Ruscha and the Great American West (University of California Press, 2016)

No Circus with Randi Malkin Steinberger (Damiani Editore, 2016)

L.A. River with Michael Kolster (George F. Thompson Publishing, 2019)



Writing Los Angeles (Library of America, 2002)

L.A. Now: Volume One (Art Center College of Design, 2002)

Readymades: American Roadside Artifacts (Chronicle Books, 2003)

My California (Angel City/California Arts Council, 2004)

California Uncovered: Stories for the 21st Century (Heyday Books/California Council for the Humanities, 2004)

Home Ground: Language for an American Landscape (Trinity University Press, 2006)

The Suburb Reader (Routledge, 2006)

Cities: Architecture and Society, 10. Mostra Internazionale di Architettura (Biennale de Venezia, 2006)

Seeing Los Angeles: A Different Look at a Different City (Otis/Seismicity Editions, 2007)

An Atlas of Radical Cartography (Journal of Aesthetics and Protest Press, 2007)

The People and Promise of California (Longman, 2007)

Where We Live Now: An Annotated Reader (, 2008)

Tell Me True: Memoir, History, and Writing a Life (Borealis Books/Minnesota Historical Society, 2008)

Los Angeles: Eine Stadt im Film/A City on Film – Eine Retrospektive der Viennale und des Österreichischen     Filmmuseums, 5. Oktober bis 5. November 2008 (Osterreichischen FilmMuseums, 2008)

The Lost Origins of the Essay (Graywolf Press, 2008)

Blackwell Companion to California History (Blackwell, 2008)

Reconstructing Los Angeles: A Journey to the Antelope Valley and Beyond (Angel City Press, 2008)

Dream Street (Heyday Books, 2009)

The Devil’s Punchbowl: A Cultural and Geographic Map of California Today (Red Hen Press, 2010)

Los Angeles in Maps (Rizzoli, 2010)

The Classic Homes of Los Angeles (Rizzoli, 2010)

New California Writing (Heyday Books, 2011)

Blue Sky Metropolis: The Aerospace Century in Southern California (Huntington Library/University of California Press, 2012)

Maynard L. Parker: Modern Photography and the American Dream (Yale University Press, 2012)

Union Station: 75 Years in the Heart of L.A (LACMTA, 2014)

Footnotes: A Report on the State of Walking in LA (Los Angeles Walks, 2014)

Infinite Suburbia (MIT Press, 2016)

Ed Ruscha and the Great American West (University of California Press, 2016)

Other Works

Other Works


“Positively 4th Street: (2018, Huntley Gallery, Cal Poly Pomona Gallery), consultant and contributor

“Some Lifestyle Options” (2016, Richard Telles Fine Art, curated by Jan Tumlir), contributor

“Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940-1990” (2013, Getty Museum), consultant and contributor

“Form and Landscape: Southern California Edison and the Los Angeles Basin, 1940-1990” (2013, Huntington Library), curator

“Unbuilt Los Angeles” (2013, A+D Architecture and Design Museum), consultant

“A Windshield Perspective: The Framing of L.A. Architecture and Urbanism” (2013, A+D Architecture and Design Museum), consultant

“California Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way” (2012, Los Angeles County Museum of Art), guest lecturer

“A Throw of the Dice: Artists Inspired By a Visual Text: (2003, University of California, Irvine), contributor

“Mallarmé at the Millennium” (1999, City University of New York; contributor), lecturer

Archival Film Research and Editing

The War from the Air (1975, Nova ▪ PBS)

Hitler’s Secret Weapon (1976, Nova ▪ PBS)

Will Rogers: America in the ‘20s (1977, Will Rogers Foundation).


Poem: A Throw of the Dice Will Never Abolish Chance: An American translation of Stéphane Mallarmé’s Un coup de dés (Greenhouse Review Press, 1990; reprinted with an introductory essay, Parnassus Poetry in Review, Vol. 26, No 1, 2001; included in The Lost Origins of the Essay, John D'Agata, ed., Graywolf Press, 2008 )



A miscellany of online essays, podcasts, and videos by or about D. J. Waldie.


A miscellany of online essays, podcasts, and videos by or about D. J. Waldie.

The Tourist Automobile of 1902

Essays by D.J. Waldie at KCET Departures

Extra Ordinary Life: Photographs by Larry Sultan

Nature’s Haunted House

How to look at Los Angeles: A conversation with D.J. Waldie, Lynell George and Josh Kun

Why L.A. Needs "La Virgen"

Noir: A parody of L.A. depravity from the online exhibition Form and Landscape

Rush: The city's regime of speed investigated

Interview with Colin Marshall

D. J. Waldie on "Which Way LA?"

D. J. Waldie at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

Tar Pit Death Trip at CicLAvia’s Wilshire Boulevard Stories

Language in the Landscape at Public Radio International

Rooted in Suburbia, Body and Soul, review by New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani, 1995

Reading L.A.: D.J. Waldie's spare, poetic 'Holy Land', essay by Los Angeles Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne, 2011