Richard Griswold del Castillo, Book Review Editor
California Classics: The Creative Literature of the Golden State.
By Lawrence Clark Powell. Santa Barbara: Capra Press, 1989. 393 pages. $11.95.
This republication of the 1971 classic is updated with a new preface. It is a lively and engaging series of essays about thirty-one California authors and their works. A “California author” he defines as those authors whose major writing is about California. A “classic work” is defined as that piece of literature that is avidly read by more than one generation. In Powell’s judgment this selection includes only a few historians such as Bolton, Cleland, Bell, and Lummis. He acknowledges that the classics of California history await another author. Included in his selection is the San Diego resident naturalist, Joseph Smeaton Chase, who lived in the Cuyamacas.