Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra: making great music personal

Mona Simpson


Born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Mona Simpson moved to Los Angeles as a young teenager with her mother. Her father was a recent immigrant from Syria met Mona’s mother, the daughter of a mink farmer and the first person in her family to attend college, in Wisconsin. Simpson attended University of California, Berkeley, where she studied poetry. She worked as a journalist before moving to New York to attend Columbia University’s MFA program. During graduate school, she published her first collection of short stories in Ploughshares, The Iowa Review and Mademoiselle. She stayed in New York and worked as an editor at The Paris Review for five years while finishing her first novel, Anywhere but Here. She followed that debut with The Lost Father, A Regular Guy and Off Keck Road.

She has received several awards for her work, including: a Whiting Writer’s Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, a Lila Wallace Readers Digest Writers award, a Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize and most recently an Arts and Letters Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

She worked ten years on My Hollywood. “It’s the book that took me too long because it meant so much to me,” she says.

Mona lives in Santa Monica with her two children and Bartleby the dog.

Mona Simpson

photo Alex Hoemer

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