Tom Lutz
Born (1953-03-21) March 21, 1953 (age 71)
  • Writer
  • literary critic
EducationUniversity of Massachusetts (BA)
Stanford University (PhD)
Notable awardsAmerican Book Award (2008)

Tom Lutz (born March 21, 1953)[1][2] is an American writer, literary critic and the founder of the Los Angeles Review of Books.[3]

Early life

Lutz grew up in Cedar Grove, New Jersey. He graduated from Greenwich (CT) High School. After working for years as a cook, carpenter, and musician in New York, Florida, and Iowa, he got a job cooking breakfast and lunch at a small college where the financial aid officer offered to get him a Pell Grant so he could enroll at the college for free. He continued in the job and took afternoon and evening classes at the University of Dubuque before transferring and receiving his B.A. in English and journalism from University of Massachusetts, and a master's degree and Ph.D in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University.[2]


Lutz taught American literature, cultural studies, literary theory, and creative writing at the California Institute of the Arts, University of Iowa,[4] Stanford University, and the University of Copenhagen.[2] He is currently Distinguished Professor and former Chair of the Department of Creative Writing at University of California, Riverside.[5][6]

He has published over 100 articles in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, Chicago Tribune, Die Zeit, ZYZZYVA, Exquisite Corpse,, Black Clock and dozens of other magazines, newspapers, book collections, and literary and academic journals.[7]

His books include Portraits (Rare Bird Lit, 2022), The Kindness of Strangers (University of Iowa Press, 2021),[8] Aimlessness (Columbia University Press, 2021),[9] Born Slippy: A Novel (Repeater Books, 2020),[10] And the Monkey Learned Nothing: Dispatches from a Life of Travel (University of Iowa Press, 2017),[11] Drinking Mare's Milk on the Roof of the World: Wandering the Globe from Azerbaijan to Zanzibar (O|R Books, 2016),[12] Doing Nothing: A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers, and Bums in America (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2007; American Book Award), Cosmopolitan Vistas: American Regionalism and Literary Value (Cornell University Press, 2004; Choice Outstanding Academic Title), Crying: The Natural & Cultural History of Tears (WW Norton, 1999; New York Times Notable Book), and American Nervousness, 1903: An Anecdotal History (Cornell University Press, 1991; New York Times Notable Book). They have been translated into 13 languages.[7]

He is the founding editor and publisher of Los Angeles Review of Books.[13] Los Angeles Review of Books launched in April 2011. He also founded The Larb Radio Hour[14] and The LARB Quarterly Journal.[15]

He was the founding producer and host of "The LARB Radio Hour."[16]

In 2016, he launched the LARB Publishing Workshop, which seeks "to revolutionize the publishing industry from the ground up by increasing access, facilitating change, and inspiring invention through the recruitment, training, and mentorship of early-career talent from diverse backgrounds."[17]

In 2017, he launched LARB Books, which has published two dozen classic and new books.[18]

He lives in Los Angeles[19] and St. Chamassy, France, near Limeuil, with his wife, Laurie Winer. They now run the St. Chamassy Writers' Residency.[20]







  1. ^ "Colin Marshall Talks to Tom Lutz - the Los Angeles Review of Books". Archived from the original on July 21, 2015. Retrieved July 18, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Martin, Cameron (October 26, 2011). "SO WHAT DO YOU DO, TOM LUTZ, EDITOR OF LOS ANGELES REVIEW OF BOOKS?". Mediabistro. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  3. ^ "Tom Lutz's Blog - The Los Angeles Review of Books - July 01, 2010 16:50". July 1, 2010. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  4. ^ "Tom Lutz | W. W. Norton & Company". February 24, 2016. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  5. ^ "UCR Newsroom: Acclaimed Author Joins UCR". September 20, 2006. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  6. ^ "CHASS: Tom Lutz is a Recipient of the 2008 American Book Awards". January 22, 2009. Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "UCR: Department of Creative Writing". Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  8. ^ Lutz, Tom (October 1, 2021). "The Kindness of Strangers". University Of Iowa Press. Retrieved January 2, 2024 – via Amazon.
  9. ^ Lutz, Tom (January 26, 2021). "Aimlessness". Columbia University Press. Retrieved January 2, 2024 – via Amazon.
  10. ^ "Born Slippy: A Novel". Retrieved January 2, 2024.
  11. ^ Lutz, Tom (October 1, 2016). "And the Monkey Learned Nothing: Dispatches from a Life in Transit". University Of Iowa Press. Retrieved January 2, 2024 – via Amazon.
  12. ^ Lutz, Tom (February 20, 2017). "Drinking Mare's Milk on the Roof of the World: Wandering the Globe from Azerbaijan to Zanzibar". OR Books – via Amazon.
  13. ^ "About - Los Angeles Review of Books". Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  14. ^ "LARB Radio Hour on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts.
  15. ^ "LARB Quarterly Journal". Archived from the original on July 7, 2020. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  16. ^ The LARB Radio Hour
  17. ^ LARB Publishing Workshop
  18. ^ "LARB Books". [dead link]
  19. ^ "Tom Lutz | Authors | Macmillan". Retrieved April 25, 2017.
  20. ^