Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events
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.
Cheryl T. Cohen Greene (An Intimate Life: Sex, Love, and My Journey as a Surrogate Partner)
Tuesday, January 29, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Berkeley (1760 4th St.)
Friday, February 1, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)
Tuesday, February 5, 7:30 pm, at the Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)
Berkeley resident Greene, who was portrayed by Helen Hunt in last year's The Sessions, is a surrogate partner who helps people struggling to accept their sexuality, and her new book provides interesting and candid insight into her profession and the many people she's helped in her career. She also discusses her work with polio-stricken poet Mark O'Brien, whose quest to have a normal sex life despite living in an iron lung is the subject of The Sessions.
Nathanael Johnson (All Natural: A Skeptic's Quest)
Thursday, January 31, 7 pm, at the Grand Hall (1 Ferry Building)
The first book from local journalist Johnson investigates the increasing polarization around what's "natural" in our lives, with many Americans opting to go back to the land or embrace past lifestyles while others commit themselves wholeheartedly to the technological future. Along the way, Johnson provides insight into the paradoxes at the heart of our confused culture, from the decline in health as medicine improves to diets that make us even fatter. Johnson will be interviewed by Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma); tickets to the event are $35 and include a signed copy of the book.
Pussy Riot! A Punk Prayer for Freedom
Wednesday, January 30, 7 pm, at City Lights Books (261 Columbus Ave.)
Jailed Russian punk band Pussy Riot touched off a spirited debate about human rights, self-expression, and feminism around the globe, and a new book to raise funds for the female trio's defense compiles their letters from prison, poems, song lyrics, and court testimony. In solidarity with the band, local authors Daphne Gottlieb, Penelope Houston, Michelle Tea, Deborah Iyall, V. Vail, and more will read Pussy Riot's work aloud and draw attention to their cause.
Eddie Huang (Fresh Off the Boat)
Monday, February 4, 6 pm, at Omnivore Books (3885a Cesar Chavez St.)
Huang, the irreverent and controversial young chef of New York City's Baohaus, has released his first book, a coming-of-age memoir about his youth among a wild family of Taiwanese immigrant hustlers in a nondescript Orlando suburb. As Huang sold drugs, idolized Tupac, and generally tore apart the "model minority" stereotype, he also became deeply passionate about his family's heritage and cuisine, eventually transforming himself into a passionate and popular chef.