Book Launch: The Girl Who Said No by Natalie Galli 🗓

BOOK LAUNCH: The Girl Who Said No: A Search in Sicily by Natalie Galli

Natalie Galli

Saturday, August 17th, 2019 || 7pm Book Passage-Corte Madera|| 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera || www.bookpassage.com

Eighteen-year-old Franca Viola made history in 1966 as one of the first “#metoo” heroines of modern times, when she refused to go along with a centuries-old forcible marriage custom in Sicily. Having endured kidnap and rape, she publicly defied the expectation that she would marry the rapist to “restore her broken honor.” A social uproar occurred throughout the island—and beyond.

In Natalie Galli’s The Girl Who Said No, Viola’s remarkable story unfolds when the author arrives in Palermo to search for her, with little more than the memory of a tiny article she had spotted two decades prior. Galli wanted to know: whatever had become of this courageous girl who had overturned an ancient, entrenched tradition?

The riveting events after Franca pressed charges with the police form the core of this gripping memoir. Viola was subjected to public taunting whenever she appeared on the streets of her town; Mafia-orchestrated bullying threatened her entire family. Galli traced the dramatic tale to its conclusion, in spite of initial warnings from her own relatives not to break the Sicilian code of silence.

Throughout her search for the enigmatic Franca, Galli shares her own poignant and hilarious observations about a vibrant culture steeped in contradiction and paradox. Does she succeed in locating the elusive proto-feminist whose case forever changed Italian culture and history? Travel along on Galli’s engaging odyssey to find out.

Natalie Galli, a San Francisco native of Italian background, has penned two illustrated children’s books for Sunbath Studios: Ciao Meow and Spin the Hound Lost and Found, a Tale of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. She edited a (more…)

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Book Launch: Daddykins by Kalpana Mohan 🗓

Kalpana Mohan

BOOK LAUNCH: Daddykins by Kalpana Mohan

Saturday, July 13th, 2019 || 7pm Book Passage-Corte Madera|| 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera || www.bookpassage.com

When journalist Kalpana Mohan’s elderly father falls ill in Chennai, she is on the next flight over from California and the home she has shared with her husband for three decades. Caring for her sometimes cranky, sometimes playful, and always adored father at his home in Chennai, Mohan sets out to piece together an account of her father’s life, from his poverty-stricken childhood in a village in south India, to his arranged marriage, to his first job in the city, all the while coming to terms with his inevitable passing.

Mohan’s tender, moving, and sometimes hilarious memoir is an account of a changing India captured in her father’s life, from the sheer feat of surviving poverty in I920s India of his birth, to witnessing key moments in the nation’s history and changing alongside them. Above all, Daddykins is an intimate and deeply relatable account of our relationships with our parents whatever our age, and the shared experiences of love and grief that unite us all. (more…)

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Book Launch: Self-Portrait in Bloom by Niloufar Talebi 🗓

BOOK LAUNCH: Self-Portrait in Bloom by Niloufar Talebi

Niloufar Talebi

Saturday, April 13th, 2019 || 7pm Book Passage-Corte Madera|| 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera || www.bookpassage.com

Author and award-winning translator Niloufar Talebi offers a rare glimpse into her native Iran in Self-Portrait in Bloom, her part-memoir, part-biography, and part-history of literature in Iran, a “brutally honest memoir of a life built by words, destroyed by words, rebuilt by words,” (Firoozeh Dumas, New York Times best-selling author of Funny in Farsi and Laughing Without an Accent).

Iranian poets were increasingly instrumental in “freeing Persian poetry from the state of decline and stagnation” in the aftermath of World War II, when a new dynamism was taking shape in Persian poetry. Into this backdrop emerges the poet Ahmad Shamlou (1925-2000), an iconic cultural figure who spent much time in Talebi’s childhood home. “There are two books in this book, one portrait of me and one of Ahmad Shamlou. And they intersect,” Talebi writes of Self-Portrait in Bloom. Released in the 40th anniversary year of the Iranian revolution, it delves deep into culture, personal history, and pays homage to Tehran, the city of Talebi’s childhood. Told in fragments of prose, poetry, and photographs, this lyrical exploration reimagines the memoir form and in a dramatic climax sets free the details of a hurt that can no longer limit the blossoming of an artist.

Niloufar Talebi is a writer, award-winning translator, creator, and producer. Her work has been featured at the Kennedy Center, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and she has received commissions from Carnegie Hall, Cal Performances, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Her projects include Belonging, Epiphany, The Persian Rite of Spring, and ICARUS/RISE. Her work has been published in World Literature Today, PBS Frontline, Rattapallax, and Poetry International. Her TEDxBerkeley talk on Match 9, 2019, is about the transformative power of translation and visibility. She is the author of Self-Portrait in Bloom (l’Aleph, 2019), and the creator/librettist of its related opera, Abraham in Flames, which world premieres in San Francisco on May 9-12, 2019. (more…)

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Book Launch: The Sky Turned Green and the Grass Turned Blue by Diana Kelley 🗓

BOOK LAUNCH: The Sky Turned Green and the Grass Turned Blue: Diane’s Story

Diana Kelley

Saturday, March 9th, 2019 || 7pm Book Passage-Corte Madera|| 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera || www.bookpassage.comn

This will be an other-worldly evening, we’re sure, and we hope you decide to explore it with memoirist Diana Kelley author of The Sky Turned Green & The Grass Turned Blue. 

When Diane’s lover and friend, Jack, comes out seven years into their relationship expressing his well-kept secret desire to transition from male to female, Diane’s world turns upside down.  With little information to help answer the question “do I stay or do I go,” she searches for direction on her own. Navigating the murky waters of the unknown that accompany the challenges of Jack’s changing persona, Diane is guided by love, loyalty, and a willingness to sacrifice. Sharing her observations and reactions in this true story, Diane explores the underground world of BDSM, bondage/submission and sadomasochism, as well as, provides an intimate view into gay and lesbian lifestyles in her attempt to gauge what impact Jack’s changes might have to their relationship and to her own authentic self.

“… a very well-written book about the author’s true experiences, though it reads like a good novel; interesting characterizations, good dialogue, and a skillfully-crafted tension that draws the reader from one chapter to the next. This true story took place at a time, back in the 1990s and early 21st Century, when not much was known about transsexualism and it is very relevant today as not much has been written from the viewpoint of a person (more…)

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Book Launch: A Sleuth in The Summer of Love 🗓

BOOK LAUNCH: A Sleuth in The Summer of Love by Carol Sheldon

A Sleuth in the Summer of LoveSaturday, February 9th, 2019 || 7pm Book Passage-Corte Madera|| 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera || www.bookpassage.com

As we approach Valentine’s Day, it’s all about LOVE. Well, in this case, The Summer of Love.

Please join us in a book party and launch celebration for Carol Sheldon and her new book, A Sleuth in The Summer of Love. Carol calls them exciting times involving folks like Janis Joplin, Peter Coyote, and believe it or not, the Hells Angels. “Peace and love were their mantras,” says Carol, “but murder and kidnapping happened too.” In her new book, Carol takes you to the darker side of the sunny sixties.

So put on your go-go boots, your extra short frock or your bell-bottom jeans and join us for the rewind. We will, of course, be serving wine and snacks, and Carol will be serving up a deliciously dark slice of sixties. It should be fun—a flashback and a whodunnit? all in one!

Carol Sheldon teaches Poetry, the Novel, and Memoir in her home, her church, Osher’s Lifelong Learning Institute (more…)

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Book Launch: Wandering in Cuba: Revolution and Beyond 🗓

LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK LAUNCH: Wandering in Cuba: Revolution and Beyond. 

Saturday, December 8th, 2018 || 7pm Book Passage-Corte Madera|| 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera || www.bookpassage.com

Wanderland Writers introduces WANDERING IN CUBA: Revolution and Beyond … the 6th anthology in the prize-winning Wandering series …

Once again workshop leaders Linda Watanabe McFerrin and Joanna Biggar take Wanderland Writers and head south to explore—this time to Cuba, an island country that has paid a high price for self-determination:  revolution, isolation and hardship. But somehow this nation and its amazing people continue to reinvent themselves and fascinate visitors with their marvelous creativity and vitality.

Contributors include Tania Romanov Amochaev, Adrienne Amundsen, Christine Berardo, Joanna Biggar, Sandra Bracken, Cyndi, Goddard, Douglas Hale, Thomas Harrell, Donna Hemmila, Linda Jue, Carol J. Kelly, Laurie McAndish King, Robert Markowitz, Linda Watanabe McFerrin, Mary Jean Pramik, Anne Sigmon, Jonathan A. Taylor and Anne Woods.

Wander with the contributors from city to countryside, enjoying the history, the rhythms, the tastes, the sights, and the soul of this intriguing island nation. Everywhere, of course, they encountered its Revolution and recorded their understanding of its triumphs and failures. They met and wrote about traditional Cuba: its heroes—José Martí, Fidel, Che, Hemingway—and its enduring culture as found in food, music and its African-based religion, Santería. But they also experienced Cuba in its present reality, beyond the Revolution. They found poets, artists, filmmakers and a whole generation of young people who embrace and are shaping Cuba’s future.

“I hope that, as you read the stories in this collection, a sense of that infinite potential inspires you to make that very short flight to our very misunderstood neighbor. You’ll find nothing intimidating (except, maybe, some of the salsa dancers) and much that is pure magic.

—Jeff Greenwald, Author of The Size of the World and Snake Lake

Linda Watanabe McFerrin and Joanna Biggar have floated down the Canal du Midi in France, danced in the sunlight of southern Greece, toasted the best of times in Ireland, devoured the culture and countryside of southern (more…)

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Ferry Plaza Book Party: Porcelain Travels by Matthew Félix 🗓

LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK EVENT: Porcelain Travels by Matthew Félix

Matthew Felix

Monday, November 12th, 2018 || 6pm Book Passage || San Francisco 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco ||www.bookpassage.com

Please join us for an uproarious and sometimes rather farfetched evening with Matthew Félix as he debuts his latest book, Porcelain Travels.
Matthew Félix is not a luxury traveler. But even traveling on a budget fails to explain why he has so many unforgettable experiences on the toilet, in the tub, or under the shower.From Matthew’s unorthodox bathing practices in Paris and Istanbul to his nightmare while squatting in Morocco to the Dead Sea shower incident that led to an arrest, Porcelain Travels is sometimes hilarious, occasionally shocking, and always entertaining.
Matthew Félix is an author, podcast producer and host, and traveler.
Adventure, humor, and spirituality infuse his work, which often draws on his time living in Spain, France, and Turkey, as well as travels in over fifty countries. Matthew’s debut novel, A Voice Beyond Reason, is the story of how a young Spaniard’s awakening to his intuition gets him out of his head, so he can follow his heart. Matthew’s travel-story collection, With Open Arms, recounts his humorous and harrowing experiences on two trips to Morocco. His video podcast, Matthew Félix On Air, features guests discussing writing, travel, culture, and more. Matthew has also produced three podcasts based on his books.

(more…)

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Book Launch: Cathy Zane in Conversation with Linda Watanabe McFerrin 🗓

LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK LAUNCH: Cathy Zane, Author of Better Than This, in Conversation with Linda Watanabe McFerrin

Cathy Zane

Saturday, November 10th, 2018 || 7pm Book Passage-Corte Madera|| 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera || www.bookpassage.com

Sometimes the most enviable life is really a private hell.

On the surface, Sarah Jenkins appears to have it all: a handsome, wealthy and successful husband, a precocious five-year-old daughter, and a beautiful home in an affluent Seattle neighborhood. Her quirky best friend and fellow high school teacher, Maggie, marvels at her luck―and envies her happiness.

But Sarah is far from happy. She feels empty and on edge, harangued by a critical inner voice―and as the truth about her marriage and details of her past emerge, her “perfect” life begins to crumble. But just when it seems all is lost, a long forgotten, unopened letter changes everything, and with the support of friends, Sarah begins to rebuild her life. Can she quiet the critical voice in her head and learn to value herself instead?

“A heartfelt journey of a woman truly coming into her own and discovering who she really is and what she’s worth.”
―Mia March, author of The Meryl Streep Movie Club and Finding Colin Firth.

Cathy Zane is a writer, psychotherapist, and former nurse who draws on her many years of working with women and families to create narratives of growth and empowerment. As a lifelong reader, she believes in the power of (more…)

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Left Coast Writers Book Launch: Body of Knowledge by A.M. Matthews 🗓

LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK LAUNCH:  A.M. Matthews, Author of Body of Knowledge

A. M. Matthews

A. M. Matthews

Friday, October 26, 2018 || 7pm Book Passage-Corte Madera|| 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera || www.bookpassage.com

If you’ve missed A.M. Matthews in San Francisco … or even if you haven’t …  join us at Book Passage in Corte Madera for a fascinating evening in the thrilling world of biotech and breakthroughs. This, a winning heroine and quite a bit of intrigue fuel her exciting new mystery novel which reads a lot more like science than science fiction.

After years of working for other biotechnology companies, Susan Glasser has achieved her dream and opened her own research laboratory in the San Francisco Bay Area. Following numerous unsuccessful trials, she has finally gotten a positive result from a new biologic she is testing. But before she can assess her discovery, this socially awkward research scientist finds her life upended by a series of unrelated events. Forced to confront and deal with problems well outside her areas of expertise and training, Susan must figure out what is happening and find a way to reclaim her life.

A.M. Matthews lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and the family dog. Born and raised in Miami Beach, she comes from a family of writers. After raising her children and a career in management, (more…)

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Left Coast Writers Book Launch: The Rites of Passage by Jonathan Taylor 🗓

LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK LAUNCH: Jonathan Taylor, Author of The Rites of Passage

Jonathan TaylorSaturday, October 13th, 2018 || 7pm Book Passage-Corte Madera|| 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera || www.bookpassage.com

This month we invite you to a launch event for Jonathan Taylor’s debut novel, The Rites of Passage.

Jamie Goldberg suspects his homosexuality at an early age and manages to hide it from his homophobic ’70s Detroit Community; his Jewish political activist parents; and even from himself until his rape, at the hands of a male prostitute, at the age of 15. Profoundly ashamed, he hides in two worlds one is a beautiful cocoon spun from music, art, theater and literature, another is shadowed with his sado-masochistic desire to obliterate his sexuality. His elaborate fantasies are no match for real life or his true affections, which blossom in spite of his constant attempts to thwart them. When his carefully constructed imaginary world begins to crumble, Jamie must face his demons, both real and invented, finding in the end that personal discovery comes at a very high price. Jamie learns too that even the most challenged, when they dare to cast away labels, deserve a moment or two of grace.

Six-time Emmy award-winning writer Patrick Mulcahey said: “The Rites of Passage … is like encountering a gay Portnoy’s Complaint, in its distinctive blend of Jewishness, sex, moral panic and maternal (more…)

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