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.
Monday, January 6, 6 pm, at Public Works (161 Erie St.)
The popular local reading series kicks off 2014 with a reading at Public Works, featuring novelist Elena Mauli Shapiro, poet A.D. Winans, poet and translator David Koehn, and more. Get there early for a vegetarian dinner ($3-5) and $3 beers, with Junkdrawer spinning records; the reading kicks off at 7:30, and admission is $7-10. As with all Quiet Lightning shows, the first 100 attendees get a free copy of the group's bespoke publication, Sparkle & Blink.
Margaret Kaufman (Where Somebody Waits)
Monday, January 6, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)
Good-natured Arkansas housewife Ruby Davidson stands out not just for her 5'10" stature and her shock of bright red hair, but for her kindness-- which includes embracing her husband's close-knit Jewish family in the none-too-tolerant climate of the South in the 1950s. But she also harbors a secret: she's still in love with her high-school sweetheart, and the decisions she makes over the course of this novel in stories, she'll ultimately be faced with the choice to keep her family intact or to throw it all over in pursuit of her heart.
John Burley (The Absence of Mercy)
Saturday, January 4, 1 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)
Burley, an emergency-room physician by day, brings his medical experience to bear on the story of Dr. Ben Stevenson, a medical examiner investigating a series of brutal crimes in his small Ohio town, including the murder of a 15-year-old boy and a subsequent attack on a 16-year-old girl. As he gets closer to the truth, Stevenson begins to fear for the lives of his wife and two sons, and must confront a painful truth about the town he once thought peaceful and safe.
Studio One Reading Series
Friday, January 3, 7:30 pm, at Studio One Art Center (365 45th St., Oakland)
Add a little literary flair to your First Friday routine by dropping in to see a trio of poets at Studio One. The featured readers will be Brenda Hillman, a professor at St. Mary's College and the author of Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire; Frances Richard, a writer on contemporary art who teaches at CCA in addition to publishing poetry collections (the most recent is Anarch); and Evelyn Reilly, a New York-based poet whose most recent collection is Apocalypso.