“L.A.’s a Strange Place”: On Judith Freeman’s “MacArthur Park”

Los Angeles Review of books  • By Tom Nolan

THE MERCURIAL NATURE and tenuous persistence over decades of the friendship between two young women, Verna and Jolene, raised in the 1960s in the same rural town in Utah, and their problematic love, at different times, for the same gifted, emotionally isolated man, Vincent, are the threads tying together Judith Freeman’s bracing, engrossing, tough, and tender new novel, MacArthur Park, much of which is set in Los Angeles from 1984 into the present century…  Read more here

Essays – Reviews – Interviews

Next Avenue – A Chat

A Chat With 2 Creative Superstars in Their 70s –Novelist Judith Freeman and her husband, photographer Anthony Hernandez, on their work, their lives and their loves – By M.G. Lord / Published December 2021 – Next Avenue The narrator of Judith Freeman’s new novel, “MacArthur Park,” has a lot in common with Freeman, 75.  She is a prominent writer (author

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MacArthur Park – Los Angeles Review of Books

“L.A.’s a Strange Place”: On Judith Freeman’s “MacArthur Park” December 2, 2021   •  Los Angeles Review of books  • By Tom Nolan     THE MERCURIAL NATURE and tenuous persistence over decades of the friendship between two young women, Verna and Jolene, raised in the 1960s in the same rural town in Utah, and their problematic love, at different times, for the same

Read More »

MacArthur Park – Alta Review

My Brilliant Friend By Heather Scott Partington, Alta Small towns can lend themselves to oversimplification. You stay, you stagnate; you leave, you flourish. But Judith Freeman—who has made a career excavating the nuances of her small-town-Utah upbringing—has bigger ideas about what it can mean to be from a family-values state or to discover yourself anew if you depart. Neither is

Read More »

MacArthur Park: Idaho Mountain Express interview 10/9/21

Judith Freeman discusses new novel at the Community Library By JOEY THYNE Express Staff Writer – October 9, 2021 ‘MacArthur Park’ navigates the rocky road of friendship In the 70s, Judith Freeman, an aspiring writer at the time, moved with her young son Todd to Ketchum.   “I wanted to bring him to a place where we could just have a

Read More »

The Afterlife of Detritus: MacArthur Park

The Afterlife of Detritus: MacArthur Park By Judith Freeman, Anthony Hernandez  Air Light Magazine / Neighborhoods Project / July 25, 2021 1. The first time I went to see him in his apartment in MacArthur Park, it was an April night in 1985. I didn’t really know the neighborhood; I was living on the other side of the city, in

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MacArthur Park

A captivating, emotionally taut, beautifully written story about the complexities of a friendship between two women—and how it shapes and reshapes, both of their lives.

Read an excerpt here

Praise

“Judith Freeman has long been one of our wisest and wiliest radicals. She’s never written a book more daring than MacArthur Park, an audacious novel that is several books in one: a revealing piece of auto-fiction, a story about an alter-ego female friendship, a portrait of a tricky marriage, a vivid road trip along little known Western highways, a debate between different visions of art (and womanhood!), and a rumination on the importance of finding somewhere to call home. As scrupulous and beautifully observed as all her work, this is one of those books that gets better and better as you go along.”—John Powers, Critic at Large, Fresh Air with Terry Gross

“I’m a longtime fan of Judith Freeman’s work, but I believe she’s surpassed herself with MacArthur Park. It’s as though she’s distilled all she’s learned and experienced in her life and turned it into a beautiful story of friendship filled with gorgeous prose and deep emotion. She explores what it means to be an artist, delves into the vicissitudes of life and death, and takes us on a journey through the splendor (and sometimes ugliness) of the American West—with dollops of Flaubert, Faulkner, Chekhov, Collette, and Chandler along the way.”—Lisa See, author of The Island of Sea Women

“Judith Freeman’s luminously written tale of two friends on a journey toward self-resolution shines with grace, wisdom, and compassion. I was so entranced by the inner and outer worlds Freeman creates, I didn’t want this heart-opening book to end.”—Barbara Feldon, actor/author of Living Alone & Loving it!

“[MacArthur Park] . . . a spellbinding, exquisitely written new novel about a long marriage and a longer, difficult friendship, stands as proof that the examined life is well worth the telling. This is a book that a young novelist, no matter how dazzling, could never produce: MacArthur Park is emotionally mature, steeped in experience, and luminous from a lifetime of paying fierce, close attention to the world and its maddening humans. A beauty of a book.”—Michelle Huneven, author of Blame

Judith Freeman is the author of the following works of fiction: Family Attractions, The Chinchilla FarmA Desert of Pure FeelingRed Water, Set for Life, and the nonfiction book: The Long Embrace: Raymond Chandler and The Woman He Loved.

Her newest novel, MacArthur Park, was released October 12, 2021. 


The Latter Days

The Long Embrace

Book Cover - Red Water

A Desert of Pure Feeling

Set For Life

The Chinchilla Farm
The Chinchilla Farm

Family Attractions

Copyright 2021 – Judith Freeman – all rights reserved.

Essays

Next Avenue – A Chat

A Chat With 2 Creative Superstars in Their 70s –Novelist Judith Freeman and her husband, photographer Anthony Hernandez, on their work, their lives and their loves – By M.G. Lord / Published December 2021 – Next Avenue The narrator of Judith Freeman’s new novel, “MacArthur Park,” has a lot in common with Freeman, 75.  She is a prominent writer (author

Read More »

MacArthur Park – Los Angeles Review of Books

“L.A.’s a Strange Place”: On Judith Freeman’s “MacArthur Park” December 2, 2021   •  Los Angeles Review of books  • By Tom Nolan     THE MERCURIAL NATURE and tenuous persistence over decades of the friendship between two young women, Verna and Jolene, raised in the 1960s in the same rural town in Utah, and their problematic love, at different times, for the same

Read More »

MacArthur Park – Alta Review

My Brilliant Friend By Heather Scott Partington, Alta Small towns can lend themselves to oversimplification. You stay, you stagnate; you leave, you flourish. But Judith Freeman—who has made a career excavating the nuances of her small-town-Utah upbringing—has bigger ideas about what it can mean to be from a family-values state or to discover yourself anew if you depart. Neither is

Read More »

MacArthur Park: Idaho Mountain Express interview 10/9/21

Judith Freeman discusses new novel at the Community Library By JOEY THYNE Express Staff Writer – October 9, 2021 ‘MacArthur Park’ navigates the rocky road of friendship In the 70s, Judith Freeman, an aspiring writer at the time, moved with her young son Todd to Ketchum.   “I wanted to bring him to a place where we could just have a

Read More »

The Afterlife of Detritus: MacArthur Park

The Afterlife of Detritus: MacArthur Park By Judith Freeman, Anthony Hernandez  Air Light Magazine / Neighborhoods Project / July 25, 2021 1. The first time I went to see him in his apartment in MacArthur Park, it was an April night in 1985. I didn’t really know the neighborhood; I was living on the other side of the city, in

Read More »
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