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Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

NoViolet Bulawayo

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.

NoViolet Bulawayo (We Need New Names)

Sunday, June 9, 4 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

The debut novel from Zimbabwe-born Bulawayo has attracted numerous positive notices for its sensitive evocation of the cross-cultural divide between a crippled Zimbabwe, rife with problems after 30+ years of autocratic rule by Robert Mugabe, and the U.S. Caught in the middle is Darling, a 10-year-old who gets the opportunity to leave the country and live with her aunt in Detroit, but is torn between her newfound freedom and a desire to return home. 

Karen Joy Fowler (We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves)

Wednesday, June 5, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Mountain View (301 Castro St.)

Tuesday, June 25, 7 pm, at Hotel Rex (562 Sutter St.)

Fowler (The Jane Austen Book Club) examines a middle-class family that's normal in every way except one: they raised a chimpanzee as their daughter. Now their human daughter, Rosemary, reflects on a life spent alongside her "sister" Fern, while edging ever closer to examining the secret of why Fern was taken away when Rosemary was six years old. Fowler's Hotel Rex appearance is part of Litquake's Epicenter series, and she'll appear in conversation with Dorothy Allison; tickets are $5-10 and advance reservations are encouraged

Somaly Mam (The Road of Lost Innocence)

Tuesday, June 11, 7 pm, at the World Affairs Council (312 Sutter St.)

Mam was born in a rural Cambodian village and sold into sex slavery by her grandfather at the age of 12. For the next decade, she was set adrift on the waters of the international sex trade, witnessing unspeakable horrors before managing to escape in her twenties. Now, she's become a leader in the fight against human trafficking, rescuing and rehabilitating other girls and women sold into the sex trade. Tickets are $15 for the general public and $5 for students. 

No Kidding: Women Writers on Bypassing Motherhood

Thursday, June 6, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Opera Plaza (601 Van Ness Ave.)

Monday, June 10, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Palo Alto (74 Town and Country Village)

As more and more women consciously decide to live their lives without having children, a spate of memoirs about the subject has emerged, including Jen Kirkman's I Can Barely Take Care of Myself and this new collection of humorous essays about life without childrearing. The San Francisco reading will feature Andrea Carla Michaels, Bernadette Luckett, Maureen Langan, Cindy Caponera, and Sue Kolinsky; Michaels, Langan, and Caponera will also appear at the Palo Alto reading.