Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Newstat, Chevalier’s manager, 72

| December 31, 2020 | 0 Comments

LONGTIME Chevalier’s employee Newstat preferred her graphic icon to being photographed.

Elizabeth “Liz” Clare Newstat, Hancock Park, passed away last month. She was 72.

A long time employee and manager at Chevalier’s Books on Larchmont Boulevard, Newstat was considered the local aficionado on all things literary. Some of her work included selecting books for Chevalier’s, meeting with publishers and planning author events, as well as the day-to-day running of the store, and of course matching readers with good books.

“Every book on that shelf was handpicked by Liz,” said a statement from Chevalier’s Books, announcing her death. “She fought for the authors she believed in, and every book she pressed into your hands would become your new favorite.”

LIZ NEWSTAT put two little helpers to work at a book reading of “Superheroes Club” Nov. 5, 2017. Photo by Kelcie Des Jardins

A brief online search showed not only how often Newstat has been quoted or referred to over the years by the Los Angeles literary community, but also how much she will be missed. From the “Los Angeles Times,” the “Los Angeles Review of Books,” the “Larchmont Buzz” and columnist Paula Panich of the Larchmont Chronicle, to as far away as indie bookstores in Bremerton, Wash. and an independent publisher in Brooklyn, N.Y. Newstat’s expertise was celebrated and appreciated.

As reported in the “Larchmont Buzz,” local author Julia Claiborne Johnson had based one of her characters on Newstat in an upcoming novel.

“She was an extraordinary person, kind and funny and the best bookseller I’ve ever known,” said Los Angeles novelist Steph Cha on Twitter.

“Her taste was exquisite — last time I went to the store [Chevalier’s Books] I bought six books. I hadn’t meant to buy any,” said Dennis Johnson, co-owner of Melville House Books in New York, in another tweet.

“As we close our current location [at 126 N. Larchmont Blvd.] and begin another chapter in our new home at 133 N. Larchmont Blvd. next year, we will carry Liz’s spirit with us. Hopefully she won’t hate it too much,” stated the announcement signed by Chevalier’s staff “old and new” in December.

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Category: People

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