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Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Jonathan Lethem

Each week, we offer a roundup of the best literary events in the city. All events are free and open to the public, unless otherwise noted. Want to submit an upcoming event for consideration? Go here.

Jonathan Lethem (Dissident Gardens)

Thursday, September 26, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

Friday, September 27, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Opera Plaza (601 Van Ness Ave.)

Saturday, September 28, 7:30 pm, at Moe's Books (2476 Telegraph Ave.)

Lethem (Motherless Brooklyn, The Fortress of Solitude) returns with the story of a mother and daughter whose identities are shaped and defined by the perilous world of 20th-century politics. Rose Zimmer, an unrepentant Communist, raises her daughter Miriam in Queens during the tumult of McCarthyism, only to see Miriam go her own way, embracing the Greenwich Village counterculture of the '60s. The book follows the pair from the '30s to the Occupy movement of the present, and has earned universal acclaim for its richness, depth of character, and warm humor. For more Lethem, check out this interview from the tour for his previous book, Chronic City

Norman Rush (Subtle Bodies)

Sunday, September 29, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

Rush (Mating, Mortals) is known for his outstanding novels about white expatriates in Africa, but his new novel (his first in a decade) returns him stateside, where a group of college pals reunite 20 years after graduating for the funeral of their ringleader. In gentle, comic tones, Rush explores marriage, male friendship, and parenting, providing a winning account of growing up and growing older. 

Alex Soojung-Kim Pang (The Distraction Addiction)

Wednesday, September 25, 6 pm, at Book Passage SF (1 Ferry Building)

Friday, October 4, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Opera Plaza (601 Van Ness Ave.)

Pang, a technologist and former Microsoft researcher and consultant, understands the allure of mobile devices-- and how they can complicate offline relationships-- all too well. In his new book, he discusses why our phones and tablets are so appealing (which can go as far as our brain chemistry), and offers strategies for unplugging intelligently and healing technology-damaged relationships without completely forgoing the pleasures of connectedness. 

xo Orpheus: Fifty New Myths

Monday, September 30, 7:30 pm, at the Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

Kate Bernheimer, who recruited a number of top authors for the award-winning fairy-tale reinvention My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me, has returned with 50 authors' reinventions of classic myths, with writers like Aimee Bender, Sheila Heti, and Victor LaValle offering their takes on the stories of Icarus, Aztec jaguar gods, Inuit legends, and more. For this reading, four local authors from the book (Anthony Marra, Karen Tei Yamashita, Edward Gauvin, and Zachary Mason) will read their contributions.