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.

Katie Hafner (Mother Daughter Me)

Tuesday, July 9, 6 pm, at Book Passage SF (1 Ferry Building)

After her octogenarian mother's companion of twenty years moved into an assisted-living facility, the widowed Hafner was forced to move in with her mother–along with her teenage daughter. This memoir chronicles the year they spent under one roof in SF, attempting to bury the demons of the past and become closer as a family, even as painful memories constantly surfaced. 

Michael Spurgeon (Let the Water Hold Me Down)

Tuesday, July 2, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)

Based on Spurgeon's real-life experiences in Mexico at the time of the Zapatista uprising, this novel chronicles the travails of Hank, an American escaping a troubled past while staying with his best friend and college roommate, a scion of a wealthy family, in Chiapas. As he begins to put his life back together, the protesters seize half the state, and Hank is forced to make some tough choices that may ultimately destroy his friendship. 

Nina Schuyler (The Translator)

Tuesday, July 9, 7:30 pm, at the Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)

After taking a fall down the stairs, Japanese translator Hanne Schubert can only recall Japanese, which she learned late in life; her English capabilities are entirely gone. (This condition, though rare, has occurred in real life.) Befuddled, she moves to Japan, where she's confronted by the Japanese novelist whose work she's recently translated, accusing her of sabotage. As she embarks on a new relationship and reexamines her strained ties to her daughter, Hanne must come to terms with her past and forge a new future. 

A Celebration of Carol Tarlen

Tuesday, July 9, 7 pm, at City Lights Books (261 Columbus Ave.)

Tarlen, a UCSF medical school employee who passed away in 2004, was a North Beach resident, mother, and fierce advocate for labor and social justice. Though she was published widely in magazines, her poetry had never been collected until now; the book is called Every Day Is an Act of Resistance, and Aggie Falk, Jack Hirschman, David Joseph, Sarah Menefee, Leslie Simon, and Julia Stein will read her work aloud in tribute. 

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