Live! From City Lights

William Vollmann

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VollmanGhost StoriesWilliam Vollmann reads from his new collection of short stories, Last Stories and Other Stories.
His first novel in nine years, published by Viking Press, comprises numerous ghost stories linked together by themes of love, death and the erotic. In this reading session set in the Initiation Chamber and Library of Lodge No. 15 of European Oddfellows, Vollmann reads Widow’s Weeds, a story about Weneke Lea McLeod.

William T Vollmann is an award winning novelist, journalist, war correspondent, short story writer, essayist, and painter. He is the author of ten novels, four short story collections, nine works of non-fiction, and numerous limited special editions. His novel Europe Central won the 2005 National Book Award.


Howard Norman

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Howard Norman reads from his new novel Next Life Might Be Kinder from Houghton Mifflin HarcourtHowardNorman

Sam Lattimore meets Elizabeth Church in 1970s Halifax, in an art gallery. The sparks are immediate, leading quickly to a marriage that is dear, erotically charged, and brief.  In Howard Norman’s spellbinding and moving novel, the gleam of the marriage and the circumstances of Elizabeth’s murder are revealed in heart-stopping increments that ultimately complicate Sam’s life with grief, hallucination, and desperation.

Next Life Might Be Kinder is a story of murder, faith, the afterlife, and of love as absolute redemption—from one of our most compelling storytellers at the height of his talents.

about Howard Norman:

Two of Howard Norman’s novels, The Northern Lights (1987) and The Bird Artist (1994), were nominated for the National Book Award. His other novels include The Museum Guard, The Haunting of L, Devotion, and What is Left the Daughter. His books have been translated into twelve languages. Norman is the recipient of a Lannan Award in fiction, and he teaches at the University of Maryland.

Interview with Lenelle Moïse

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Lenelle Moïse stopped by the City Lights office shortly before her reading at the bookstore. She sat down and talked about her new book Haiti Glass as well as how she wrote the book, how she came to know the Sister Spit group, and more.

lenelle

Praise for Haiti Glass:

Haiti Glass is a magnificent collection of poetry and prose. Part mantra, part lamentation, part prayer, this incredible book puts us wholly in the presence of an extraordinary and brave talent, whose voice will linger in your heart and mind long after you read the last word of this book.”—Edwidge Danticat

Lenelle Moïse

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City Lights is proud to be celebrating the release of:

Haiti Glass

by Lenelle Moïse

The latest poetry cohaitillection in the City Lights/Sister Spit series, edited by Michelle Tea!

Haiti Glass is a thunderstorm of poetics, politics, and art which delve deep into the language of life and present a dual portrait: one of a Haitian immigrant living within a suburban landscape in Boston and one of an artist pulled by both pop culture and the devastating effects of society. Moise’s poetry breathes into itself and expresses a multitude of emotions and observations that drape even the worst scenario’s in a blanket of strong poetic verse.

Haiti Glass is a magnificent collection of poetry and prose. Part mantra, part lamentation, part prayer, this incredible book puts us wholly in the presence of an extraordinary and brave talent, whose voice will linger in your heart and mind long after you read the last word of this book.”—Edwidge Danticat

Charles Walker

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Charles Walker discussing his new book:

The Tupac Amaru Rebellion

from Harvard/ Belknap Press

51b0ekISoFL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_The largest rebellion in the history of Spain’s American empire—a conflict greater in territory and costlier in lives than the contemporaneous American Revolution—began as a local revolt against colonial authorities in 1780. As an official collector of tribute for the imperial crown, José Gabriel Condorcanqui had seen firsthand what oppressive Spanish rule meant for Peru’s Indian population. Adopting the Inca royal name Tupac Amaru, he set events in motion that would transform him into Latin America’s most iconic revolutionary figure.

In his novel, Charles Walker immerses readers in the rebellion’s guerrilla campaigns, propaganda war, and brutal acts of retribution. He highlights the importance of Bastidas—the key strategist—and reassesses the role of the Catholic Church in the uprising’s demise. The Tupac Amaru Rebellion examines why a revolt that began as a multiclass alliance against European-born usurpers degenerated into a vicious caste war—and left a legacy that continues to influence South American politics today.

Chuck_Walker-200x300Charles F. Walker is Professor of History and Director of the Hemispheric Institute on the Americas at the University of California, Davis.He teaches courses on all aspects of Latin American history as well as natural disasters, truth commissions, social movements, and sports and empire (forthcoming).  His books include Shaky Colonialism: The 1746 Earthquake-Tsunami in Lima, Peru and its Long Aftermath (Duke University Press, 2008), Smoldering Ashes: Cuzco and the Transition from Colony to Republic, 1780-1840 (Duke University Press, 1999). He has also coedited several volumes in Peru, including a compilation of his essays, Diálogos con el Perú (FEP San Marcos, 2009), and introduced and translated with Carlos Aguirre and Willie Hiatt, Alberto Flores Galindo’s Buscando un Inca/In Search of an Inca (Cambridge University Press, 2010).  His forthcoming book is The Lima Reader (Duke University Press) with Carlos Aguirre and he is developing The Cuzco Reader with Willie Hiatt, as well as a new project on violence in contemporary Peru.

A Tribute to Peter Orlovsky

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Bill Morgan, Joanne Kyger, and Michael McClure celebrate the release of:

Peter Orlovsky, a Life in Words: Intimate Chronicles of a Beat Writer

by Bill Morgan

from Paradigm Publishers

Until now, the ginsberg_orlovskypoet Peter Orlovsky, who was Allen Ginsberg’s lover for more than forty years, has been the neglected member of the Beat Generation. Because he lived in Ginsberg’s shadow, his achievements were seldom noted and his contributions to literature have not been fully recognized.

Now, this first collection of Orlovsky’s writings pulled from unpublished journals, correspondence, photographs, and poems traces his fascinating life in his own words. It also tells, for the first time, the intimate story of his relationship with Ginsberg.

Orlovsky’s story is a refreshing departure from the established history of the Beats as depicted by his more famous companions. The reader will discover why Jack Kerouac described him as the saintly figure of Simon Darlovsky in Desolation Angels and why the elder poet William Carlos Williams praised his poetry as “pure American.” His was a complicated life, this book shows, filled with contradictions. Best known as Ginsberg’s lover, Orlovsky was heterosexual and always longed to be with women. Always humble, he became a teacher at a Buddhist college and taught a class that he entitled “Poetry for Dumb Students.” His spirit was prescient of the flower children of the sixties, especially his inclinations toward devotion and love. In the end Orlovsky’s use of drugs took its toll on his body and mind and he slipped into his own hell of addiction and mental illness, silencing one of the most original and inspiring voices of his generation.

Peter Anton Orlovsky (1933–2010) was more than just the long-time partner of Allen Ginsberg; he was a poet in his own right. Orlovsky’s work has appeared in The New American Poetry 1945–1960 (1960) and The Beatitude Anthology (1965). His work has been included in literary magazines such as Yugen and Outsider. Orlovsky appeared in films such as Andy Warhol’s Couch (1965), Robert Frank films, Pull My Daisy (1959; based on a Kerouac script), and Me and My Brother (1969).

Bill Morgan is an American writer, known for his work as an archivist and bibliographer for popular figures such as Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Abbie Hoffman, and Timothy Leary. Morgan was Allen Ginsberg’s personal archivist and bibliographer. Over their 20-year relationship, Morgan became quite close to Ginsberg and wrote his biography, I Celebrate Myself: The Somewhat Private Life of Allen Ginsberg (2006). Morgan has written extensively on the Beat generation and its key figures.

The Silent History

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Eli Horowitz, Matthew Derby, and Kevin Moffett discuss and read from their new novel The Silent History

from Farrar, Straus, & Giroux

Some time right around now, doctors, nurses, and—most of all—parents begin to notice an epidemic spreading among newborn children. Children who are physically normal in every way except that they do not speak, and do not respond to speech; they don’t learn to read, don’t learn to write.

Unfolding in a series of brief testimonials from parents, teachers, friends, doctors, cult leaders, profiteers, cult leaders, impostors—everyone touched by the silent phenomenon except, of course, the children themselves—The Silent History is both a bold storytelling experiment and unexpectedly propulsive reading experience. Originally conceived and serially published as an award-winning iPhone/iPad app, the book has been re-edited into a text that is vivid, amusing, and sometimes even shocking.

Eli Horowitz was thelie managing editor and then publisher of McSweeney’s for eight years. He is the coauthor of The Clock Without a Face, a treasure-hunt mystery, and Everything You Know Is Pong, an illustrated cultural history of ping pong. He was born in Virginia and lives in San Francisco.

Matthew Derby is the author of Super Flat Times. He lives derbyin Massachusetts.

 

 

Kevin Mofmoffett_kevinfett is the author of Permanent Visitors and Further Interpretation of Real Life Events. He lives in Claremont, California.

Gabrielle Selz and Peter Selz

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Gabrielle Selz discusses the release of her new memoir,

Unstill Life: A Daughter’s Memoir of Art and Love in the Age Of Abstraction

from W W Norton. She is joined by her father Peter Selz.

Poignant and candid, UnsUNstillLifex6till Life is a daughter’s memoir of the art world and a larger-than-life father known to the world as Mr. Modern Art. Selz offers a unique window into the glamor and destruction of the times: the gallery openings, wild parties and affairs that defined one of the most celebrated periods in American art history. Like the art he loved, Selz’s father was vibrant and freewheeling, but his enthusiasm for both women and art took its toll on family life. When her father left MoMA and his family to direct his own museum in California, marrying four more times, Selz’s mother, the writer Thalia Selz, moved with her children into the utopian artist community Westbeth. Her parents continued a tumultuous affair that would last forty years.

Weaving her family narrative into the larger story of twentieth-century art and culture, Selz paints an unforgettable portrait of a charismatic man, the generation of modern artists he championed and the daughter whose life he shaped.

What has been said about Unstill Life:

“A beautiful, compelling memoir, a testament to art, to love, to life and all its losses and joys.” — Frederic Tuten, author of Self Portraits

“Life inspires art inspires life—all of which inspire Gabrielle Selz’s sparkling memoir of her brilliant but chaotic family. In Unstill Life, the art and people ricochet off each other, wreaking havoc but also encouraging everyone to live more intense, artistic lives.” — Charlotte Rogan, author of The Lifeboat

Ken Knabb

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Celebrating Ken Knabb’s new translation of:

Society of the Spectacle

by Guy Debord

The Society of the SpKen_Knabbectacle, originally published in Paris in 1967, has been translated into more than twenty other languages and is arguably the most important radical book of the twentieth century. This is the first edition in any language to include extensive annotations, clarifying the historical allusions and revealing the sources of Debord’s “détournements.” Contrary to popular misconceptions, Debord’s book is neither an ivory tower “philosophical” discourse nor a mere expression of “protest.” It is a carefully considered effort to clarify the most fundamental tendencies and contradictions of the society in which we find ourselves. This makes it more of a challenge, but it is also why it remains so pertinent nearly half a century after its original publication while countless other social theories and intellectual fads have come and gone.

Ken Knabb is a writer, translator, historian, and radical theorist. He has translated into English numerous works by Guy Debord, the Situationist International, and Ngo Van. He has championed the life and work of the anarchist poet and essayist Kenneth Rexroth, producing the critical study titled The Relevance of Rexroth.

Fridays @ Enrico’s: A Tribute to Don Carpenter

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Carpenter, DonCity Lights Booksellers & Publishers in conjunction with The Book Club of California and Counterpoint Press present an evening of readings and discussions about the life and work of Don Carpenter with Peter Coyote, Curt Gentry, Louis B. Jones, Anne Lamott, and Jane Vandenburgh

Hosted by Peter Maravelis/City Lights

Don Carpenter was a close friend of many San Francisco writers, but his closest friendship was with Richard Brautigan, and when Brautigan killed himself, Carpenter tried for some time to write a biography of his remarkable, deeply troubled friend. He finally abandoned that in favor of writing a novel. Fridays at Enrico’s is the story of four writers living in Northern California and Portland during the early, heady days of the Beat scene, a time of youth and opportunity. This story mixes the excitement of beginning with the melancholy of ambition, often  thwarted and never satisfied. Loss of innocence is only the first price you pay. These are people, men and women, tender with expectation, at risk and in love.  Carpenter also carefully draws a portrait of these two remarkable places, San Francisco and Portland, in the ’50s and early ’60s, when writers and bohemians were busy creating the groundwork for what came to be the counterculture.

About the panelists:

Peter Coyote is an ordained practitioner of Zen Buddhism, activist, and actor. He began his work in street theater and political organizing in San Francisco. In addition to acting in 120 films, Coyote has won an Emmy for narrating the award-winning documentary Pacific Century, and he has cowritten, directed, and performed in the play Olive Pits, which won The Mime Troupe an Obie Award. He is also the author of the memoir Sleeping Where I Fall. Coyote lives in Mill Valley, California.

Anne Lamott is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Grace (Eventually), Plan B, Traveling Mercies, and Operating Instructions, as well as seven novels, including Hard Laughter and Joe Jones. She is a past recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.Counterpoint

Jane Vandenburgh is the award-winning author of two novels, Failure to Zigzag and The Physics of Sunset, as well as Architecture of the Novel, A Writer’s Handbook, The Wrong Dog Dream, and The Pocket History of Sex in the Twentieth Century, A Memoir. She has taught writing and literature at U. C. Davis, the George Washington University, and, most recently, at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California.

Louis B. Jones is the author of the novels Radiance and Innocence, both published by Counterpoint Press. His novels Ordinary Money, Particles and Luck, and California’s Over, are all New York Times Notable Books,

Curt Gentry is an American writer best known for his work co-writing Helter Skelter with Vincent Bugliosi, which detailed the Charles Manson murders and won the 1975 Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Fact Crime book.