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Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Margaret Atwood

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.

Margaret Atwood (MaddAddam)

Thursday, October 3, 7:30 pm, at the Nourse Theater (275 Hayes St.)

Atwood, the famed Canadian novelist and recent Twitter star, has returned with the concluding chapter in her trilogy of books about MaddAddam, the futuristic dystopia she chronicled in Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood. As her characters recover from a cataclysmic event, concoct a new religion, and attempt to navigate their changed world through the spectrum of their troubled pasts, Atwood offers trenchant commentary on today's society, and where it all might be headed. Tickets to her City Arts & Lectures appearance are $27. 

Clive Thompson (Smarter Than You Think: How Technology Is Changing Our Minds for the Better)

Wednesday, October 2, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Mountain View (301 Castro St.)

Wired columnist and New York Times Magazine contributing editor Thompson takes an unconventional look at one of the key issues of our time: is our undeniable addiction to technology making us dumber as a society? His answer: absolutely not. Using scientific research, Thompson offers compelling arguments that the Internet has helped us learn more, retain information longer, take a more global perspective, and collectively work together to solve previously unsolvable problems. 

Lily Brett (Lola Bensky)

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

Australian author Brett's autobiographical novel (the protagonist shares her initials) focuses on her days as a teen rock journalist in the late '60s, drinking tea with Mick Jagger, swapping fake eyelashes with Cher, and chatting about sex with Janis Joplin. But her adventures conceal struggles with her weight and with her parents' unspeakable past as Auschwitz survivors, issues that follow her as she becomes a wife, mother, and professional writer. 

Paul Harding (Enon)

Tuesday, October 8, 6 pm, at Book Passage SF (1 Ferry Building)

Friday, October 11, 7 pm, at BookShop West Portal (80 West Portal Ave.)

In 2010, Harding's quietly released novel Tinkers unexpectedly took home the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, catapaulting the then-unknown writer into the spotlight. His newest novel explores the life of Charlie Crosby, grandson of Tinkers' protagonist, George Crosby, who faces unspeakable grief after his young daughter is unexpectedly killed. The novel explores his coming to terms with the loss, and how it affects his already fragile marriage to his wife, Susan.