La Jolla is a Writer's Retreat

Posted by Dennis DeSouza on Saturday, March 26th, 2016 at 1:02pm.

A woman reading a book by the water

Artists and writers have been drawn to homes in La Jolla for a very long time. After its establishment in 1894, La Jolla’s Green Dragon Art Colony brought writers, musicians, painters and architects from all over the country to the Jewel. It appears that gorgeous weather and tranquil surroundings are still making talented artists and writers gravitate toward La Jolla real estate.

The Jewel resonates with authors in a way that few other places can. In fact, it is believed that L. Frank Baum, author of the “Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” modeled some of his story settings after places in La Jolla.

Over the years, screenwriters, novelists and children’s book authors have penned stories from La Jolla that have captured the world’s attention and made us fall in love with charming characters. Some of the most celebrated authors of our time have called La Jolla home, including Raymond Chandler, Anne Rice and Theodor Seuss Geisel.

Raymond Chandler

Talented novelist and screenwriter, Raymond Chandler, called La Jolla home for over a decade. He is known for his spellbinding mysteries, including "The Big Sleep" and "Farewell, My Lovely." Some of his stories were made into films with Hollywood legends, such as Alfred Hitchcock and Humphrey Bogart in the credits. The former Chandler home is located at 6005 Camino de la Costa and was recently listed on the La Jolla real estate market.

Anne Rice

La Jolla real estate has caught the attention of a number of acclaimed writers, including Anne Rice, who changed the way the world saw one of the most infamous monsters in the horror genre. The Louisiana native has written 30 novels, including “Interview with the Vampire,” which is one of the bestselling books of all time. Rice moved from Louisiana to La Jolla in 2004, where she purchased two homes before moving again to be closer to her son. The second home was a six-bedroom Tuscan-style villa on a hilltop near the beach.

Theodor Seuss Geisel

Theodor Seuss Geisel called La Jolla home for nearly 40 years. During that time, he wrote many of the world’s most beloved children’s books under the pen name, Dr. Seuss. The celebrated author published 44 books over the course of his career, which have sold millions of copies.

Geisel’s legacy lives on through the Dr. Seuss Collection at UC San Diego, which holds the largest compilation of his works and artifacts. The vast collection holds 8,500 drawings, notebooks, manuscript drafts, videos and photographs that span the award-winning children’s book author’s long literary career. In addition, many schoolchildren celebrate “Dr. Seuss Day” every year on March 2, which is the legendary author’s birthday.

A new Dr. Seuss book titled, “What Pet Should I Get?” was released last July after a previously unpublished manuscript was discovered at the author’s La Jolla home. Two other manuscripts were found and are expected to be published in the near future. USA Today reported that the manuscripts were likely written between 1958 and 1962.

La Jolla Writer's Conference

La Jolla is still frequented by authors, especially during the La Jolla Writer’s Conference. According to the conference’s site, the event features New York Times bestselling authors, literary agents, editors and publishers. Writer's Digest named it one of the best conferences in the country.

The La Jolla Riford Library

The La Jolla Riford Library is also a big part of La Jolla’s literary community. According to SD News, the library holds 120,000 books and has seen an increase in attendance and circulation, while other libraries across the nation are seeing steady or decreased levels of interest. The La Jolla Riford Library is also the meeting place for La Jolla's writing group,  From Pen to Paper, and the location of a writing workshop for local authors on March 26th.

SD News also reported that the La Jolla Riford Library was the first one in the San Diego library system to feature a 3-D printer and the first in the country to house a biotechnology lab.

La Jolla bookstores

La Jolla’s fondness for literature extends beyond those who craft spellbinding stories to the books themselves. The Jewel is home to noteworthy bookstores, one of which has been selling books for over a century.

Warwick’s

Warwick’s is the oldest continually family-owned and operated bookstore in the nation and is currently run by fourth generation owners. The La Jolla based bookstore’s website states that it has been selling literature, holding events and sharing staff recommendations for 114 years straight. According to La Jolla Blue Book, Warwick’s was voted the "Best Bookstore in La Jolla."

La Jollan author Liz Fenton and her co-writer, Lisa Steinke, are doing a meet-and-greet at Warwick’s as part of the launch of their new book, “The Year We Turned Forty” on April 26th at Warwick’s.

D. G. Wills Books

Over the years, a number of acclaimed authors have walked through the doors of D.G. Wills Books, including Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Laureate award recipients. The bookstore’s website states they hold La Jolla’s largest collection of new and used scholarly books. D.G. Wills Books is also home to La Jolla’s Cultural Society.

For more information about La Jolla real estate, visit our La Jolla page or contact Dennis DeSouza of DeSouza Select Properties.

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