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Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Mary Johnson

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.

Mary Johnson (An Unquenchable Thirst)

Tuesday, March 12, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

After seeing a Time cover story on Mother Teresa, then 19-year-old Johnson decided that working with the nuns in the legendary humanitarian's order was her purpose in life. She traveled to India and joined the Missionaries of Charity, but struggled to adapt the life of an American teenager to the intense strictures of the order; eventually, after 20 years, she left to find her own path. Her memoir tells the story of her time in India and how she's reacclimated to life in the U.S. 

Dina Hampton (Little Red: Three Passionate Lives Through the Sixties and Beyond)

Tuesday, March 12, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Berkeley (1760 4th St.)

What do Black Power leader Angela Davis, SDS activist and leader of the Columbia University occupation Tom Hurwitz, and neoconservative Reagan staffer Elliott Abrams have in common? They were all classmates at the Little Red School House, a small New York City private school renowned for its progressive pedagogy and left-of-center politics. Hampton, herself a Little Red graduate, explores how these three students' stories intertwined in the '60s and on through to the present day, and how each of them made an indelible impact on American political life. 

Sam Lipsyte (The Fun Parts)

Tuesday, March 12, 7 pm, at Tosca Cafe (242 Columbus Ave.)

Lipsyte, who broke through with the hilarious novel The Ask, has returned with his second collection of bold, inventive, and characteristically humorous short stories. His subjects range from a grizzled male birth doula to a 1980s New Jersey high school shot-putter. Lipsyte's appearance is part of Litquake's Epicenter Reading Series, and he'll appear in conversation with Joshua Mohr (Fight Song, Damascus). 

WritersCorps Live with Tamim Ansary (Games Without Rules)

Thursday, March 7, 6:30 pm, at the Contemporary Jewish Museum (736 Mission St.) 

WritersCorps, which places professional writers in schools, libraries, and juvenile detention centers to help at-risk youth express themselves through poetry, is hosting a reading featuring some of the students from its 11 partner schools in the Bay Area, as well as author Tamim Ansary, who'll share a story about the immigrant experience (a touchstone for many of the participating students).