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LA, Ep. 20

April 18, 2013 — As a kick-off to the LA Times Festival of Books, LDM's 20th-ever episode in LA ended in slapstick fashion, as volunteers from the crowd took turns writing Pulitzer Prize-winning author's names with a Sharpie clasped between their toes. The result: Owen Egerton narrowly outdid co-finalist Ophira Eisenberg by a 4-1 score, to win the LDM LA, Ep. 20 crown!

But before the shoes were off and the Sharpies were handed out, the night kicked off with Jamie Rose (author of Shut Up and Dance! and Falcon Crest star) who read a story about adulterous lovers meeting back up and discussing tragedy in one of their lives. She was followed by Egerton (author of Everyone Says That at the End of the World) who read a piece about an overzealous church retreat speech gone horribly awkward. 

The microphone was then handed over to the foursome of all-star judges: Matthew Specktor (LA Review of Books co-founder and author of American Dream Machine); Kim Krizan (Oscar-nominated writer (Before Sunset) & author of Original Sins); Lizz Winstead (co-creator of The Daily Show, author of Lizz Free Or Die); and DC Pierson (comedian/actor and author of the all-new Crap Kingdom). The foursome traded witty banter about each reader, with Pierson taking his role of judging "super-intangibles" seriously, as he gave insanely hysterical grades to the pair of readers. Faced with a very difficult decision, they decided it would be Egerton who would advance as the night's first finalist. 

After a drink-fueled intermission, Round 2 kicked off with Ophira Eisenberg (host of NPR's Ask Me Another) reading a titter-inducing excerpt from her debut book Screw Everyone: Sleeping My Way to Monogamy about sleeping with a man who had a room full of Garfields in his apartment. Yikes. She was followed by the award-winning graphic novelist Derek Kirk Kim (author of TUNE and Mythomania writer/director) who read a hysterical piece while standing in the crowd about aliens, jobs, and intruding Korean mothers that had the crowd in throes. 

Again the mic went to the judges, with Krizan praising the adorability of Kim's sneakers, glasses and knit sweater, but after another painful decision, it was Eisenberg who was anointed the Round 2 champ. 

Then came the debut of one of LDM's wildest finales: Foot Club, in which volunteers from the crowd were invited on stage to write the names of Pulitzer Prize-winners...with their feet (while the two finalists guessed what they had written). In a tense game to three, and with a 2-1 lead, host and LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga announced the next name was worth two points (spoiler alert!). In a game to three, Eisenberg and Egerton looked on while a volunteer spelled William Faulkner, the only two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning novelest. Egerton shouted Faulkner to secure victory, earning him the Literary Death Match LA crown, and literary immortality to go with it. Amazing. 

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References (7)

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