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.
Junot Diaz (This Is How You Lose Her)
Friday, September 14, 7 pm, at Copperfield's Books (775 Village Court, Santa Rosa)
Saturday, September 15, 4 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)
The fall literary season is upon us, with big-name authors flowing into the city all September and the Litquake festival just around the corner. The biggest name this week is likely Diaz, who broke big in 2008 with the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Now, he returns to the short story form with stories that explore how his longtime protagonist, Yunior (also the subject of most of the stories in his first collection, Drown) navigates relationships and the human heart. The Book Passage event is ticketed (tickets are free with purchase of a copy); more info here.
Irvine Welsh (Skagboys)
Monday, September 17, 7 pm, at Z Space (450 Florida St.)
Speaking of Litquake, they're warming up for the main festival next month with an appearance from Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh, whose latest novel is something of a prequel to his breakout tale of hard-living Scottish druggies. The book explores how unemployment, family problems, and financial hardships drove his quartet of protagonists to drug use, and the resulting hustles and scams that transpire along the way. Tickets are $12, and the event will also feature video clips, a DJ, and a cash bar.
Mark Bittman (How to Cook Everything)
Tuesday, September 18, 7:30 pm, at Herbst Theatre (401 Van Ness Ave.)
Bittman, the New York Times columnist, food advocate, and popular author of the How to Cook Everything series, appears at City Arts & Lectures on Tuesday, where he'll be interviewed by 7x7 alum Jessica Battilana. His latest project is a TV show based on his Minimalist column in the Times, which airs on the ultra-hip Cooking Channel. He'll also discuss food policy and advocacy. Tickets are $22-27, and available here.
Steven Johnson (Future Perfect: The Case For Progress in a Networked Age)
Tuesday, September 18, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)
Johnson's Everything Bad Is Good For You and Where Great Ideas Come From have made him a popular thinker within the tech community, and his latest work argues that a model of political change based on the interconnectedness of society is on the rise, with consequences that could break the current liberal-conservative gridlock in the U.S. and other nations and provide real solutions to the problems that are looming before humanity. In the process, he explores a wide-ranging series of events, from the "miracle on the Hudson" to the fight against malnutrition in Vietnam.