Thomas Larson

Thomas Larson
Journalist, critic, and memoirist, Thomas Larson is the author of three books: The Sanctuary of Illness: A Memoir of Heart Disease, The Saddest Music Ever Written: The Story of Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings," and The Memoir and the Memoirist: Reading and Writing Personal Narrative. He has been a staff writer for the San Diego Reader since 1999. He teaches in the MFA Program at Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio, where he also is the Book Reviews editor for River Teeth. He lectures on the craft of nonfiction writing, the memoir, music subjects, and his heart disease, and he facilitates writing workshops as well. His website is

Articles by Thomas Larson

Best Reader stories from 2006

Border angels, Voice and Viewpoint owner's murder, homeless friend David Ross, abduction at Club Campestre

Border angels I wanted to learn about a group called Border Angels that, among other things, sets out water in the desert areas of the 66-mile San Diego sector. Usually, gallon bottles of water are ...

Best Reader stories from 2003

P.B Rec Center, Marilyn Monroe, North County sex slaves, Christian cowboys, Mark Twain's daughter, Bataan Death March survivors

The white mask On Saturday, September 6, 1958, Marilyn Monroe and the 175-person company of Some Like It Hot arrived at the Hotel del Coronado to begin location shots, after filming in Hollywood the previous ...

Best Reader stories from 2000

Penasquitos teens in big trouble, Stephen Facciola, Olive Street, Cameron Crowe, Lester Bangs, San Diego Chinatown, Padres and the Mob

Rancho Peñasquitos boys, charged with hate crime The teenagers shot at Roman from the Subaru with the BB gun during three or four passes. They took turns shooting at him as they drove by, but ...

Best Reader stories from 1999

Jesse Ventura, La Costa, amateur astronomers, beachside dwellers, TJ poets, father of jogging, Andrew Cunanan, Bompensiero, kidnapped at Coronado Cays

Was Jesse Ventura a SEAL or a UDT guy? Well, I thought, Jesse certainly looks and sounds like many SEALs I’d known during my 16 years in the Teams. But I’d never known or even ...

Paradise Hills strives for cohesion

Half the town has sidewalks, half doesn't

Origin Guy Preuss is an affable, tanned, retired Navy Master Chief, a Vietnam vet. As the 30-year self-described “temporary” president of the local village council and the chair of the planning committee, he does what ...

Ramona – a lot of stories

Helen Hunt Jackson, Mesa Grande Indians, San Diego Country Estates, Mt. Woodson, Ramona grasslands, Cedar Fire

Was Helen Hunt Jackson's Ramona real? During late winter and early spring of every year, a bit of confusion reigns up north in the town of Ramona. The folks at the chamber of commerce there ...

Sorrento Valley – what little there is

Lost roads, The Corner House, fights with Mira Mesa, how to go south on 805

Lost roads of San Diego:Sorrento Rd., Smilax, Edelweis There was also once a Smilax Road in Sorrento Valley, one in a series of short roads named for local flora. It paralleled the railroad tracks on ...

San Diego State – an elite school

69,725 apply for 5400 freshmen spots

The Event: College Fair Night. The Venue: San Diego Convention Center. The Scene: A big-box room rowed with white linen-covered tables behind blue-curtained backdrops. The Hosts: More than 300 college admissions table-sitters selling the glories ...

University City – UCSD's bedrooms

Trolley, Regents Road Bridge, San Clemente Canyon, Miramar jets, traffic

No trolley in my backyard A group of neighborhood conservationists in University City are hoping to put the brakes on a plan to extend trolley service from downtown San Diego's Santa Fe Depot to a ...

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