Ferry Plaza Book Party: And Then They Were Gone with Judy Bebelaar and Ron Cabral 🗓

LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK EVENT: And Then They Were Gone: Teenagers of Peoples Temple from High School to Jonestown by Judy Bebelaar and Ron Cabral

Judy BebelaarMonday, December 10th, 2018 || 6pm Book Passage || San Francisco 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco ||www.bookpassage.com

In 1976, Jim Jones enrolled all church teenagers at Opportunity High. Within a year, most had been sent to the Temple’s agricultural mission. The minister had drawn a picture of Jonestown as a tropical paradise, where the young people would help create a model society. But by the time most of the Opportunity students had arrived, Jonestown was a jungle prison camp with hard labor and harsh punishments.

 On November 18, 1978, 918 people—one third of them under eighteen, half in their twenties or younger—perished in the murder/suicides.           

 Part I introduces the 15 Temple students the teachers knew best: those in Cabral’s classes and on the Cobras baseball team, made possible by Temple athletes; and in classes Bebelaar taught, including Creative Writing. Student writing appears throughout the book, including stories by Stephan, Jones’s son, who describes vividly his experiences in his family and in Jonestown.

Part II follows the students to Guyana and draws from research and interviews (many stories told for the first time). Specific incidents illustrate the young people’s resilience and their ability to resist Jonestown’s cruel strictures. The book ends with the final days—both in Jonestown and in Georgetown, Guyana, where the basketball team (including members of the Cobras) plays in a tournament with the Guyanese National Team. Excerpts from the recording of the final night are followed by excerpts of student poems appearing in the first chapters. “Aftermath” describes, much of the telling in their own words, the effect of the tragedy on survivors.

Judy Bebelaar taught English and creative writing in San Francisco public high schools for 37 years. She has received national recognition for her success in helping students find joy in writing their lives. Her poetry has been published widely. Her chapbook, Walking Across the Pacific, was published in 2014 by Finishing Line Press. Her poems appear in three anthologies: Turning a Train of Thought Upside Down (Scarlet Tanager Press, 2012); The Widows’ Handbook (Kent State U. Press 2014); and in River of Earth and Sky (Blue Light Press, 2015). And Then They Were Gone: Teenagers of Peoples Temple from High School to Jonestown, is available on Amazon.

Ron Cabral entered teaching in the San Francisco Unified School District in1965 and became a Middle School principal in 1992. He retired in 2002. He and Judy Bebelaar met at Opportunity High, where they came to know the teenagers of Peoples Temple. His book about his friendship with rock star Joe McDonald, Country Joe and Me, was published in 2003 by AuthorHouse and is available on Amazon


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Ferry Plaza Book Party: God Sex and Psychosis by Todd Crawshaw and other Dark Tales 🗓

LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK EVENT: God Sex and Psychosis by Todd Crawshaw and other Dark Tales

Todd Crawshaw

Monday, October 8th, 2018 || 6pm Book Passage || San Francisco 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco ||www.bookpassage.com

You won’t want to miss this: another entertaining and provocative work by author and artist Todd Crawshaw and other authors of dark tales.

About God, Sex & Psychosis:  When criminal psychologist Mira Skyles is assigned by a court order to evaluate Egon Norwood, a person of interest in a serial murder investigation, she recognizes both a man with a dissociative identity disorder and the boy who once saved her life, with whom she shares a secret history.

God, Sex & Psychosis is divided into three sections. Part One is the thematic overture. It highlights the formative years of Egon and his twin sister, Faye, both traumatized by an abusive father. Part Two illustrates the fragmented points of view of both siblings, now adults, being analyzed by Mira, a court-appointed psychotherapist struggling with her own inner demons. The suspected serial killer assigned to her is mysterious and charming. Against her better judgment, she finds herself falling in love. Part Three is Mira’s story, told as a confessional: how she was gang-raped at age twelve and scarred by her attackers; how her rage manifested into a quest for revenge, which caused two deaths at the college she had attended; and how these incidents are connected to murders taking place in San Francisco.  (more…)

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Book Party: Psychosocial Care of Cancer Survivors by Cheryl Krauter-Leonard 🗓

LEFT COAST WRITERS FERRY PLAZA BOOK PARTY: Psychosocial Care of Cancer Survivors: A Clinician’s Guide and Workbook for Providing Wholehearted Care by Cheryl Krauter-Leonard

Cheryl Krauter

Monday, August 13th, 2018 || 6pm Book Passage || San Francisco 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco ||www.bookpassage.com

One of our favorite psychotherapists is speaking at the Ferry Plaza in August and sharing her new book.

Psychosocial Care of Cancer Survivors: A Clinician’s Guide and Workbook for Providing Wholehearted Care is a clinical resource for healthcare practitioners that presents person-centered care as an antidote to the distress both patients and clinicians face in cancer survivorship. It addresses questions of how to bring a humanistic approach and quality attention to the growing needs of patients in the post-treatment phase of a cancer diagnosis. As a workbook, it’s both a guide and an applicable resource for daily clinical practice. It provides a needed structure for clinicians to help them reconnect with the meaningful aspects of their work.

Written from the perspective of a clinician-survivor, Psychosocial Care of Cancer Survivors is about the healing power of relationship for both patient and practitioner as they negotiate the complex world of cancer survivorship. (more…)

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Book Party: Readings on Summer Travels 🗓


Monday, July 9th, 2018 || 6pm Book Passage || San Francisco 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco ||www.bookpassage.com

Summer’s here, the perfect time to hit the road and … write about it!

Join us for an evening with our writers sharing stories of trips taken, to be taken, and best forgotten.

We’ll be serving wine and snacks and excellent tales of adventure and misadventure. (more…)

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Book Party: Mother Tongue by Tania Romanov 🗓

LEFT COAST WRITERS FERRY PLAZA BOOK PARTY: Mother Tongue: A Saga of Three Generations of Balkan Women by Tania Romanov

Monday, June 11th, 2018 || 6pm Book Passage || San Francisco 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco ||www.bookpassage.com

What is your mother tongue? Sometimes the simplest questions take a book to answer. Tania didn’t know why she spoke Serbian, rather than Croatian, with her mother, Zora. It never occurred to her to ask until she started writing Mother Tongue.

The unrelenting consequences of 100 years of Balkan wars have forced three generations of Croatian women—Katarina, Zora, and Tania—to flee their homelands multiple times. Eventually, Tania, a successfully integrated American, journeys back to her fractured homeland with her mother to unravel the secrets of their shared past and history as she looks for answers.

Mother Tongue is an exploration of lives lived in the chaos of the Balkans. It follows countries that dissolved, formed, and reformed; lands that were conquered and subjugated by Fascists and Nazis and nationalists; lives lived in exile, in refugee camps, in new worlds.

“Mother Tongue is a story about identity in the context of history. Romanov was born in just one place but the country she came from keeps changing as the tides of history keep sweeping over the Balkans. Framed as a journey to her parents’ hometown in what is now Croatia, Romanov’s story is really about tracking the improbable line that led to who she is, down through her own life, her parents’ lives and the lives of her ancestors. The Balkans are a tangle many of us tend to gloss over because we can’t get inside it. With this fascinating memoir, Tania Romanov takes us there.”
Tamim Ansary, author of West of Kabul East of New York

“In Mother Tongue—a story for our times—writer, photographer and world traveler Tania Romanov follows the life journeys of three generations of women (Katerina, Zora, and herself) as she pieces together a complex picture of the fragmentation, war and upheaval that has tormented the people of the area known as ‘the Balkans’ for (more…)

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Book Party: Confessions of a Cloak Artist by Jeff R. McGowan 🗓

LEFT COAST WRITERS FERRY PLAZA BOOK PARTY: Confessions of a Cloak Artist by Jeff R. McGowan

Jeff R. McGowan

Monday, May 14th, 2018 || 6pm Book Passage || San Francisco 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco ||www.bookpassage.com

Spinning rich yarns of travel, young love, and growing up in 1980’s Orange County, Jim Murphy reflects upon his life’s adventures and mishaps to discover where things went wrong along the way. From the tropical oasis of Bali, he examines whether his core principles have helped or hurt his life’s failed relationships and his pursuit of enlightenment. Where did he go wrong? And can he reinvent himself before it’s too late? What he finds is that stories hold meaning, and wounds don’t have to define us.

Jeff R. McGowan graduated from UCLA in 1993, then traveled and worked his way around the world for several years. For the last eighteen years he’s taught high school Social Studies, leaving most every summer to travel and learn, and to attempt to find a way to get over himself. He has yet to do so, but remains determined in this quest. His debut novel, Confessions of a Cloak Artist, while (more…)

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National Poetry Month Celebration with Marin Poet Laureate Rebecca Foust & Poets 🗓

Rebecca Foust

Poets and friends, it’s National Poetry Month, and we are inviting you to come, have a celebratory glass of vino and read or listen to some of your own or your favorite writers’ poetry at Book Passage in the San Francisco Ferry Plaza.

Marin County Poet Laureate, Rebecca Foust, is our emcee for the evening.

No car? It’s easy to get there by bike, MUNI, BART, or S.F. Ferry.

So come, read, listen, tell your friends. Let’s raise a toast to the time-honored art of poetry.

Poets reading include: Sharon Skolnick-Bagnoli, Marianne Betterly, Elaine Bond,Todd Crawshaw, TC Currie, David Hathwell, Craig McLaughlin, Kunal Mukherjee, MJ Pramik, Carol Sheldon, Rebecca Foust and Linda Watanabe McFerrin

Emcee Rebecca Foust’s five books of poetry include Paradise Drive, reviewed in (more…)

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Book Party: Abandoned Places with Editor Chris Cornell 🗓

LEFT COAST WRITERS FERRY PLAZA BOOK PARTY: Abandoned Places, with Editor Chris Cornell

Chris Cornell

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

Join us on Monday night for an evening with editor Chris Cornell.

In Abandoned Places, twenty-one writers embark on a tour of the lonely, the rejected and the uninhabited. This anthology of short genre fiction co-edited by Chris Cornell features stories of science fiction, fantasy and horror by rising new authors and classic tales by Ray Bradbury, Dashiell Hammett, Edgar Allen Poe and M. R. James. (more…)

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Book Party: Shu Wei’s Revenge by Jackson Fahnestock 🗓

LEFT COAST WRITERS FERRY PLAZA BOOK PARTY: Shu Wei’s Revenge: A Young Man’s Journey Into the Depths of the Underworld by Jackson Fahnestock

Jackson Fahnestock

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

It’s the perfect prelude to a fantastic Chinese New Year and the best Chinese New Year party for the whole family.

Join us as Jackson Fahnestock introduces us to a story about strength of family and friendships, heartbreak, perseverance, and personal tragedy.

The setting is 1898 in the sleepy village of Sanhou, China. Seventeen-year-old Shu Wei, in his role as Town Scribe, makes a disastrous mistake, raising the ire of some crooked town counselors. His father’s business is burned to the ground by one of the villainous counselors in retaliation. To make matters worse, a tribunal of these counselors is called that summarily banishes his family from the (more…)

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Book Party: Redemption: How Ronald Reagan Nearly Ruined My Life by Barbara McVeigh 🗓

LEFT COAST WRITERS FERRY PLAZA BOOK PARTY: Redemption: How Ronald Reagan Nearly Ruined My Life by Barbara McVeigh

Barbara McVeigh

Monday, January 8th, 2018 || 6pm Book Passage || San Francisco 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco ||www.bookpassage.com

“My father is a federal criminal, my father is my hero,” Barbara McVeigh writes in her memoir Redemption, How Ronald Reagan Nearly Ruined My Life. Reagan fired her father for a union strike in 1981 leading him and 11,500 other families into years of strife. She lost her dream to be an oceanographer and her guitar lessons as her family struggled emotionally and financially. She blamed her father for not placing family first. Years later she takes up sailing, her late great uncle’s passion, who had been her best friend. Then bitter truths emerge about the ocean’s health and her fourteen year marriage. Against all odds, Barbara takes the helm of her life and makes a passionate project reclaiming her childhood dreams resulting in two first time films that go international with the most important oceanographer and Brazilian guitarist of our time. Then she confronts the dark shadows of Reagan’s energy and environmental policies revealing horrific truths about America’s “Hero of the Republican Party. Her father is not the federal criminal. Her father is her hero. Barbara has a new dream now and the spirits are guiding her, as they had been all along. (more…)

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