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CalArts Publishes Essayist Esther McCoy Work

McCoy_Cover_copyCalifornia Institute of the Arts is pleased to announce the first publication under East of Borneo Books, an imprint of their online contemporary art magazine, East of Borneo. Titled Piecing Together Los Angeles: An Esther McCoy Reader, and compiled by Aperture editor Susan Morgan, the book provides an extensive sampling of the work of Esther McCoy, famous essayist and architect of the 20th Century.

Though this anthology is the first collection of McCoy’s writing, CalArts asserts that her impact on modern architecture and art criticism is unparalleled.


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One of her contemporaries, architectural critic Reyner Banham once commented, “No one can write about architecture in California without acknowledging her as the mother of us all.”

From the Great Depression to her death in 1989, McCoy spent time in Greenwich Village and Los Angeles, publishing short stories in The New Yorker and The California Quarterly. She also published six books on architecture between 1960 and 1984. Piecing Together Los Angeles will be her seventh.

At almost 400 pages, the reader contains out-of-print essays, articles, short stories and previously unpublished letters, memoirs and lectures, including such items of interest as an essay on Frank Lloyd Wright and letters between McCoy and Ray Bradbury.

In the future, East of Borneo Books hopes to continue to publish books that will “draw new attention to the best writing on the visual culture of Los Angeles.”

Supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts and The Getty Foundation, East of Borneo’s goal has always been to rethink “the way that we conceptualize, preserve and present the various histories of contemporary art.”

If you are interested in purchasing the book, it is available for $34.95 at http://www.eastofborneo.org/books/mccoy.