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.

Tom Drury (Pacific)

Tuesday, May 21, 7 pm, at Green Apple Books (506 Clement St.)

Drury (The End of Vandalism, The Driftless Area) is a longtime cult favorite for his spare, quirky, and darkly funny tales of Midwestern life and mores, which have earned comparisons to Raymond Carver and Sherwood Anderson. His latest book revisits Grouse County, setting of The End of Vandalism, and tells the parallel stories of 14-year-old Micah, who travels to Los Angeles to find his estranged mother, and a mysterious woman who arrives in Micah's hometown, causing trouble for his father and his half-sister.

Eve Ensler (In the Body of the World)

Sunday, May 19, 8 pm, at the Oshman Family JCC (3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto).

Tuesday, May 21, 7 pm, at Grace Cathedral (1100 California St.)

Ensler, who's internationally famous for The Vagina Monologues, never quite felt at home in her own body, preferring to focus on her considerable intellect. But when she was diagnosed with uterine cancer, she had to take the considerations of her body into account, and began to connect her personal struggle to the larger trauma being inflicted on the environment. Tickets to Ensler's JCC appearance are $30; tickets to her Grace Cathedral talk are $25 and include a signed copy of the book. 

Margot Leitman (Gawky: Tales of an Extra-Long Awkward Phase)

Saturday, May 18, 7:30 pm, at the Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

Leitman was always tall, cresting 5'6" in the fourth grade and approaching six feet by high school, and her lack of model glamour or athletic ability made for a rough adolescence. Nonetheless, she persevered, becoming a comedian and a regular player on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, but her wacky teenage years (including Ziggy Stardust jumpsuits, a passion for political causes, and a crush on Bobby Brown) are both the source of her inner demons and the lifeforce of her sense of humor, as this memoir demonstrates. 

Ethan Rutherford (The Peripatetic Coffin and Other Stories)

Monday, May 20, 6 pm, at Book Passage SF (1 Ferry Building) 

Rutherford's first collection of stories has attracted notices for its humor and rich sense of emotional import, whether he's detailing the misadventures of the first Confederate submarine crew at the end of the Civil War or following a desperate camp director doing everything he can to stop declining enrollment. The Minneapolis-based author (who moonlights as a professor and a rock guitarist) has appeared in The Best American Short Stories and Ploughshares.

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