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Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Allen Ginsberg

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.

Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg

Thursday, May 23, 6:30-8:30 pm, at the Contemporary Jewish Museum (736 Mission St.)

The first SF exhibition of the legendary Beat's photography launches at the CJM this week, and a number of literary events are being held in conjunction with the show. To kick things off, opening night will be a "Gathering of Angels," featuring a talk by curator Sarah Greenough, an original arrangement of Ginsberg's "America" by Daryl Henline, a pop-up poetry salon, a zine-making workshop, and a "typewriter petting zoo." They'll have a cash bar as well. Tickets are $5. 

San Francisco Magazine Authors Issue Launch

Thursday, May 23, 7 pm, at Book Passage SF (1 Ferry Building)

The local rag's June issue is all about Bay Area authors, from big names (Dave Eggers, Michelle Tea, Daniel Handler) to up-and-comers (Yiyun Li, Robin Sloan, Helene Wecker, Scott Hutchins). They'll read selections from the magazine, which focuses on writers discussing other writers, and wine and snacks will be offered. 

Jon Mooallem (Wild Ones)

Tuesday, May 21, 6 pm, at Book Passage SF (1 Ferry Building)

Thursday, May 23, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Berkeley (1760 4th St.)

Mooallem's book explores a curious phenomenon: why do people adore cartoonish representations of animals (teddy bears, butterfly tattoos), but seem relatively unconcerned about the environmental danger facing their real-life counterparts? The resulting work is a hybrid of memoir, reportage, and history, with Mooallem delving into the often strange and hilarious world of environmentalists, marketers, and tourists trying to engage with the wild. 

Dr. Paul Farmer (Haiti: After the Earthquake

Thursday, May 23, 7:30 pm, at the Nourse Theater (275 Hayes St.)

Farmer, the crusading Partners in Health founder famously profiled in Tracy Kidder's Mountains Beyond Mountains, offers his own perspective on the horrible earthquake in Haiti, showcasing the remarkable heroism and spirit of the Haitian people in the face of utter devastation. He also has criticism for the international community and an insider perspective on what can be done to help the troubled nation rebuild. Tickets are $17-27. 

Adam Johnson (The Orphan Master's Son) and Anthony Marra (A Constellation of Vital Phenomena)

Friday, May 24, 7:30 pm, at the Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

And a bonus pick: Johnson and Marra's books have both already been featured in Reading Roundup (here and here, for those who want to learn more), but now that Johnson has taken home the Pulitzer Prize, readers who weren't familiar with his work might want to check out his reading. (Marra's no slouch either, with a recently-released first novel notching tons of acclaim.) Also, there will be prosecco.