Literary Salon: Tamim Ansary and Jasmin Darznik in Conversation 🗓

Literary Salon:  Jasmin Darznik and Tamim Ansary in Conversation About Memoir and Other Things

Tamim Ansary

Tamim Ansary

Jasmin Darznik

Monday, May 6h, 2019 || 7pm Book Passage-Corte Madera|| 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera || www.bookpassage.com

The May Salon should be quite exciting, for all of our members, but especially for writers experimenting with non-fiction, specifically memoir, as two Bay Area literary greats explore what’s new and best in this genre.

Bestselling author Jasmin Darznik and local legend Tamim Ansary will be discussing their work, the literary craft and the art of writing memoir-style non-fiction.

These conversations are always stimulating, and since our members are all writers and literary professionals, the Q&A is generally fascinating and intensely informative.

In addition, for this evening alone, Jasmin is generously offering a free hardback copy of The Good Daughter to anyone who purchases a copy of Song of a Captive Bird!

Tamim Ansary wrote the literary memoir West of Kabul, East of New York, selected by San Francisco as its One City One Book pick for 2009. His latest book is the memoir, Road TripsBecoming an American in the vapor trail of the Sixtiesthe story of three iconic journeys that began and ended in Portland, Oregon, between 1969 and 1976. In those years, this recent transplant from Afghanistan dropped out of an American society he’d never been a part of in the first place, and learned a thing or two in the process.

Jasmin Darznik is the New York Times bestselling author of The Good Daughter: A Memoir of My Mother’s Hidden Life. Her debut novel Song of a Captive Bird was a Los Angeles Times bestseller and a New York Times Book Review “Editors’ Choice.”  Her books have been published in seventeen countries, and her essays have appeared in (more…)

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Left Coast Writers® Live: Jonathan Taylor on LIlycat on Stuff 🗓

Lilycat

On Sunday, April 28th from 12-2pm, join Left Coast Writers® Live on FCCFREE RADIO’s popular show, Lilycat on Stuff. Lilycat’s guests on Sunday will be Jonathan Taylor.

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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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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Ferry Plaza Book Party: National Poetry Month Celebration with Rebecca Foust 🗓

LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK EVENT: National Poetry Month Celebration with Rebecca Foust

Rebecca Foust

Monday, April 8th, 2019 || 6pm Book Passage || Ferry Building, San Francisco ||www.bookpassage.com

Poetry offers sanctuary and solace and a special kind of clear seeing, sometimes of beauty. And, songwriter Phil Ochs has called beauty the last form of protest in a brutal world. Celebrate National Poetry Month with a reading by poets from Left Coast Writers, a writing guild founded by poet and novelist Linda Watanabe McFerrin that has been operating out of Book Passage’s bookstore for the last 17 years. This event will be hosted by Marin County Poet Laureate Rebecca Foust.

Rebecca Foust’s most recent book is Paradise Drive (2015 Press 53 Award for Poetry), reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement, The San Francisco Chronicle, and the Georgia, Harvard, and Hudson Reviews. Recent recognitions include the Cavafy Prize, the James Hearst (more…)

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Literary Salon: Members’ Open Mic for National Poetry Month with Marin Poet Laureate Rebecca Foust: Prose and Poetry Writers Welcome! 🗓

Literary Salon:  Members’ Open Mic for National Poetry Month with Marin Poet Laureate Rebecca Foust: Prose and Poetry Writers Welcome!

Rebecca Foust

Monday, April 1st, 2019 || 7pm Book Passage-Corte Madera|| 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera || www.bookpassage.com

Poetry, prose—who cares, so long as the writing is good? LCW Founder Linda Watanabe McFerrin finds poetry in the best prose, and LCW member and bestselling novelist Jasmin Darznik says that “genre is the fiction.” Contemporary literature seems to agree. Let’s celebrate both at an open mic in honor of National Poetry month.

Please come with two pieces of work, each 500 words or fewer. Prosers—find the poetry hot spots in your work, polish up a flash piece, excerpt your favorite passage from something you are working on now. Poets, bring poems. Haiku, prose poetry, formal poetry, narrative poems—we want to hear it all! We’ll try to make time for everyone to read at least one piece, and a second if possible, and for this reason time limits will be strictly enforced. A sign-up sheet will be available at the beginning of the event.

The evening will be hosted by LCW member and Marin Poet Laureate Rebecca Foust, who will be scouting this event for possible features for her Poetry Sunday column for Women’s Voices for Change.

Special Guest: Nationally acclaimed poet and translator Cole Swensen earned her BA and MA  from SF State (more…)

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Ferry Plaza Book Party: Linda Watanabe McFerrin in Conversation with David Downie, Author of The Gardener of Eden 🗓

LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK EVENT: Linda Watanabe McFerrin in Conversation with David Downie, Author of The Gardener of Eden

David Downie

Linda Watanabe McFerrin

Monday, March 11th, 2019 || 6pm Book Passage || Ferry Building, San Francisco ||www.bookpassage.com

A mysterious beachcomber appears one day on the coastal bluffs near the small town of Carverville, a place whose best days are long behind it. Who is he, and why has he returned after nearly forty years? Carverville’s prodigal son, James, serendipitously finds work at a gentrified motel, but his homecoming soon takes a sinister turn when he and a local teenager make a gruesome discovery on the beach. It forces him to reckon with the ghosts of his past—and the dangers of the present. Rumors, distrust, and conspiracies spread among the townsfolk, all of them seemingly trapped in their claustrophobic and isolated world. But is there something more sinister at work here than the mere fear of outsiders? In The Gardener of Eden, David Downie weaves an intricate and compelling narrative of redemption, revenge, justice, love, and the price of secrecy—as a community grapples with its tortured past and frightening future.Come and hear LCW founder Linda Watanabe McFerrin in conversation with David Downie, author of the critically acclaimed A Taste of Paris, as well as the newly released The Gardener of Eden. Below are a few snippets about The Gardener of Eden.

“Original, lively, engaging, unexpected, sharp, and poetic. Downie is a master of the eerie and bizarre.”
— Elizabeth McKenzie, author of The Portable Veblen

“A mystery pitch-perfect for the time and place. Compelling and more than a little ominous.”
—Patricia Bracewell, best-selling author of the Emma of Normandy Trilogy

“Downie’s poetic, evocative, lyrical style sweeps you up and his characters live on long after you’ve finished reading.”
—Ellen Crosby, author of Harvest of Secrets

David Downie has called Paris and the Marais home since 1986. He has written for over 50 publications worldwide (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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Literary Salon: Mystery Writers Panel 🗓

Literary Salon:  Mystery Writers Panel with Linda Watanabe McFerrin (moderator), mystery writer Nicola Trwst, agent Laurie Fox and mystery writer Penny Warner

Linda Watanabe McFerrin

Nicola Trwst

Laurie Fox

Penny Warner

Monday, March 4th, 2019 || 7pm Book Passage-Corte Madera|| 51 Tamal Vista Dr. Corte Madera || www.bookpassage.com

Please join us for an evening dedicated to uncovering the secrets of what makes a great mystery. Panelists Linda Watanabe McFerrin (moderator); Penny Warner, author of The Code Busters Club series among others; Nicola Trwst, author of the Briana Kaleigh mystery series; and Agent Laurie Fox, partner at the Linda Chester Literary Agency, will discuss Mystery Writing and what to do to make sure your are filling your work with thrills, chills and plenty of suspense. They’ll address a series of questions about creating a sense of mystery in literature. Then they will open it up for questions from the assembled writers and guests.

Here are a few of the questions they’ll be addressing:
  • How and why does a writer begin wrestling with the mysterious?
  • What are the most effective techniques in creating a sense of mystery?
  • Who are some of the best mystery writers working today and why?
  • Is there change in the genre? Why? Why not? Where do you see it going?

(more…)

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Ferry Plaza Book Party: The Devil’s Pipeline by Michael J. Fitzgerald 🗓

LEFT COAST WRITERS BOOK EVENT: The Devil’s Pipeline by Michael J. Fitzgerald

Michael J. Fitzgerald

Monday, February 11th, 2019 || 6pm Book Passage || Ferry Building, San Francisco ||www.bookpassage.com

Join the San Francisco celebration for journalist and columnist Michael J. Fitzgerald’s novel,The Devil’s Pipeline, the newest installment in his anti-fracking series, .

The Devil’s Pipeline is the third eco-thriller novel in the series. It follows The Fracking War (2014) and Fracking Justice (2015). In the novel, a mega-energy conglomerate collides with a pacifist farm community in a quiet corner of Iowa where the community’s founder and his family have been seeking solitude and tranquility since witnessing the famous Kent State University massacre in 1970. As the company pushes a huge pipeline directly through their farm, the pacifists eventually push back. A tragic skirmish kicks off a rollercoaster of explosive confrontations at the farm, in courtrooms and across a wide political and industrial landscape from Washington D.C. to California. Chronicling the tragedy and misdeeds is Jack Stafford, editor of The Clarion Newspaper Syndicate and his staff of ardent environmentalists with a long history of uncovering misdeeds by energy companies, secrets it want to keep hidden from the public. Eventually the investigative journalists discover the pipeline is not what it seems, opening the door on a closet of nasty secrets buried for decades by the CEO of the energy corporation. (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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