Author David Ebershoff
And Book Critic Digby Diehl
Review by Ross Anthony

Arriving just in time for the talk (or so I thought), I was seated instead just in time for desert (ice cream with raspberries). By complete chance, the guest speaker (David Ebershoff) was already seated directly to my right. It turned out that the dinner was so successful (as Digby Diehl states) that the talk got started a little later than planned. For me, this meant I'd be the one having a conversation with David (at least for a while). Having to run off for another appointment before the end of the main talk, I was still able to catch some of conversation between Digby and David.

Here then a brief capsule:
Underdressed, a bit out of place, and last to arrive, I spotted an open chair. David, even before I knew who he was, immediately welcomed me to the table as I sat. A boyish smile, wide eyes, he introduced himself and several of the people who were also seated at the table. Just adjacent were two comfy antique chairs (awaiting David and Digby) slightly lifted by a small riser. Informally, David reminisced about his two years in Chicago at the University of Chicago where he studied, surprisingly, business. COLD, this is what David remembered most of the windy city. The 20-minute walks in the cold to campus without a car and the many minutes in the freezing breeze waiting for bus 6. "In Chicago they have those heating fixtures, chicken roasters at the stops, I remember pressing the button to turn that thing on over and over. And sometimes they didn't work." He and I chatted until he was called to the "stage."

Book critic Digby Diehl, distinguished and comfortable, segued gracefully from dinner and desert to David. He brought us up to speed on David's life in brief: Born and raised in Pasadena, then almost directly from college to New York and a position with Random House that became Publishing Director by '98 and blossomed to Editor in Chief at their trade paperbacks division. After showing his appreciating for the invitation, David read a selection from his novel "Pasadena." The excerpt described a train ride from San Diego to Los Angeles circa 1924.

Digby: "You describe this ride as if you were there, but given that the year was 1924, you most certainly where not there..."

David: "I did a lot of research." David mentioned the Centennial room at the Pasadena Library. But more of interest, he recounted his days paging through books while donning white gloves (so the books wouldn't be soiled) at the Huntington Library (also in Pasadena). After much effort to gain access, David found this library a "very civilized place to do research." He continued, "At noon a man rang a little bell and the scholars all went out to lunch together."

Digby: "Pasadena is really a character in your book..."

David: "It went from a frontier to a suburb in one generation." He further said that he wanted to show at the same time his character Linda going through a similar transition.

David's book is available on Amazon:

  • Author David Ebershoff And Book Critic Digby Diehl. Copyright © 2004.
  • Sponsored by Friends of the Beckman Auditorium at Caltech (c) 2004.
Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:13:05 PDT