Since 1986, Houghton Mifflin's The Best American Essays has delivered an annual treasure trove of fine writing and thought-provoking essays selected from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites. This past October, Litquake assembled a stellar gathering of some of California's leading contemporary essayists, and contributors to the anthology. With readings from Kendra Atleework, Richard M. Lange, Angela Morales, Karen Palmer, Jose Antonio Vargas, and Alia Volz. Recorded live as part of the Litquake festival, at the American Bookbinders Museum in San Francisco.

Direct download: Lit_Cast_Best_American_Essays.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:45pm PDT

Never before has our commander-in-chief’s behavior been so puzzling, so laughable, so…troubled? This October the Litquake festival assembled a panel of experts to shed some light on the president's fundamental shortcomings. Senator Barbara Boxer addresses his political naiveté, linguist and NPR contributor Geoffrey Nunberg helps parse his verbal tics, psychiatrist Dr. Dee Mosbacher sheds light on his mental state, and comedian Will Durst talks about finding humor in this unfunny crisis. Moderated by journalist and author David Talbot. Recorded live as part of the Litquake festival, at the Swedish American Hall in San Francisco.

Direct download: Lit_Cast_Parisng_President.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:02pm PDT

Litquake's "Lit Cast Live" series of events at Bay Area bookstores continues with Eugene Lim, author of the novel Dear Cyborgs. Entwining comic-book villains with cultural critiques, Lim creates a fleet-footed literary exploration of power, friendship, and creativity. Ambitious and knowing, Dear Cyborgs combines detective pulps, subversive philosophy, and Hollywood chase scenes, unfolding like the composites and revelations of a dream. In conversation with author Mauro Javier Cardenas, and recorded live at Green Apple Books on the Park in San Francisco.

Direct download: Lit_Cast_Eugene_Lim.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:53pm PDT

Litquake's "Lit Cast Live" series of events at Bay Area bookstores continues with Tom Perrotta, on tour for his novel MRS. FLETCHER, described by The New York Times as "the sweetest and most charming novel about pornography addiction and the harrowing issues of sexual consent that you will probably ever read." Best known for his novels turned into film and TV -- ELECTION, LITTLE CHILDREN, and THE LEFTOVERS -- Perrotta feels most comfortable when uncomfortable, and has said, "As writers, we need to go into territory that confuses us, or scares us, or that we're conflicted about." This appearance was recorded live at Book Passage Ferry Building in San Francisco.

Direct download: Lit_Cast_Perotta.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:43pm PDT

Litquake's Shadows & Light series continues with a conversation between Anita Amirrezvani, Laleh Khadivi, and Andrew Lam, moderated by The Bare Life Review editor Nyuol Lueth Tong. In this live event, "Bad Hombres: Immigrant Voices Respond to Trump," panelists discuss the impact of the current regime on immigrant writers' lives and creativity, and explore how immigrant voices can prevail against our nation’s current intellectual recession. Recorded live at the San Francisco Public Library's Koret Auditorium in San Francisco.

Direct download: Lit_Cast_Bad_Hombres.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:10pm PDT

Litquake's new "Lit Cast Live" continues with a panel discussion between Alysia Abbott, Clane Hayward and Joshua Safran, moderated by Gabe Meline of KQED Arts. For decades, Northern California has been Ground Zero for countercultural communities, rejecting conventional suburbia in favor of individualism and personal freedom. But what happens to children with this background, growing up amid such unorthodox family dynamics? These three Bay Area authors with recent memoirs meet on the summer solstice to discuss their experiences growing up in the shadow of the Summer of Love. Recorded live at the California Historical Society in San Francisco.

Direct download: Lit_Cast_Children_of_Love.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:27pm PDT

Litquake's new "Lit Cast Live" series of events at Bay Area bookstores continues with Jeff VanderMeer, on tour for his novel BORNE, named one of the most anticipated books of 2017 by The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Book Riot, Chicago Reader, The Week, and Publishers Weekly. Author of the bestselling Southern Reach Trilogy, VanderMeer also will soon see a film adaptation of the trilogy's first installment, ANNIHILATION. In conversation with Robin Sloan, author of MR. PENUMBRA'S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE. Recorded live at Green Apple Books on the Park, in San Francisco.

Direct download: Lit_Cast_VanderMeer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:25pm PDT

Litquake's first entry in our "Lit Cast Live" series of events at Bay Area bookstores presents professor/author Sarah Ladipo Manyika, for the launch of her newest novel, LIKE A MULE BRINGING ICE CREAM TO THE SUN. Set in San Francisco, this book presents a subtle and mesmerizing meditation on aging, friendship, and loss, and fleshes out a nuanced portrait of the erotic yearnings of an older woman. In conversation with Daniel "Lemony Snicket" Handler. Recorded live at the Booksmith bookstore, in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district.

Direct download: Lit_Cast_Sarah_Ladipo_Daniel_Handler.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:27pm PDT

Litquake's second event in our "Shadow & Light" series presents "The Most Dishonest People on Earth: Journalists Respond to Trump," another glimpse of sanity in an increasingly insane world. This current political climate demands honest and unvarnished media coverage. But is the American press doing enough to tell the truth behind the lies? Are we in a spiral of spin where truth no longer matters? With Lowell Bergman, Geoffrey Nunberg, Marisa Lagos, and Scott Shafer. Recorded live at the Koret Auditorium, San Francisco Public Library.

Direct download: Lit_Cast_Journalists_Respond_to_Trump.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:38pm PDT

In the great tradition of jazz and spoken-word basement readings in North Beach first forged by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Kenneth Rexroth, and Bob Kaufman, hear this contemporary update co-presented by City Lights Books. With poets Chinaka Hodge, devorah major, and RyanNicole. Music by Afro-futurist jazz trio Broun Fellinis. Recorded live at Doc's Lab, formerly The Purple Onion, in San Francisco.

Direct download: Lit_Word_Jazz.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:14pm PDT