March 2, 2012
EXODUS - THE NOVEL AND THE BOOKSHOP
Leon Uris may have been best known as a novelist but he played a crucial role in focusing attention on the Holocaust and Israel in the late 1950s and early 1960s with “Mila 18,” a novel about the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, and “Exodus,” a saga about the Jewish war of independence that features the blockade-running ship famously known as Exodus 1947.
It turns out that Uris did not only write books — he sold them, too.
Kevin Roderick discovered that Uris opened a bookstore of his own on Ventura Blvd. in Sherman Oaks in the summer of 1960. In a play on his own literary success, Uris called his store the Exodus Book and Record Shop. Roderick posted a publicity photo of the author-bookseller — along with a fetching young lady dubbed “Miss Bookworm” — at his indispensable website about media and politics in the West, labobserved.com.
Roderick has undertaken the task of selecting especially interesting and important images from the photo morgues of the now-defunct Valley Times and the Hollywood Citizen-News, and he offers the tantalizing news that the shot of Uris and Miss Bookworm “isn’t one of the better discoveries.” But I found it fascinating.
Kevin Roderick will be displaying a selection of historic Southern California photographs culled from the newspaper collections on Saturday, March 10, at 2:00 p.m. in the Mark Taper Auditorium of the Los Angeles Central Library.
Jonathan Kirsch, author and publishing attorney, is the book editor of The Jewish Journal. He can be reached at email@example.com.