Reading Roundup: 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.

E.L. James (Fifty Shades of Grey)

Tuesday, September 25, 7-9:30 pm, at Books Inc. Opera Plaza (601 Van Ness Ave.)

The self-published Brit who came to unexpectedly dominate the bestseller lists with her steamy trilogy of BDSM novels is going on her first book tour, which she concedes is less of a publicity move than a way "to say hi and thanks to everyone." In light of her current mega-popularity, getting the opportunity to meet James (pictured at left) is fairly strict: potential guests need to purchase one of James' books from Books Inc. in order to secure a ticket (those who buy the whole set get three), and while James will sign up to three books per person, she won't personalize them. 

Martin Amis (Lionel Asbo: State of England)

Wednesday, September 19, 7 pm, at the JCCSF (3200 California St.)

Thursday, September 20, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.) 

On the complete opposite end of the British literary spectrum is Amis, the witty and perceptive author of The Rachel Papers, The Information, and Time's Arrow, among others. His latest novel centers on a British thug who wins 140 million pounds in the lottery and becomes a mainstay in the tabloid press. Meanwhile, his sensitive nephew attempts to deal with the fallout, including a new girlfriend who may be after Asbo's money. Tickets to the JCCSF event are $25-30 general admission, $20-25 for members, and $15 for students. Admission to the Book Passage event (where Amis will be interviewed by Michael Krasny) is free with purchase of a copy of the book. 

D.T. Max (Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace)

Thursday, September 20, 7:30 pm, at The Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

The late David Foster Wallace, regarded as one of the literary world's leading lights at the time of his tragic suicide in 2008, has only gained in prominence since his untimely passing, with the release of an unfinished novel, The Pale King, and a new collection of essays, Both Flesh and Not, arriving in November. Max's new biography, written with the cooperation of Wallace's family and access to his unpublished letters, manuscripts, and audio tapes, explores the personal life of the troubled author, who struggled with addiction and depression.

Naomi Wolf (Vagina: A New Biography)

Wednesday, September 19, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.) 

Famed feminist cultural critic Wolf has made headlines for her assertion in this book that the vagina is an intrinsic component of the female brain, with profound effects on women's consciousness. The book itself is a combination of cultural history and popular science that explores the nature of female desire and the ways in which patriarchal societies have attempted to suppress women's sexuality. While the event is open to the public, priority seating is available with purchase of the book

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