Fire Capt. Don Stukey probes damage after devastating fire in the L.A. Central Library. Published May 1, 1986. (Boris Yaro / Los Angeles Times)

Fire Capt. Don Stukey probes damage after devastating fire in the L.A. Central Library. Published May 1, 1986. (Boris Yaro / Los Angeles Times)

On April 28, 1986, the biggest library fire in the history of the U.S. destroyed and damaged hundreds of thousands of books at the Los Angeles Central Library. Author Susan Orlean, living and working in New York at the time, didn’t learn about the event until years later. When she did, she knew it would become the topic of her next book.

Called simply “The Library Book” Orlean explores not just the fire and the mystery behind how it occurred — but her own attachment to libraries and why they occupy such an important space in our society today.

Guests

  • Susan Orlean Author, "The Library Book"; staff writer at The New Yorker and author of "The Orchid Thief"

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