After a panel session featuring Ellis (“Less Than Zero”, “American Psycho”) at the Festival of Books at UCLA on Sunday, nervously I approached the clean-cut, bright blue polo shirt-wearing author, introduced myself as a writer from the Jewish Journal and asked if he was Jewish. I don’t normally go up to authors I admire and inquire about their religious affiliation, but my editor here informed me that Ellis is, in fact, Jewish – his last name is Ellis, she said – and so I thought that if I could confirm this with the elusive writer (this was his first public appearance in four or five years, Ellis said during the panel with music journalist Erik Himmelsbach) then I could perhaps interview him for the newspaper in light of his new book “Imperial Bedrooms,” a sequel-of-sorts to his debut, “Less than Zero,” which Amazon says will come out in hardcover this June.
No, I’m not Jewish, Ellis said. Sorry.
“You don’t have to apologize for not being Jewish,” I said, stupidly.
Amidst the hubbub surrounding Ellis as he attempted to make his way out of the crowded lecture hall, he introduced me to his mother. I have no idea why.