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Reading Roundup: This Week's Top Literary Events

Tao Lin

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.

Tao Lin (Taipei)

Wednesday, June 19, 7:30 pm, at the Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

Lin is unquestionably one of the most polarizing writers currently working in fiction, simultaneously hailed as an accurate chronicler of the millennial generation's angst and denigrated as vacuous or dull for his removed style and openness about drugs, drinking, shoplifting, sex, and other taboo topics. His latest semi-autobiographical work follows young writer Paul as he navigates the New York literary scene, discovers his roots in Taiwan, and impulsively marries a woman he meets on the Internet. 

Philipp Meyer (The Son)

Thursday, June 13, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

Friday, June 14, 7 pm, at Bookshop West Portal (80 West Portal Ave.)

The new novel from Meyer (American Rust), who was one of the New Yorker's 20 Under 40 honorees, has earned massive acclaim for its sweeping scale and a blistering pace that makes its 500 pages feel much shorter than they are. It tells the story of multiple generations of the McCulloughs, a fictional Texas family, whose members' uncompromising ambition destroys their personal relationships but fuels a cattle and oil dynasty unsurpassed even in the modern era. 

Marcus Samuelsson (Yes, Chef)

Sunday, June 16, 3 pm, at Omnivore Books (3885a Cesar Chavez St.)

Samuelsson, the acclaimed chef of Red Rooster in Harlem, has a more unusual story than most: born into poverty in Ethiopia, he and his sister were adopted as toddlers by a white Swedish couple. Though his love for cooking manifested early, Samuelsson struggled with questions of identity and race, which were only magnified when a one-night stand made him a father in his early 20s. His James Beard Award-winning memoir, elegantly written by Veronica Chambers, chronicles his growth in and out of the kitchen, and how he's managed to rise to the top of a very demanding profession.

Bennett Sims (A Questionable Shape)

Tuesday, June 18, 7 pm, at City Lights Books (261 Columbus Ave.)

Sims' eloquent and moody take on the zombie novel is more for literature fans than genre purists, with compelling reflections on love and loss and the nature of consciousness. Protagonist Mazoch lives in a world in which zombies are normal, and the unaffected continue to go about their daily lives. He discovers an unreturned movie and a trail of blood in his father's house, and sets out to find him before a hurricane envelops their hometown of Baton Rouge and kills the undead left walking.