Mark Hull

http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/Masquerade.jpgCity Lights welcomes Mark Hull. He discusses his new book, Masquerade: Treason, the Holocaust, and an Irish Impostor, co-authored with Vera Moynes, from the University of Oklahoma Press.

Phyllis Ursula James. Nora O’Mara. Róisín Ní Mhéara. Like her name, the life of Rosaleen James changed many times as she followed a convoluted path from abandoned child, to foster daughter of an aristocratic British family, to traitor during World War II, to her emergence as a full Irish woman afterward. In Masquerade, authors Mark M. Hull and Vera Moynes tell James’s story as it unfolds against the backdrop of the most important events of the twentieth century. James’s life—both real and imagined—makes for an incredible but true story.

 

Mark M. Hull, Associate Professor of Military History at the U.S Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, an attorney, and the author of Irish Secrets: German Espionage in Wartime Ireland, 1939–1945.

David Brazil

http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100348950/Images/87286100348950L.jpgCity Lights welcomes David Brazil as he celebrates the release of Holy Ghost (City Lights Spotlight No. 15), published by City Lights Books. David is joined by Julien Poirier. Garrett Caples, the Series editor, introduces the evening.

The third full-length collection from poet-scholar-activist David Brazil, Holy Ghost is a hymnal with secular burdens, poured from the mold of our actual life in common, sung against its limits. It seeks a way to find and build a soul together, and records the seekers’ findings along the way, proposing love as our common human denominator. A record of the author’s struggle to forge a relationship between two distinct vocations—one historical, as an activist (with Occupy Oakland, among other projects), and one spiritual, as he explores the path of radical Christian discipleship (in his life as a pastor)—Holy Ghost attempts to articulate an understanding of where class struggle meets the will of God.

David Brazil is a poet, translator, and novelist. His books include The Ordinary and Antisocial Patience. With Kevin Killian, he edited the Kenning Anthology of Poets Theater 1945-1985. From 2008 to 2011 he published over sixty issues of the seminal TRY! magazine with Sara Larsen. David co-pastors a house church in Oakland and works for social justice with the Faith Alliance for a Moral Economy. He’s a Scorpio.

Julien Poirier is a co-founder of Ugly Duckling Presse. He has taught poetry in New York City and San Francisco public schools and at San Quentin State Prison. Previous books include Way Too West (2015) and El Golpe Chileño (2010). City Lights Books recently published his poetry collection titled OUT OF PRINT, as volume 14 in the Spotlight Poetry Series.

China Miéville

October

China Miéville discusses the subject of his new book, October: The Story of the Russian Revolution, from Verso Books.

China Miéville has long been inspired by the ideals of the Russian Revolution and here, on the centenary of the revolution, he provides his own distinctive take on its history.

In February 1917, in the midst of bloody war, Russia was still an autocratic monarchy: nine months later, it became the first socialist state in world history. How did this unimaginable transformation take place? How was a ravaged and backward country, swept up in a desperately unpopular war, rocked by not one but two revolutions?

This is the story of the extraordinary months between those upheavals, in February and October, of the forces and individuals who made 1917 so epochal a year, of their intrigues, negotiations, conflicts and catastrophes. From familiar names like Lenin and Trotsky to their opponents Kornilov and Kerensky; from the byzantine squabbles of urban activists to the remotest villages of a sprawling empire; from the revolutionary railroad Sublime to the ciphers and static of coup by telegram; from grand sweep to forgotten detail.

Historians have debated the revolution for a hundred years, its portents and possibilities: the mass of literature can be daunting. But here is a book for those new to the events, told not only in their historical import but in all their passion and drama and strangeness. Because as well as a political event of profound and ongoing consequence, Miéville reveals the Russian Revolution as a breathtaking story.

http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/China_Mieville.jpegChina Miéville is the multi-award-winning author of many works of fiction and non-fiction. His fiction includes The City and the City, Embassytown and This Census-Taker, and has won the Hugo, World Fantasy and Arthur C. Clarke awards; his non-fiction includes the photo-illustrated essay London’s Overthrow and Between Equal Rights: A Marxist Theory of International Law. He has written for various publications, including the New York Times, Guardian, Conjunctions and Granta and he is a founding editor of the quarterly Salvage.

Gordon Ball

http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100159320/Images/87286100159320L.jpgCity Lights welcomes Gordon Ball, reading from his new short story collection, On Tokyo’s Edge, from Red Mountain Press.

Gordon Ball is a poet, photographer, filmmaker, professor of English, and master storyteller. For 28 years he took informal photographs of poet Allen Ginsberg and others of the Beat Generation, the literary and cultural phenomenon which has had a world-wide impact since its inception in the mid-1950s.  As well as being exhibited at numerous conferences and other sites, Ball’s photos have appeared in many books, including Dennis McNally’s Desolate Angel: Jack Kerouac, the Beat Generation, and America and Carole Tonkinson’s Big Sky Mind: Buddhism and  the Beat Generation.  Starting at Ginsberg’s upstate New York farm in 1968, he worked with the poet on various literary and artistic projects, editing three books, including two volumes of journals and the Pulitzer Prize nominee Allen Verbatim.  He’s the author of ’66 Frames: A Memoir (Coffee House Press, 1999);  Dark Music (Cityful Press 2006, Elik Press, 2012); and East Hill Farm: Seasons with Allen Ginsberg (Counterpoint 2011).  He is as well an award-winning maker of personal film (and will be giving a Canyon Cinema Salon of his work the night after his reading at City Lights).  His City Lights reading will be devoted to his just-released On Tokyo’s Edge: Gaijin Tales from Postwar Japan, a volume of interrelated short stories which Bill Morgan has characterized as “Beautifully written” and “a book I couldn’t put down.”  Gordon lives in Lexington, Virginia, where he teaches at Washington and Lee University.

Writers Who Love Too Much

City Lights welcomes Dodie Bellamy and Kevin Killian, joined by special guests Margaret Jenkins, David O. Steinberg, Judy Grahn, Camille Roy, Roberto Bedoya, Gabrielle Daniels, Scott Watson, and Matias Viegener in celebrating the release of Writers Who Love Too Much: New Narrative 1977-1997, edited by Dodie Bellamy and Kevin Killian and published by Nightboat Books.

In the twenty years that followed America’s bicentennial, narrative writing was re-formed, reflecting new political and sexual realities. With the publication of this anthology, the New Narrative era bounds back to life, ripe with dramatic propulsion and infused with the twin strains of poetry and Continental theory. Arranged chronologically, the reader will discover classic texts of New Narrative from Bob Glück to Kathy Acker, and rare materials including period interviews, reviews, essays, and talks combined to form a new map of late twentieth-century creative rebellion.

Dodie Bellamy is the author of numerous works of prose. Her latest book is When the Sick Rule the World. She teaches creative writing at San Francisco State University and California College of the Arts.

Kevin Killian is a San Francisco-based poet, novelist, playwright, and art writer. He is the author of fifteen books and co-wrote Poet Be Like God, a biography of the American poet Jack Spicer (1925-1965). City Lights published his novel Impossible Princess, winner of the 2010 Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Erotica .

James Nolan

http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100697790/Images/87286100697790L.jpgCity Lights welcomes James Nolan to celebrate the release of his new book, Flight Risk: Memoirs of a New Orleans Bad Boy, from University Press of Mississippi.

Flight Risk takes off as a page-turning narrative with deep roots and a wide wingspan. James Nolan, a fifth-generation New Orleans native, offers up an intimate portrait both of his insular hometown and his generation’s counterculture. Flight runs as a theme throughout the book, which begins with Nolan’s escape from the gothic mental hospital to which his parents committed the teenaged poet during the tumult of 1968. This breakout is followed by the self-styled revolutionary’s hair-raising flight from a Guatemalan jail, and years later, by the author’s bolt from China, where he ditched his teaching position and collectivist ideals. These Houdini-like feats foreshadow a more recent one, how he dodged biblical floods in a stolen school bus three days after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans.

Nolan traces these flight patterns to those of his French ancestors who fled to New Orleans in the mid-nineteenth century, established a tobacco business in the French Quarter, and kept the old country alive in their Creole demimonde. The writer describes the eccentric Seventh Ward menagerie of the extended family in which he grew up, his early flirtation with extremist politics, and a strong bond with his freewheeling grandfather, a gentleman from the Gilded Age. Nolan’s quest for his own freedom takes him to the flower-powered, gender-bending San Francisco of the sixties and seventies, as well as to an expatriate life in Spain during the heady years of that nation’s transition to democracy. Like the prodigal son, he eventually returns home to live in the French Quarter, around the corner from where his grandmother grew up, only to struggle through the aftermath of Katrina and the city’s resurrection.

Many of these stories are entwined with the commentaries of a wry flâneur, addressing such subjects as the nuances of race in New Orleans, the Disneyfication of the French Quarter, the numbing anomie of digital technology and globalization, the challenges of caring for aging parents, Creole funeral traditions, how to make a soul-searing gumbo, and what it really means to belong.

http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/james_nolan_author_photo-cropped.jpgJames Nolan is a fiction writer, poet, essayist, and translator. His eleven books include the recent You Don’t Kno Me: New and Selected Stories (winner of the 2015 Independent Publishers Gold Medal in Southern Fiction) and the novel Higher Ground (awarded a William Faulkner/Wisdom Gold Medal in the Novel). He has taught at universities in San Francisco, Florida, Barcelona, Madrid, and Beijing, as well as in his native New Orleans.

Damon Krukowski

http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/new_analog_rev.jpgCity Lights welcomes Damon Krukowski to discuss his new book, The New Analog: Listening and Reconnecting in a Digital World, from The New Press. Joining him is City Lights Publisher/Executive Director, Elaine Katzenberger.

What John Berger did to ways of seeing, well-known indy musician Damon Krukowski does to ways of listening in this lively guide to the transition from analog to digital culture.

Having made his name in the late 1980s as a member of the indie band Galaxie 500, Damon Krukowski has watched cultural life lurch from analog to digital. And as an artist who has weathered the transition, he has challenging, urgent questions for both creators and consumers about what we have thrown away in the process: Are our devices leaving us lost in our own headspace even as they pinpoint our location? Does the long reach of digital communication come at the sacrifice of our ability to gauge social distance? Do streaming media discourage us from listening closely? Are we hearing each other fully in this new environment?

http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/krukowski_damon_naomi_yang.jpgRather than simply rejecting the digital disruption of cultural life, Krukowski uses the sound engineer’s distinction of signal and noise to reexamine what we have lost as a technological culture, looking carefully at what was valuable in the analog realm so we can hold on to it. Taking a set of experiences from the production and consumption of music that have changed since the analog era—the disorientation of headphones, flattening of the voice, silence of media, loudness of mastering, and manipulation of time—as a basis for a broader exploration of contemporary culture, Krukowski gives us a brilliant meditation and guide to keeping our heads amid the digital flux. Think of it as plugging in without tuning out.

Damon Krukowski was in the indie rock band Galaxie 500 and is currently one half of the folk-rock duo Damon & Naomi. He writes for music and art journals including Pitchfork, Artforum, frieze, and The Wire. He is the recipient of an Arts Writers Grant from Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation, and a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University. He has also taught writing and sound (and writing about sound) at Harvard University. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Oakland Noir

http://akashicbooks.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/uploads/OaklandNoir-509x800.jpgCity Lights celebrates a new crime anthology from Akashic Books, Oakland Noirwith Nick Petrulakis, Jamie DeWolf, Eddie Muller & Jerry Thompson.

California’s noir quotient continues to rise with Oakland Noir, which reveals all the dark complexities of this prominent city. Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book.

The anthology features brand-new stories by: Nick Petrulakis, Kim Addonizio, Keenan Norris, Keri Miki-Lani Schroeder, Katie Gilmartin, Dorothy Lazard, Harry Louis Williams II, Carolyn Alexander, Phil Canalin, Judy Juanita, Jamie DeWolf, Nayomi Munaweera, Mahmud Rahman, Tom McElravey, Joe Loya, and Eddie Muller.

Jerry Thompson is an accomplished violinist, playwright, and poet. He is the coauthor of Black Artists in Oakland, and owned Black Spring Books, an independent bookstore.

Eddie Muller, a.k.a. the “Czar of Noir,” has been nominated for several Edgar and Anthony awards, and his novel The Distance won a Shamus Award. He produces the San Francisco Noir City Film Festival, the largest annual film noir retrospective in the world, and is a frequent host on Turner Classic Movies.

erica lewis and Rita Bullwinkel

City Lights welcomes erica lewis, reading from her new poetry collection, mary wants to be a superwoman, published by Third Man Books and Rita Bullwinkel, reading from her forthcoming work, Belly Up, (forthcoming from A Strange Object in May of 2018). http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100697260/Images/87286100697260L.jpg

About mary wants to be a superwoman, by erica lewis

Being of black, Native American, and white descent, poet erica lewis’ mary wants to be a superwoman recounts her family’s history, their voices within that history— especially the women on her mother’s side — and her friends’ complex history with race, gender, and class in America, what it means to live with your own history, dealing with a history that has been passed down, and how to move on from that history and its implications.
It is lewis’ take on revising the confessional while taking inspiration from her family’s own oral history. Each poem is also framed by phrases from the lyrics of Stevie Wonder’s Motown records, but the poems are not “about” the actual songs, but what is triggered when listening to or thinking about the music. What happens when you take something like a pop song and turn it in on itself, give it a different frame of reference, juxtapose the work against itself, against other pop music, and bring it into the present? mary wants to be a superwoman is the second book of the box-set trilogy; daryl hall is my boyfriend (Barrelhouse, 2015) is the first.

erica lewis lives in San Francisco where she is a fine arts publicist. In addition to mary wants to be a superwoman, books include the precipice of jupiter, camera obscura (both collaborations with artist Mark Stephen Finein), murmur in the inventory, and daryl hall is my boyfriend. She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Rita Bullwinkel is the author of the story collection Belly Up (forthcoming from A Strange Object in May of 2018). Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Tin House, VICE, NOON and Guernica. She is a recipient of grants and fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, The Drue Heinz Foundation and The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. Her story “Passing” was a finalist for The Conium Review’s Innovative Short Fiction Prize judged by Amelia Gray. Her story “In the South the Sand Winds are Our Greatest Enemy” was selected by Joyland Magazine as one of their top five favorite stories published in 2015. Both her fiction and her translation have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. She lives in San Francisco. Visit:  http://ritabullwinkel.com

Third Man Books and Records: Where your turntable’s not dead, and your page still turns. Visit http://thirdmanbooks.com/.

Clark Coolidge

http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100970840/Images/87286100970840L.jpgCity Lights presents Clark Coolidge reading from his poetry and celebrating the release of Selected Poems: 1962-1985 from Station Hill Press, edited by Larry Fagin.

Clark Coolidge is a revered figure in the world of American and world experimental poetry. SELECTED POEMS: 1962-1985 will be how Coolidge’s revolutionary early works will be read for generations to come. Lyn Hejinian writes, “Reading through the still incredible work collected in this exemplary SELECTED POEMS, I marvel all over again at the force of even the ‘smallest’ of Clark Coolidge’s poems. Coolidge’s sonic expertise has often been noted, and music—especially bebop and what has followed it—clearly has suggested to him ways to generate rhythmic clusters, to ride accelerations, to invent scales. No other poet ever has so exquisitely, and sometimes also turbulently, written sheer sonic wonder into poetry.” This volume includes an introduction by Bill Berkson, entitled “The Spools of Clark Coolidge,” recounting Coolidge’s coming up and influences as well as eloquently expressing the visionary nature of his poetic enterprise.http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/Coolidge.jpeg

Clark Coolidge is the author of more than forty books, including SELECTED POEMS: 1962-1985, Space, Solution Passage, The Crystal Text, At Egypt, NOW IT’S JAZZ: WRITINGS ON KEROUAC & THE SOUNDS, THE ACT OF PROVIDENCE, and most recently 88 SONNETS and A BOOK BEGINNING WHAT AND ENDING AWAY. In 2011 he edited a collection of Philip Guston’s writings and talks for University of California Press. Initially a drummer, he was a member of David Meltzer’s Serpent Power in 1967 and Mix group in 1993-94. Currently he has returned to active drumming with Thurston Moore and the free jazz band Ouroboros.

Dean Rader

http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100790590/Images/87286100790590L.jpgCity Lights welcomes Dean Rader in celebrating the release of his new collection of poetry, Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry from Copper Canyon Press.

Wikipedia articles are never finalized. In Dean Rader’s energized and inventive new book, the poet considers identity of self and society as a Wikipedia page—sculpted and transformed by the ever-present push and pull of politics, culture, and unseen forces. And, in the case of Rader, how identity can be affected by the likes of Paul Klee’s paintings and the characters from the children’s stories about Frog and Toad. Rader’s cagey voice is full of humor and inquiry, warmly inviting readers to fully participate in thhttp://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/Dean.jpge creation.

Dean Rader‘s debut collection of poems, Works & Days, won the 2010 T. S. Eliot Poetry Prize and Landscape Portrait Figure Form (2014) was named by The Barnes & Noble Review as a Best Poetry Book of the year. He was won numerous awards for his writing, including the 2016 Common Good Books Prize, judged by Garrison Keillor, and the 2015 George Bogin Award from the Poetry Society of America, judged by Stephen Burt. He has written or co-edited three scholarly books and was the editor of the 2014 anthology 99 Poems for the 99 Percent: An Anthology of Poetry, which hit #1 on the Small Press Distribution Bestseller list. He writes and reviews regularly for The San Francisco Chronicle, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, and The Huffington Post. Two new collections of poetry appear in 2017: A book of collaborative sonnets written with Simone Muench, entitled Suture (Black Lawrence Press) and Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry (Copper Canyon).

Syria – Because We Come From Everything

The Poetry Society of America and City Lights Bookstore present SYRIA — Because We Come From Everything: The Poetics of Migration, a poetry reading and discussion as part of the Poetry Coalition’s 2017 programming with Jonathan Curiel, Jack Hirschman, and Jack Marshall . Twenty-two nonprofit poetry organizations from across the United States have formed a historic coalition dedicated to working together to promote the value poets bring to our culture and communities, and the important contribution poetry makes in the lives of people of all ages and backgrounds. As its first public offering, throughout the month of March 2017, Poetry Coalition members will present multiple programs on the theme: Because We Come From Everything: Poetry & Migration, which borrows a line from U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera’s poem,  “Borderbus.” The Poetry Society in conjunction with City Lights present an evening that focusses on the Syrian refugee crisis. Poets Jack Hirschman and Jack Marshall, will read poems of theirs and others. Journalist Jonathan Curiel will join them in conversation.

http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/Curiel.jpgJonathan Curiel is a San Francisco-based writer and journalist who has written widely about the Middle East, and has reported from Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt. His 2008 book, Al’ America: Travels Through America’s Arab and Islamic Roots won an American Book Award. He has been a USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program fellow, a Thomson Reuters Foundation fellow at Oxford University, and a Fulbright Scholar at Punjab University in Lahore, Pakistan. A former staff writer with the San Francisco Chronicle, he has written about the arts for SF Weekly since 2010.

Jack Hirschman is the former Poet Laureate of the City of San Francisco, a poet’s phttp://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/JackHi.jpegoet, translator, and editor. His powerfully eloquent voice set the tone for political poetry in this country many years ago. Since leaving a teaching career in the ’60s, Hirschman has taken the free exchange of poetry and politics into the streets where he is, in the words of poet Luke Breit, “America’s most important living poet.” He is the author of numerous books of poetry, plus some 45 translations from a half a dozen languages, as well as the editor of anthologies and journals. Among his many volumes of poetry are Endless Threshold, The Xibalba Arcanehttp://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/JackMarshall.jpeg, and Lyripol (City Lights, 1976).

Born in Brooklyn to Jewish parents who emigrated from Iraq and Syria, Jack Marshall now lives in California. He is the author of the memoir From Baghdad to Brooklyn and several poetry collections that have received the PEN Center USA Award, two Northern California Book Awards, and a nomination from the National Book Critics Circle.

Elif Batuman

City Lights presents Elif Batuman who discusses her new novel, The Idiot, published by Penguin Press. http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100643900/Images/87286100643900L.jpg

A portrait of the artist as a young woman. A novel about not just discovering but inventing oneself.

The year is 1995, and email is new. Selin, the daughter of Turkish immigrants, arrives for her freshman year at Harvard. She signs up for classes in subjects she has never heard of, befriends her charismatic and worldly Serbian classmate, Svetlana, and, almost by accident, begins corresponding with Ivan, an older mathematics student from Hungary. Selin may have barely spoken to Ivan, but with each email they exchange, the act of writing seems to take on new and increasingly mysterious meanings.

At the end of the school year, Ivan goes to Budapest for the summer, and Selin heads to the Hungarian countryside, to teach English in a program run by one of Ivan’s friends. On the way, she spends two weeks visiting Paris with Svetlana. Selin’s summer in Europe does not resonate with anything she has previously heard about the typical experiences of American college students, or indeed of any other kinds of people. For Selin, this is a journey further inside herself: a coming to grips with the ineffable and exhilarating confusion of first love, and with the growing consciousness that she is doomed to become a writer.

With superlative emotional and intellectual sensitivity, mordant wit, and pitch-perfect style, Batuman dramatizes the uncertainty of life on the cusp of adulthood. Her prose is a rare and inimitable combination of tenderness and wisdom; its logic as natural and inscrutable as that of memory itself. The Idiot is a heroic yet self-effacing reckoning with the terror and joy of becoming a person in a world that is as intoxicating as it is disquieting. Batuman’s fiction is unguarded against both life’s affronts and its beauty–and has at its command the complete range of thinking and feeling which they entail.http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/elif.jpg

Elif Batuman has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 2010. She is the author of The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them. The recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, and a Paris Review Terry Southern Prize for Humor, she also holds a PhD in comparative literature from Stanford University.

Deepak Unnikrishnan

City Lighttp://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100583950/Images/87286100583950L.jpghts welcomes Deepak Unnikrishnan in conversation with Shanthi Sekaran in celebrating his new award winning novel, Temporary People from Restless Books.

In the United Arab Emirates, foreign nationals constitute over 80% of the population. Brought in to construct the towering monuments to wealth that bristle the skylines of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, this labor force works without the rights of citizenship, endures miserable living conditions, and is eventually required to leave the country. Until now, the humanitarian crisis of the so-called “guest workers” of the Gulf has barely been addressed in fiction. With his stunning, mind-altering book Temporary People, debut author Deepak Unnikrishnan delves into their histories, myths, struggles, and triumphs, and illuminates the ways in which temporary status affects psyches, families, memories, stories, and languages.

Combining the irrepressible linguistic invention of Salman Rushdie and the darkly funny satirical vision of George Saunders, Deepak Unnikrishnan presents twenty-eight linked stories that careen from construction workers who shapeshift into luggage and escape a labor camp, to a woman who stitches back together the bodies of those who’ve fallen from buildings in progress, to a man who grows ideal workers designhttp://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/deepak.jpeged to live twelve years and then perish—until they don’t, and found a rebel community in the desert. In this polyphony of voices, Unnikrishnan brilliantly maps a new, unruly global English, and in giving substance and identity to the anonymous workers of the Gulf, he highlights the disturbing ways in which “progress” on a global scale is bound up with dehumanization.

Deepak Unnikrishnan is a writer and taleteller from Abu Dhabi (and now, Chicago). He has lived on the East Coast and in the Midwest, reciting and mining his myths in Teaneck, New Jersey, Brooklyn, New York, and Chicago’s North and South sides. He has studied and taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and presently teaches at New York University Abu Dhabi. Temporary People, his first book, was the inaugural winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing.

Shanthi Sekaran teaches creative writing at California College of the Arts, and is a member of the Portuguese Artists Colony and the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. Her work has appeared in Best New American Voices and Canteen, and online at Zyzzyva and Mutha Magazine. Her first novel, The Prayer Room, was published by MacAdam Cage. She recently released a new novel: Lucky Boy from G.P. Putnam & Sons.

Logic Magazine First Issue Release Party

http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/logic.jpgCity Lights welcomes Logic‘s founding editors, Ben Tarnoff, Moira Weigel, Jim Fingal, Christa Hartsock and Logic contributors Tim Hwang, Miriam Posner, and Conrad Amenta, in telling the story of technology. City Lights celebrates their very first issue!

Logic is a new magazine devoted to technology and society. Please join us for a celebration of their debut issue, “Intelligence,” which explores how technology works—and whom it works for. Hear thier editors read from our founding manifesto, and listen to contributors tackle topics as varied as: coding’s gender crisis, the failure of collective intelligence in the Age of Trump, and the industrialization of medicine through software.

Learn more about the magazine, and read their manifesto, at logicmag.io.

Ben Tarnoff writes about technology and politics for The Guardian and Jacobin. His most recent book is The Bohemians: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature.

Moira Weigel writes about gender and technology for The New York Times, The Guardian, and The New Republic. She is the author of Labor Love: The Invention of Dating.

Jim Fingal is a software developer and the Head of Product Engineering at Amino. He is the co-author, with John D’Agata, of The Lifespan of a Fact.

Christa Hartsock is a software developer and a 2017 Code for America Fellow.

Tim Hwang is a Fellow at Data & Society and has worked with the Berkman Center, Creative Commons, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Institute for the Future.

Miriam Posner teaches in the Digital Humanities program at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Conrad Amenta writes about video games and culture for Kill Screen and works as a healthcare researcher in San Francisco.

Yiyun Li

City Lights welcomes Yiyun Li in celebrating the release of her new book, Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life published by Random House.

In her first nonfiction book, award-winning novelist Yiyun Li explores a question we ask ourselves: How does one make life livable?

Startlingly original and shining with quiet wisdom, this is a luminous account of a life lived with books. Written over two years while the author battled suicidal depression, Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life is a painful and yet richly affirming examination of what makes life worth living.

Yiyun Li grew up in China and has spent her adult life as an immigrant in a country not her own. She has been a scientist, an author, a mother, a daughter—and through it all she has been sustained by a profound connection with the writers and books she loves. From William Trevor and Katherine Mansfield to Søren Kierkegaard and Philip Larkin, Dear Friend is a journey through the deepest themes that bind these writers together.

Interweaving personal experiences with a wide-ranging homage to her most cherished literary influences, Yiyun Li confronts the two most essential questions of her identity: Why write? And why live? Dear Friend is a beautiful, interior exploration of selfhood and a journey of recovery through literature: a long letter from a writer to like-minded readers.

Yiyun Li grew up in Beijing and came to the United States in 1996. She has received fellowships and awards from Lannan Foundation and Whiting Foundation. Her debut collection, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, won the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, PEN/Hemingway Award, Guardian First Book Award, and California Book Award for first fiction. Her novel, The Vagrants, won the gold medal of California Book Award for fiction, and was shortlisted for Dublin IMPAC Award. Gold Boy, Emerald Girl, her second collection, was a finalist of Story Prize and shortlisted for Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages. She was selected by Granta as one of the 21 Best Young American Novelists under 35, and was named by The New Yorker as one of the top 20 writers under 40. MacArthur Foundation named her a 2010 fellow. She is a contributing editor to the Brooklyn-based literary magazine, A Public Space.

She lives in Oakland, California with her husband and their two sons, and teaches at University of California, Davis.

L.A. Kauffman

City Lights welcomes L.A. Kauffman to discuss her new book Direct Action: Protest and the Reinvention of American Radicalism from Verso Press.

Direct Action is a vibrant, groundbreaking history of American radicalism since the Sixties.

What happened http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/DirectActionCover.jpegto the American left after the Sixties? This engrossing account traces the evolution of disruptive protest over the last 40 years to tell a larger story about the reshaping of American radicalism, showing how the direct-action blockades, occupations, and campaigns of recent activist movements have functioned as laboratories for political experimentation and renewal.

Propelled by more than 100 candid interviews conducted over a span of decades, this elegant and lively history showcases the voices of key players in an array of movements – environmentalist, anti-nuclear, anti-apartheid, feminist, LGBTQ, anti-globalization, racial-justice, anti-war, and more – across an era when American politics shifted to the right, and issue- and identity-based organizing eclipsed the traditional ideologies of the left. 

As Kauffman, a longtime movement insider, examines how groups from ACT UP to Occupy Wall Street to Black Lives Matter have used direct action to catalyze change against long odds, she details the profound influence of feminism and queerness on radical political practice and how enduring divisions of race have shaped the landscape of activism. Written with nuance and humor, and revealing deep connections between movements usually viewed in isolation, Direct Action is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding how protest movements erupt — and how they can succeed.

L.A. Kauffman has spent more than 30 years immersed in radical movements, as an organizer, strategist, journalist, and observer. Her writings on grassroots activism and social movement history have been published in The Nation, Mother Jones, n+1, The Baffler, and many other outlets. Kauffman was the mobilizing coordinator for the massive anti-war marches of 2003-2004; she has been called a “virtuoso organizer” by journalist Scott Sherman for her role in saving community gardens and public libraries in New York City from developers. Visit L.A. Kauffman’s twitter-feed.

Rachel Aspden

City Lights welcomes Rachel Aspden! She discusses her new book, Generation Revolution:  On the Front Line
Between Tradition and Change in the Middle East,
from Other Press.

http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100257410/Images/87286100257410L.jpgIn 2011 during the Arab Spring, the government of Egypt transformed from a dictatorship to a democratic presidency. The chaos that resulted during this time erupted from a decade of social and political unrest among the Egyptian people. GENERATION REVOLUTION is the story of the millennial generation in Egypt during the Arab Spring, from the perspective of several different young men and women whose different views explore the way Egypt has been shaped before, during, and after the 2011 end of Hosni Mubarak’s presidency.

Aspden spent years in Egypt during the beginning of unrest in 2003 and moved back again during the years following post-revolution in 2011. Aspden offers a window into the world of the Middle East during the Arab Spring, before, during, and after Egypt’s chaotic overthrow of their President Mubarak and his successor, the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi. Through Aspden’s curious and unbiased gaze, readers hear the Egyptian voices of Amr, an atheist university-educated software engineer, Amal, a fiercely independent young woman who lives on her own in Cairo which is practically unheard of, Ayman, a devout Muslim teenager who chooses to follow ultraconservative Salafi Islam to the surprise of his middle-class parents, and Mazen, a fan of TV preacher Amr Khaled who finds himself on the front lines during the revolution. With these perspectives along with others’, readers learn that from atheists to ultra-religious, from conservative young men to liberal young women, the growing generation of Egypt is vastly different, struggling to find a place for various voices during chaotic government upheaval. Aspden writes from the front lines of this new generation, sharing their stories and harbouring their own doubts, resentments, and hope for what is to come.

http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/RachelAspden.jpegRachel Aspden became literary editor of the New Statesman in 2006, at the age of 26. She now works at the Guardian, and also writes on a freelance basis for the New Statesman, Observer, Prospect and Think magazine (Qatar). She lived in Cairo in 2003-4 and worked as an editor and reporter on the English-language Cairo Times. Since then, from her UK base, she has travelled to and reported from across the region and the wider Muslim world: Yemen, the UAE, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, the Palestinian territories, Egypt, Morocco, Sudan, Pakistan and north India. In 2010, she was awarded a year-long travelling fellowship by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust to research activists working to fight extremism within Islam. Following the Arab spring uprisings in 2011, she moved back to Egypt to research this book. She is currently based in London and reports for the Guardian.

Joyce Carol Oates 3

http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100609580/Images/87286100609580L.jpgCity Lights welcomes back Joyce Carol Oates, who reads from her new novel A Book of American Martyrs from Ecco Press.

A BOOK OF AMERICAN MARTYRS intimately links the stories of two very different families. Luther Dunphy is an ardent Evangelical who envisions himself as acting out God’s will when he assassinates an abortion provider in his small Ohio town. Augustus Voorhees, the idealistic doctor who is killed, leaves behind a wife and children scarred and embittered by grief. As the story moves forward, the daughters of these men—one a boxer, the other a journalist—continue to be inextricably tied by the dramatic connection they share. As she alone can, Oates renders whole these two very different families—with very different values and views. Epic and intimate, the narrative explores their warring convictions with dazzling equanimity. A story as immediate as today’s headlines, it also offers a larger perspective on the ways that issues tear us apart as individuals and as a nation.

Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Humanities Medal, the National Book Critics Circlhttp://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/JCO.jpege Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Book Award, and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys, Blonde (a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize), and the New York Times bestsellers The Falls (winner of the 2005 Prix Femina Etranger) and The Gravedigger’s Daughter. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978. In 2003 she received the Common Wealth Award for Distinguished Service in Literature, and in 2006 she received the Chicago Tribune Lifetime Achievement Award.

Shakespeare and Company Celebration

Editor Krista Halverson and guest speakers celebrate the release of Shakespeare and Company, Paris: A History of the Rag & Bone Shop of the Heart, published by Shakespeare and Company Paris and edited with introduction by Krista Halverson. Foreword by Jeanette Winterson. Epilogue by Sylvia Whitman.

A copiously illustrated account of City Lights’ sister store, the famed Paris bookstore on its 65th anniversary.

This first-ever history of the legendary bohemian bookstore in Paris interweaves essays and poetry from dozens of writers associated with the shop–Allen Ginsberg, Anaïs Nin, Ethan Hawke, Robert Stone and Jeanette Winterson, among others–with hundreds of never-before-seen archival pieces, including photographs of James Baldwin, William Burroughs and Langston Hughes, plus a foreword by the celebrated British novelist Jeanette Winterson and an epilogue by Sylvia Whitman, the daughter of the store’s founder, George Whitman. The book has been edited by Krista Halverson, director of the newly founded Shakespeare and Company publishing house.

George Whitman opened his bookstore in a tumbledown 16th-century building just across the Seine from Notre-Dame in 1951, a decade after the original Shakespeare and Company had closed. Run by Sylvia Beach, it had been the meeting place for the Lost Generation and the first publisher of James Joyce’s Ulysses. (This book includes an illustrated adaptation of Beach’s memoir.) Since Whitman picked up the mantle, Shakespeare and Company has served as a home-away-from-home for many celebrated writers, from Jorge Luis Borges to Ray Bradbury, A.M. Homes t

o Dave Eggers, as well as for young authors and poets. Visitors are invited not only to read the books in the library and to share a pot of tea, but sometimes also to live in the bookstore itself–all for free.

More than 30,000 people have stayed at Shakespeare and Company, fulfilling Whitman’s vision of a “socialist utopia masquerading as a bookstore.” Through the prism of the shop’s history, the book traces the lives of literary expats in Paris from 1951 to the present, touching on the Beat Generation, civil rights, May ’68 and the feminist movement–all while pondering that perennial literary question, “What is it about writers and Paris?”

Krista Halverson is the director of Shakespeare and Company bookstore’s publishing venture. Previously, she was the managing editor of Zoetrope: All-Story, the art and literary quarterly published by Francis Ford Coppola, which has won several National Magazine Awards for Fiction and numerous design prizes. She was responsible for the magazine’s art direction, working with guest designers including Lou Reed, Kara Walker, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Zaha Hadid, Wim Wenders and Tom Waits, among others.

Jeanette Winterson‘s first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, was published in 1985. In 1992 she was one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists. She has won numerous awards and is published around the world. Her memoir, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?, was an international bestseller. Her latest novel, The Gap of Time, is a “cover version” of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale.

Sylvia Whitman is the owner of Shakespeare and Company bookstore, which her father opened in 1951. She took on management of the shop in 2004, when she was 23, and now co-manages the bookstore with her partner, David Delannet. Together they have opened an adjoining cafe, as well as launched a literary festival, a contest for unpublished novellas and a publishing arm.

Sarah Jaffe

Sarah Jaffe in conversation with Suzie Cagle at City Lights Bookstore celebrating the release of Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt from Nation Books.

http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100046260/Images/87286100046260L.jpgNecessary Trouble is the definitive book on the movements that are poised to permanently remake American politics. We are witnessing a moment of unprecedented political turmoil and social activism. Over the last few years we’ve seen the growth of the Tea Party, a twenty-first-century black freedom struggle with BlackLivesMatter, Occupy Wall Street, and the grassroots networks supporting presidential candidates in defiance of the traditional party elites.

In Necessary Trouble, journalist Sarah Jaffe leads readers into the heart of these movements, explaining what has made ordinary Americans become activists. As Jaffe argues, the financial crisis in 2008 was the spark, the moment that crystallized that something was wrong. For years, Jaffe crisscrossed the country, asking people what they were angry about, and what they were doing to take power back. She attended a people’s assembly in a church gymnasium in Ferguson, Missouri; walked a picket line at an Atlanta Burger King; rode a bus from New York to Ohio with student organizers; and went door-to-door in Queens days after Hurricane Sandy.

From the successful fight for a $15 minimum wage in Seattle and New York to the halting of Shell’s Arctic Drilling Program, Americans are discovering the effectiveness of making good, necessary trouble. Regardless of political alignment, they are boldly challenging who wields power in this country.http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/jaffe,%20sarah%20(cr%20julieta%20salgado)(1).jpg

Sarah Jaffe is a Nation Institute fellow and an independent journalist covering labor, economic justice, social movements, politics, gender, and pop culture. Her work has appeared in The Nation, Salon, the Week, the American Prospect, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, and many other publications. She is the co-host, with Michelle Chen, of Dissent magazine’s Belabored podcast, as well as an editorial board member at Dissent and a columnist at New Labor Forum. Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt is her first book. Jaffe was formerly a staff writer at In These Times and the labor editor at AlterNet. She was a contributing editor on The 99%: How the Occupy Wall Street Movement is Changing America, from AlterNet books, as well as a contributor to the anthologies At the Tea Party and Tales of Two Cities, both from OR Books. She was also the web director at GRITtv with Laura Flanders. She was one of the first reporters to cover Occupy Wall Street and the Fight for $15, has appeared on numerous radio and television programs to discuss topics ranging from electoral politics to Superstorm Sandy, from punk rock to public-sector unions.

Suzie Cagle is  an independent journalist and illustrator, and a frequent contributor to ProPublica, the New York Times, the Guardian, and many others. She was previously a 2016 John S. Knight Journalism fellow at Stanford, and a technology columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. She is currently working on an illustrated book about boom and bust economics in California.

Susie’s work has been featured on NPR, in Wiredthe Los Angeles TimesChicago Tribune, and the Washington Post, and has been honored with awards from the Online Journalism Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. Susie has a masters in journalism from Columbia, which still doesn’t offer a cartooning class.

Jim Nisbet 2

City Lights welcomes Jim Nisbet to celebrate the paperback release of The Syracuse Codex, published by the Overlook Press.

Over the course of http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100478520/Images/87286100478520L.jpgthe last decade, The Overlook Press has brought into print, in quality paperback editions, the majority of the literary oeuvre of San Francisco literary great Jim Nisbet. The Syracuse Codex is the latest in the series of books that are essential reading for all lovers of fiction, especially of the “noir” variety.

In The Syracuse Codex, Nisbet returns in a wild tale of skullduggery, mayhem, and history peopled with a rogue’s gallery of the eccentric and unscrupulous.

San Francisco frame maker Danny Kestrel regularly rubs elbows with the rich and immohttp://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/NISBET.jpgral at art openings and commissions. But he’s never dreamt of entering their lurid world until Renée Knowles―interior decorator, billionaire’s wife, nymphomaniac―asks for a ride.

When Knowles is murdered soon after their one-night stand, Danny finds himself a prime suspect. Renée’s death has stirred up a hornet’s nest of fabulously crooked and wealthy collectors of black market historical artifacts, all seeking the crown jewel: the eponymous Syracuse Codex, a secret account of Empress Theodora’s illegitimate son. Worse, everyone seems to think Danny has it.

Jim Nisbet is the author of twelve novels and five books of poetry. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times, shortlisted for the Hammett Prize, and published in ten languages. Visit his website at: http://noirconeville.com

John Freeman 2

City Lights welcomes John Freeman in celebrating the release of Freeman’s: Family: The Best New Writing on Family, published by Grove Press. Joining him is essayist and journalist Garnette Cadogan.

http://www.citylights.com/html/WYSIWYGfiles/images/John-Freeman.jpgThe second issue of a new anthology from renowned literary critic John Freeman, featuring never-before-published stories, essays, and poetry by Claire Messud, Aminatta Forna, Marlon James, Alexander Chee, Aleksandar Hemon, Tracy K. Smith, and more.http://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100333600/Images/87286100333600L.jpg

Freeman’s: Family is what the series reviewers are calling “bold” (Minneapolis Star-Tribune) and “refreshing” (Chicago Literati). Following a debut issue on the theme of “Arrival,” Freeman circles a new topic whose definition is constantly challenged by the best of our writers: family.

In an essay called “Crossroads,” Aminatta Forna muses on the legacy of slavery as she settles her family in Washington, DC, where she is constantly accused of cutting in line whenever she stands next to her white husband. Families are hardly stable entities, so many writers discover. Award-winning novelist Claire Vaye Watkins delivers a stunning portrait of a woman in the throes of postpartum depression. Booker Prize winner Marlon James takes the focus off absent fathers to write about his mother, who calls to sing him happy birthday every year. Even in the darkest moments, humor abounds. In Claire Messud’s home there are two four-legged tyrants; Sandra Cisneros writes about her extended family of past lovers; and Aleksandar Hemon tells the story of his uncle’s desperate attempt to remain a communist despite decades in the Soviet gulag.

With outstanding, never-before-published pieces of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from literary heavyweights and up-and-coming writers alike, Freeman’s: Family collects the most amusing, heartbreaking, and probing stories about family life emerging today.

devorah major

City Lights welcomes devorah major, who celebrates the release of her new book of poetry and then we became published by City Lights Books. http://www.citylights.com/resources/persons/4886.jpghttp://www.citylights.com/Resources/titles/87286100716460/Images/87286100716460L.jpg

devorah major is California born, San Francisco raised, granddaughter of immigrants, documented and undocumented, devorah major served as San Francisco’s Third Poet Laureate (2002-2006). She has published two novels, four poetry books and four poetry chapbooks, along with two young adult titles, and a host of short stories, essays, and individual poems published in anthologies and periodicals. Among her awards is a First Novelist award from the Black Caucus of the ALA and a PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award. Along with composer Guillermo Galindo, major was given a commission by the Oakland East Bay Symphony to create Trade Routes, a symphony with spoken word and chorus that premiered in 2005. In June 2015 she premiered her poetry play Classic Black: Voices of 19th-Century African-Americans in San Francisco at the San Francisco International Arts Festival. She is currently the poet-in-residence at the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums and a Senior Adjunct Professor at California College of the Arts. More info and writing can be found at www.devorahmajor.com.

David Sax

City Lights welcomes David Sax, who discusses his new book with David Pescovitz, The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter, published by Public Affairs Books.

By now, we all know the mythology of the digital revolution: it improved efficiency, eliminated waste, and fostered a boom in innovation. But as business reporter David Sax shows in this clear-sighted, entertaining book, not all innovations are written in source code. In fact, businesses that once looked outdated are now springing with new life. Behold the Revenge of Analog.

Sax has found story after story of entrepreneurs, small business owners, and even big corporations who’ve found a market selling not apps but real, tangible things. As e-books are supposedly remaking reading, independent bookstores have sprouted up across the country. As music supposedly migrates to the cloud, vinyl record sales have grown more than ten times over the past decade, generating more than half a billion dollars in 2015 alone. Even the offices of Silicon Valley icons like Google and Facebook increasingly rely on analog technologies like pen and paper for their business.

Sax’s work reveals not just an underreported trend in business, but a more fundamental truth about how humans shop, interact, and even think. Blending psychology and observant wit with old-fashioned reportage, Sax shows that humans need to work, sell, and live in the real world—not on a screen.

David Sax is a journalist specializing in business and culture. His writing appears regularly in Bloomberg Businessweek and The New Yorker’s Currency blog. He is the author of two books, including The Tastemakers:A Celebrity Rice Farmer, a Food Truck Lobbyist, and Other Innovators Putting Food Trends on Your Plate, and Save the Deli: In Search of Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye, and the Heart of Jewish Delicatessen, which won a James Beard Award for Writing and Literature. He lives in Toronto.