Thomas Pynchon—with a voice that is quirky, questioning, and always powerfully unique—redefined the postwar American novel with works like Gravity’s Rainbow and The Crying of Lot 49. Deeply intertwined in Los Angeles and California, Pynchon’s books explore pop culture, technology, and noir. Has Pynchon changed the way we see the Golden State? With so much of his work set in California, why does this notoriously private author live in New York? And why is he so elusive? Alta contributor, Los Angeles Times editor-at-large, and Pynchon expert David Kipen will dig deep into the writer’s California connection with William Deverell, an Alta contributor and the director of the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West. This conversation, designed to be as intriguing as Pynchon himself, is inspired by Kipen’s imagined Q&A with Pynchon in the Winter 2020 issue of Alta.