On Thursday, October 20, 2011, San Francisco author Joshua Mohr visited City Lights Bookstore to read from his new novel, Damascus (2 Dollar Radio).
It’s 2003 and the country is divided evenly for and against the Iraq War. Damascus, a dive bar in San Francisco’s Mission District, becomes the unlikely setting for a showdown between the opposing sides.
Tensions come to a boil when Owen, the bar’s proprietor who has recently taken to wearing a Santa suit full-time, agrees to host the joint’s first (and only) art show by Sylvia Suture, an ambitious young artist who longs to take her act to the dramatic precipice of the high-wire by nailing live fish to the walls as a political statement.
An incredibly creative and fully-rendered cast of characters orbit the bar. There’s No Eyebrows, a cancer patient who has come to the Mission to die anonymously; Shambles, the patron saint of the hand job; Revv, a lead-singer who acts too much like a lead-singer; and Owen, donning his Santa costume to mask the most unfortunate birthmark imaginable.
Joshua Mohr is the critically acclaimed author of Some Things That Meant the World to Me and Termite Parade. He lives in San Francisco and teaches fiction writing.