Writer Les Standiford to visit Book Talk Café with his latest book chronicling William Mulholland


Author Les Standiford will discuss his book, “Water to the Angels: William Mulholland, His Monumental Aqueduct and the Rise of Los Angeles,” at the Ponte Vedra Branch Library Monday, Nov. 14 at 6:30 p.m.

Presented as part of the Friends of the Ponte Vedra Library’s Book Talk Café program, the presentation is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

“Water to the Angels” chronicles the real-life drama of William Mulholland, an Irish immigrant who constructed the Los Angeles aqueduct across 200 miles of desert and mountains. Though Mulholland never finished high school or enrolled in an engineering class, he designed a metropolitan water system that is still in use today. Following the achievement, however, Mulholland was forced to resign when a dam he was responsible for constructing collapsed and the resulting flood killed nearly 500 people. In “Water to the Angels,” Standiford captures the life of the man credited with making present-day Los Angeles possible – for better or worse – through personal triumph and tragedy.

Having begun his career as a crime writer with nine John Deal Miami crime novels, Standiford later returned to writing historical nonfiction with titles such as “Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad that Crossed an Ocean,” and “Bringing Adam Home: The Abduction that Changed America.”

Standiford is professor of English and founding director of the creative writing program at Florida International University. He holds an MA and PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Utah. He also attended the U.S. Air Force Academy and Columbia School of Law, and is a former screenwriting fellow and graduate of the American Film Institute in Los Angeles.