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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.

An added note: In addition to these events, the Litquake festival begins this Friday, with tons more readings. Here are our picks for Litquake.

Belo Cipriani (Blind: A Memoir)

Wednesday, October 5, 6 pm, at Book Passage SF (1 Ferry Building)

At the age of 26, Bay Area native Cipriani (left) was brutally beaten by a group of men that included some of his childhood friends, causing him to lose his sight. In this new memoir, he discusses dealing with the pain of that encounter and its aftermath, and how he re-learned to navigate the world with the help of a guide dog and an iPhone. The book also delves into how blind people "see" the world and process information.

Ben Lerner (Leaving the Atocha Station)

Thursday, October 6, 6 pm, at Book Passage SF (1 Ferry Building)

Acclaimed poet and National Book Award nominee Lerner has shifted to fiction with this semi-autobiographical new novel, which focuses on Adam, an American poet in Madrid who witnesses the 2004 train bombings and their aftermath. Crippled with self-doubt and with a penchant for pharmaceuticals, Adam begins to examine how technology has changed the way we approach poetry-- and each other. Lerner's first novel has earned glowing reviews and praise from authors ranging from Paul Auster to Tao Lin.

Jeremy Rifkin (The Third Industrial Revolution)

Tuesday, October 4, 7:30 pm, at The Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

With most of the Western world mired in a seemingly endless holding pattern of economic woes and dwindling fossil-fuel reserves, Rifkin's vision of the future seems almost magical: he predicts that hundreds of millions of people will produce energy in their homes and businesses, then share it democratically on a sort of "energy Internet" that will transform society and class structures across the globe. Heads of state and NGOs have signed on to make Rifkin's dream a reality, and the European Parliament has endorsed it-- what obstacles remain in its path?

Joel Brenner (America the Vulnerable: Inside the New Threat Matrix of Digital Espionage, Crime, and Warfare)

Wednesday, October 5, 6-7 pm, at World Affairs Council Auditorium (312 Sutter St., Second Floor).

From WikiLeaks to Chinese hackers, cybercrime has emerged into the public consciousness over the past few years. What risks does it pose to national security, and how can we prevent it from happening? Brenner, a former head of counterintelligence for the NSA, describes a future in which countries will be at continual war on each other's databases, with real consequences for individual citizens. Tickets are free for members, $5 for students, and $15 for non-members.