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A Writer Protests

May 10, 1992

Letters Editor
Book Review
The New York Times
229 West 43rd Street
New York, New York 10036

Attn: Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:

In her very brief review of my novel "The Miraculous Day of Amalia Gómez" [In Brief, May 10, 1992], Ms. Karen Brailsford manages to make a serious factual error. She refers to my "graphic descriptions of the hellish underbelly of East Los Angeles." Although my novel includes some background scenes of East Los Angeles in years past, it's setting is, importantly, Hollywood today, its "hellish underbelly" of poverty.

Ms. Brailsford would have had to read only the first sentence of my novel to ascertain that fact, reiterated throughout the book. Perhaps she might then have understood one of the novel's central ironies missed by relocating the setting: that the Hollywood of movie fantasy has become the Hollywood of all-too-real violence and racial unrest.

Indeed, in the eight months since my novel was published, that transformation has become harsher. Although a reader would not be able to discern this from Ms. Brailsford's review, my novel deals in major part with the very ingredients for tumult that erupted in the City of Los Angeles--and Hollywood--during recent riots.

Sincerely,

John Rechy

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