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The Age of Dreaming


The Age of Dreaming explores the history of Los Angeles, the heady beginnings of the movie industry, and the interplay of race and celebrity.

$16.95 $12.71

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What people are saying…

Finalist, 2008 Los Angeles Times Book Prize
Top Five Books of 2008, The Advocate
Best Books of 2008, January Magazine

“Rare indeed is a novel this deeply pleasurable and significant.”
Booklist (starred review)

“Reminiscent of Paul Auster’s The Book of Illusions in its concoction of spurious Hollywood history and its star’s filmography, but Revoyr is a more ingenuous writer than Auster, if not as daring and spectacular.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“Fast-moving, riveting, unpredictable, and profound; highly recommended.”
Library Journal

“Revoyr conveys in a lucid, precise and period appropriate prose . . . a pulse-quickening, deliciously ironic serving of Hollywood noir.”
Kirkus Reviews

“It’s an enormously satisfying novel.”
Publishers Weekly

“[Nina Revoyr is] an empathetic chronicler of the dispossessed outsider in LA.”
Los Angeles Times

“Quietly powerful . . . settles to a close as deftly and beautifully as a crane landing on quiet water.”
LA Weekly

“Revoyr resurrects the old old Hollywood, from the time before talkies, and dreams it into existence once again.”

“[Nina Revoyr] is fast becoming one of the city’s finest chroniclers and mythmakers.”
Los Angeles Magazine

“Five stars.”
Time Out Chicago

The Age of Dreaming is a brilliant and original novel about Hollywood in the days of silent films. The carefully restrained voice of its narrator, once a famous film star, recalls Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day—but in his past, it turns out, there was also passion, madness, and murder.”
—Alison Lurie, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Foreign Affairs

“With Nabokov-worthy sentences, characters so real our hearts begin to beat with theirs, and a story as deeply mysterious and riveting as any the Hollywood it conjures up could have created, The Age of Dreaming is a masterpiece of the sort that doesn’t just seduce the reader—it leaves you transformed. Possessed of stunning vision and an elegance all her own, Nina Revoyr deserves to be counted among the top ranks of novelists at work today. Film lovers—and lovers of literature—will willingly lose themselves in this haunting, heartfelt epic of race, genius, passion, memory, and a Hollywood few have ever seen before.”
Jerry Stahl, author of I, Fatty and Permanent Midnight

“This is a riveting, wise, and gorgeous novel—rich in the social nuances of LA’s silent film era and profoundly moving, often heartbreaking, in its exploration of the rise and fall of human lives. Every emotion in this book feels true and fully earned.”
—Mary Yukari Waters, author of The Laws of Evening

Praise for Southland by Nina Revoyr:

Winner of the American Library Association’s Stonewall Honor Award in Literature
Nominated for an Edgar Award
Selected for the LA Times Best Books of 2003 List
Nominated for the LA Times Book Prize
Nominated for a Ferro-Grumley Literary Award
Nominated for a Lambda Literary Award
A Book Sense 76 Pick
InsightOut Book Club Selection

“The plot line of Southland is the stuff of a James Ellroy or a Walter Mosley novel . . . But the climax fairly glows with the good-heartedness that Revoyr displays from the very first page.”
Los Angeles Times

“If Oprah still had her book club, this novel likely would be at the top of her list . . . With prose that is beautiful, precise, but never pretentious . . .”
Booklist, (starred review)

“Compelling . . . never lacking in vivid detail and authentic atmosphere, the novel cements Revoyr’s reputation as one of the freshest young chroniclers of life in LA.”
Publishers Weekly

“What makes a book like Southland resonate is that it merges elements of literature and social history with the propulsive drive of a mystery, while evoking Southern California as a character, a key player in the tale. Such aesthetics have motivated other Southland writers, most notably Walter Mosley.”
Los Angeles Times

“Fascinating and heartbreaking . . . an essential part of LA history.”
LA Weekly

“Read this book and tell me you don’t want to read more. I know I do.”
—Dorothy Allison

“. . . subtle, effective . . . [with] a satisfyingly unpredictable climax.”
Washington Post

“An engaging, thoughtful book that even East Coasters can enjoy.”
New York Press

“Dead-on descriptions of California both gritty and golden.”
East Bay Express

Southland gripped my attention and would not let go until I turned the last page.”
International Examiner

“A remarkable feat.”
—Susan Straight

Southland is a simmering stew of individual dreams, family struggles, cultural relations, social changes, and race relations. It is a compelling, challenging, and rewarding novel.”
Chicago Free Press


Nina Revoyr answered 15 questions for Akashic’s Literary Lions feature. Read her answers here.

Jun Nakayama was a silent film star in the early days of Hollywood, but by 1964, he finds himself living in complete obscurity—until a young writer, Nick Bellinger, tracks him down for an interview. When Bellinger reveals that he has written a screenplay with Nakayama in mind, Jun is intrigued by the possibility of returning to the big screen. But he begins to worry that someone might delve too deeply into the past, and uncover the events that led to the abrupt end of his career in 1922. These events include the changing social and racial tides in California—and the unsolved murder of his favorite director, Ashley Bennett Tyler.

The Age of Dreaming explores the history of Los Angeles, the heady beginnings of the movie industry, and the interplay of race and celebrity. It is part historical novel, part murder mystery, and part unrequited love story—all told through the voice of a forgotten star who must gradually come to terms with his past.


Book Details

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Published: 4/1/08
  • IBSN: 9781933354460
  • e-IBSN: 9781936070176


NINA REVOYR is the author of six novels, including A Student of History; Lost Canyon; The Age of Dreaming, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Southland, a Los Angeles Times best seller and “Best Book” of 2003; The Necessary Hunger; and Wingshooters, which won an Indie Booksellers Choice Award and was selected by O, The Oprah Magazine as one of “10 Titles to Pick Up Now.” Revoyr lives and works in Los Angeles.

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