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City Lights

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261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
(415)-362-8193 http://www.citylights.com/

January 2020

Andre Perry

January 28 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Andre Perry reading from his new book Some of Us Are Very Hungry Now: a collection of essays published by 2 Dollar Radio With luminous insight and fervent prose, Andre Perry's debut collection of personal essays, Some of Us Are Very Hungry Now, travels from Washington DC to Iowa City to Hong Kong in search of both individual and national identity. While displaying tenderness and a disarming honesty, Perry catalogs racial degradations committed on the campuses of elite universities and…

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Samuel C. Woolley

January 29 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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The Reality Game: How the Next Wave of Technology Will Break the Truth published by Public Affairs Fake news posts and Twitter trolls were just the beginning. What will happen when misinformation moves from our social media feeds into our everyday lives? Despite Samuel Woolley's warnings as early as 2013, the problem of online disinformation stormed our political process in 2016 and has only worsened since. Yet as Woolley shows in this urgent book, it may pale in comparison to…

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Carmen Maria Machado with Esmé Weijun Wang

January 30 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Carmen Maria Machado with Esmé Weijun Wang in conversation and celebrating the release of Carmen Maria Machado's In The Dream House published by Graywolf Press In the Dream House is Carmen Maria Machado's engrossing and wildly innovative account of a relationship gone bad, and a bold dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse. Tracing the full arc of a harrowing relationship with a charismatic but volatile woman, Machado struggles to make sense of how what happened to her…

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February 2020

Cutting Up The Century: A Burroughs Birthday Miscellany

February 5 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Cutting Up The Century: A Burroughs Birthday Miscellany with Joan Hawkins, Alex Wermer-Colan, Peter Hale, and Jon Longhi celebrating the release of William S. Burroughs Cutting Up the Century Edited by Joan Hawkins and Alex Wermer-Colan published by University of Indiana Press William S. Burroughs Cutting Up the Century is the definitive book on Burroughs' overarching cut-up project and its relevance to the American twentieth century. Burroughs’s Nova Trilogy (The Soft Machine, Nova Express, and The Ticket That Exploded) remains…

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Elaine Elaine Kahn

February 6 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Elaine Kahn reading from Romance or The End: poems published by Soft Skull Press Romance or The End takes up the tools of romantic narrative in order to perform the rupture between self and story that occurs at the onset of trauma. Using known and pathologized literary arcs, Elaine Kahn unspools the fundamental instability of truth, love, and language to create an experiential portrait of narrative's power to both disfigure and restore. ROMANCE or THE END This is a book…

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Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

February 10 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Marcelo Hernandez Castillo reading from his new book Children of the Land published by Harper Collins This unforgettable memoir from a prize-winning poet about growing up undocumented in the United States recounts the sorrows and joys of a family torn apart by draconian policies and chronicles one young man's attempt to build a future in a nation that denies his existence. "You were not a ghost even though an entire country was scared of you. No one in this story…

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Howard Eiland

February 13 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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City Lights in conjunction with the Program in Critical Theory at the University of California at Berkeley present an evening with Howard Eiland celebrating two new books Origin of the German Trauerspiel - by Walter Benjamin - (Tr. Howard Eiland) - published by Harvard University Press and Notes on Literature, Film, and Jazz - by Howard Eiland - published by Sputen Duyvil about Origin of the German Trauerspiel Origin of the German Trauerspiel was Walter Benjamin's first full, historically oriented…

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Dennis Baron

February 18 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Dennis Baron discussing the subject of his new book What's Your Pronoun? Beyond He and She Published by Liveright Addressing one of the most pressing cultural questions of our generation, Dennis Baron reveals the untold story of how we got from he and she to zie and hir and singular-they. Like trigger warnings and gender-neutral bathrooms, pronouns are sparking a national debate, prompting new policies in schools, workplaces, even prisons, about what pronouns to use. Colleges ask students to declare…

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William T. Vollmann

February 20 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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William T. Vollmann reading from his new novel The Lucky Star published by Viking/Penguin The National Book Award winning author returns to his original fictional territory–the lives of the dispossessed in San Francisco–with a parable about the limitations of desire and life at the margins of society In such earlier works of fiction as The Rainbow Stories and The Royal Family, William T. Vollmann wrote of pimps, prostitutes, addicts and homeless dreamers in San Francisco's Tenderloin district. In this new…

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John Sayles

February 24 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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John Sayles reading from his new novel Yellow Earth from Haymarket Books Rich layers of shale oil are discovered under Yellow Earth, North Dakota and the neighboring Three Nations Indian reservation. All hell breaks loose. In Yellow Earth, the site of Three Nations reservations on the banks of the Missouri River in North Dakota, Sayles introduces us to Harleigh Killdeer, chairman of the Tribal Business Council. "An activist in his way, a product of the Casino Era," Kildeer, who is…

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Megan Fernandes with Sam Sax

February 25 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Megan Fernandes reads from her new collection of poetry Good Boys published by Tin House Books In an era of rising nationalism and geopolitical instability, Megan Fernandes's Good Boys offers a complex portrait of messy feminist rage, negotiations with race and travel, and existential dread in the Anthropocene. The collection follows a restless, nervy, cosmically abandoned speaker failing at the aspirational markers of adulthood as she flips from city to city, from enchantment to disgust, always reemerging—just barely—on the trains…

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Dodie Bellamy and Anthony Huberman in conversation

February 27 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Dodie Bellamy and Anthony Huberman in conversation celebrating the release of Dodie Bellamy Is On Our Mind Edited by Jeane Gerrity and Anthony Huberman published by Semiotex(e) Books, distributed by The MIT Press Examining the genre-bending writing of Dodie Bellamy, whose work has focused on sexuality, politics, feminism, narrative experimentation, and all things queer. Dodie Bellamy Is on Our Mind is the first major publication to address Bellamy's prolific career as a genre-bending writer. Megan Milks made several trips to San Francisco in order…

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March 2020

Javad Djavahery

March 4 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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The Cultural Services of the Consul General of France in conjunction with Restless Books and City Lights Booksellers present Javad Djavahery reading from his new novel My Part of Her translated by Emma Ramadan, published by Restless Books For our unnamed confessor, the summer months spent on the Caspian Sea during the 1970s are a magically transformative experience. There, he is not the "poor relative from the North," but a welcome guest at his wealthy cousin Nilou's home and the…

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Lloyd Kahn

March 5 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Slideshow/Talk celebrating the release of The Half Acre Homestead: 46 Years of Building and Gardening by Lloyd Kahn and Leslue Creed from Shelter Publications This is the story of Lloyd and Lesley building a home and establishing a garden on a small piece of land on the Northern California Coast over a 46-year period. In 1974, Lloyd and Lesley started building a home and establishing a garden on a half-acre piece of land in a small town on the northern…

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Shana Redmond

March 11 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Shana Redmond discussing the subject of her new book Everything Man: The Form and Function of Paul Robeson from Duke University Press From his cavernous voice and unparalleled artistry to his fearless struggle for human rights, Paul Robeson was one of the twentieth century's greatest icons and polymaths. In Everything Man Shana L. Redmond traces Robeson's continuing cultural resonances in popular culture and politics. She follows his appearance throughout the twentieth century in the forms of sonic and visual vibration…

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Hilary Moore & James Tracy

March 24 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Hilary Moore & James Tracy celebrating the release of No Fascist USA! The John Brown Anti-Klan Committee and Lessons for Today's Movements by Hilary Moore and James Tracy (forward by Robin D.G. Kelley) published by City Lights Books The story of how a national grassroots network fought a resurgence of the KKK and other fascist groups during the Reagan years, laying the groundwork for today's anti-fascist/anti-racist movements. In June 1977, a group of white anti-racist activists received an alarming letter…

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Alexandra Mattraw with Tiff Dressen and Mah Shein Win

March 25 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Alexandra Mattraw with Tiff Dressen and Mah Shein Win celebrating the release of Alexandra Mattraw's new poetry collection We fell into Weather Published by Cultural Society What has been said about We fell into Weather: "What you can't see is what brings you," Alexandra Mattraw writes: "We throttle out of rent, ash CFC storming lung shifts." An uncanny, raw awareness embodies the space of perception and opening. Mattraw's primary language becomes action, becomes our phenomenology, our neurodivergence, our fullness: "When…

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Robert Glück

March 26 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Robert Glück celebrating the new edition of Margery Kempe by Robert Glück, introduction by Colm Toibin published by New York Review Books First published in 1994, Robert Glück's Margery Kempe is one of the most provocative, poignant, and inventive American novels of the last quarter century. The book tells two stories of romantic obsession. One, based on the first autobiography in English, the medieval Book of Margery Kempe, is about a fifteenth-century woman from East Anglia, a visionary, a troublemaker, a pilgrim to…

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Archive 48 Release Party: The Earthly Days of Jose Revueltas

March 31 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Binational publisher Archive 48, dedicated to Mexican and U.S. literature, launches its U.S. wing with the first-ever English translation of an important work by  Jose Revueltas. Join us to celebrate its release. Translator Matthew Gleeson and publisher Pedro Jiménez celebrate the publication of Earthly Days by José Revueltas. Mexican author Revueltas was a lifelong militant whose political activities stretched from the 1930s Communist Party to the 1968 student movement—and sent him to prison several times. His important writing career included…

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April 2020

Beth Lisick

April 1 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Beth Lisick reads from Edie On The Green Screen: A Novel published by 7.13 Books City Lights welcomes back Beth Lisick to celebrate her debut novel from 7.13 Books. Edie Wunderlich was the It girl, on the covers of the city's alt-weeklies, repping the freak party scene on the eve of the first dot-com boom. Fast-forward twenty years, and Edie hasn't changed, but San Francisco has. Still a bartender in the Mission, Edie now serves a seemingly never-ending stream of…

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Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

April 2 @ 7:00 pm - 7:30 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai reading from The Mountains Sing from Workman Publishing Company "An epic account of Việt Nam's painful 20th century history, both vast in scope and intimate in its telling . . . Moving and riveting." —VIET THANH NGUYEN, author of The Sympathizer, winner of the Pulitzer Prize With the epic sweep of Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko or Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing and the lyrical beauty of Vaddey Ratner’s In the Shadow of the Banyan, The Mountains Sing tells…

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Ilya Kaminski and Tess Taylor

April 16 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Ilya Kaminski and Tess Taylor celebrating the release of Tess Taylor's Rift Zone:poems published by Red Hen Press and Last West published by Museum of Modern Art Book RIFT ZONE, Taylor's much-anticipated third book traces literal and metaphoric fault lines—rifts between past and present, childhood and adulthood, what is and what was. Circling Taylor's hometown—an ordinary California suburb lying along the Hayward fault—these poems unearth strata that include a Spanish land grant, a bloody land grab, gun violence, valley girls,…

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Frank Wilderson III

April 21 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Frank Wilderson III discussing the subject of his new book Afropessimism published by Liveright Books / W.W. Norton In the tradition of Edward Said's Orientalism and Frantz Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks, Afropessimism is an unparalleled account of the non-analogous experience of being Black. A seminal work that strikingly combines groundbreaking philosophy with searing flights of memoir, Afropessimism presents the tenets of an increasingly influential intellectual movement that theorizes blackness through the lens of perpetual slavery. Rather than interpreting slavery…

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May 2020

Ainissa Ramirez

May 3 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Ainissa Ramirez discussing the subject of her new book The Alchemy of Us: How Humans and Matter Transformed One Another from The MIT Press In the bestselling tradition of Stuff Matters and The Disappearing Spoon: a clever and engaging look at materials, the innovations they made possible, and how these technologies changed us. In The Alchemy of Us, scientist and science writer Ainissa Ramirez examines eight inventions—clocks, steel rails, copper communication cables, photographic film, light bulbs, hard disks, scientific labware,…

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Alia Volz in conversation with Paul Yamazaki

May 5 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Home Baked: My Mom, Marijuana, and the Stoning of San Francisco by Alia Volz published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt A blazingly funny, heartfelt memoir from the daughter of the larger-than-life woman who ran Sticky Fingers Brownies, an underground bakery that distributed thousands of marijuana brownies per month and helped provide medical marijuana to AIDS patients in San Francisco—for fans of Armistead Maupin and Patricia Lockwood During the '70s in San Francisco, Alia's mother ran the underground Sticky Fingers Brownies, delivering…

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Margaret Randall in conversation with Garrett Caples

May 7 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Margaret Randall in conversation with Garrett Caples discussing the subject of Margaret Randall's new book I Never Left Home: Poet, Feminist, Revolutionary from Duke University Press In 1969, poet and revolutionary Margaret Randall was forced underground when the Mexican government cracked down on all those who took part in the 1968 student movement. Needing to leave the country, she sent her four young children alone to Cuba while she scrambled to find safe passage out of Mexico. In I Never…

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June 2020

Jennifer Worley

June 9 @ 7:00 pm
City Lights, 261 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94133 United States
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Book Release Party for Neon Girls: A Stripper's Education in Protest and Power by Jennifer Worley from Harper Collins A riveting true story of a young woman's days stripping in grunge-era San Francisco where a radical group of dancers banded together to unionize and run the club on their own terms. When graduate student Jenny Worley needed a fast way to earn more money, she found herself at the door of the Lusty Lady Theater in San Francisco, auditioning on…

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