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.
Jason Porter (Why Are You So Sad?)
Saturday, February 15, 7 pm, at Books Inc. Opera Plaza (601 Van Ness Ave.)
Sunday, February 16, 4 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)
Porter has earned wide praise for his funny and perceptive debut, which centers on Raymond, an illustrator of assembly manuals for an IKEA-like furniture corporation. Suffering from insomnia, he becomes convinced that the entire human race is struggling with clinical depression, and attempts to determine whether the world is worth saving via anonymous surveys of his coworkers. The resulting tale is a witty and insightful look at the big questions, and what it's like to live in America today.
Jenny Offill (Dept. of Speculation)
Tuesday, February 11, 1 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)
Wednesday, February 12, 7:30 pm, at the Booksmith (1644 Haight St.)
Offill's highly acclaimed second novel doesn't seem to have much going on at first: it's a series of fragments of letters from an unnamed wife to her husband, discussing the domestic particulars of everything from their colicky new baby to their stalled professional ambitions. Within its compact pages, however, is a wealth of memorable commentary on what it means to be a mother, a wife, and a person, all of which add up to a book that demands re-reading.
McKenzie Funk (Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming)
Wednesday, February 12, 7 pm, at Book Passage Corte Madera (51 Tamal Vista Blvd.)
Though the scientific community has reached consensus on global warming's human-caused nature and the need for humanity to amend its ways, not much action has been taken. Funk, a seasoned journalist whose work has appeared in Harper's and The New York Times, proposes an intriguing theory as to why: business types, from the man-made snow trade to designers of floating cities, are already anticipating the profits they can reap from helping humanity adapt to a warming planet, even as millions of the global poor will likely suffer and die in the process.
Why There Are Words + Zyzzyva
Thursday, February 13, 7 pm, at Studio 333 (333 Caledonia St., Sausalito)
Zyzzyva, the acclaimed literary magazine focused on West Coast writers, is releasing its 100th issue this spring, and the Why There Are Words reading series is joining in with a reading by writers who have recently been published in its pages. Poets Heather Altfeld, Troy Jollimore, and Dean Rader and fiction writers Earle McCartney, Lori Ostlund, and Marian Szczepanski will all read their pieces from the magazine.