Books: Beyond Unreality

THE NOWHERE CITY by Alison Lurie. 276 pages. Coward-McCann. $4.50.

Los Angeles is a fiction whose accepted public image carries the impact of heightened reality, like Disneyland or a dream. Even the displaced outlanders who now make Los Angeles their home accept as fact such ephemeral entities as Venice West, rats in palm trees, eternal sunshine, Hollywood and Vine, schools of pink Cadillacs, and tawny, ubiquitous beauties in spike heels and white sharkskin lax slacks.

Despite a great body of belief, and much effort, no novelist has ever fully succeeded in making Los Angeles seem...

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