Today marks the 24th anniversary of the Rodney King riots, a wound still healing in the collective psyche of Los Angeles residents. When author Ryan Gattis first started his latest novel, All Involved, he didn’t think the riots would be his backdrop, but over the course of his research he felt increasingly drawn to the painful event as both a compelling story and also as a kind of ever-present ghost that no Angeleno, especially those living in or near South L.A., can every truly get rid of. In this interview, Gattis talks about how he approached Los Angeles as an outsider and how his research subjects gave his fiction a sense of urgency and empathy that he didn’t expect when he first set out to write an L.A. novel.

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