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by Diane Leach

22 Jun 2015

As the Bay  Area Rapid Transit escalator carried me upward, toward the first annual Bay Area Book Festival (6th and 7th, June), I repeated my new mantra. I would buy no books.

Montage from Bay Area Book Festival

I would buy no books. 

As the Bay Area Rapid Transit escalator carried me upward, toward the first annual Bay Area Book Festival (6th and 7th, June), I repeated my new mantra. I would buy no books.

I would wander the streets lined with booksellers and listen to author panels.I would eavesdrop in ladies’ rooms and eat mediocre street truck fare. I would see An Evening With Judy Blume. 

But I would buy no books.  Our small home is awash in books, any semblance of order long forgotten. The bookshelves need bookshelves. 

Steeling myself, I began walking.

Five city streets were given over to booksellers and publishers, who were grouped by topic: Literary Lane, Radical Row, Writer’s Row, Eco Alley, and Mind and Body Blvd.  At Civic Center Park, the Lacuna, a circular installation of 50,000 free books, gradually came down as people made their selections. 

by Dawn Eyestone

16 Jun 2015

Sci-fi is a  popular and well-read genre, but its critical importance as a genre for women and authors of color is often overlooked, these eight excellent examples included.

Since the very beginning of science fiction as a literary genre, when early scientists used voyages to the moon as metaphors to write about their controversial scientific discoveries, authors have used sci-fi as a rhetorical tool. This is done so as to explore radical ideas and theories inside a relatively safe and fantastic world of fiction that does not immediately alienate the audience the authors hope to persuade.

by Diane Leach

5 Jun 2015

Few of us  can wring art from our grief as Sandra Cisneros has, here.

Saucy yet sad, Sandra CisnerosMy Wicked Wicked Ways is a poetic dispatch from the trenches of the lone woman writer. Originally published in 1987, the book has seen two reprints, most recently in April.

by Jonathan Frahm

3 Jun 2015

Doria Russell finds  heroes in the errant in Epitaph, a novel that captures the realities of the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral, and much more.

Epitaph: A Novel of the O.K. Corral isn’t Mary Doria Russell’s first time in the saddle; the New York Times bestselling author had a western hit in 2011’s Doc, about John Henry “Doc” Holliday. Encouraged by the reception that her break from sci-fi convention into the world of historical fiction received, Russell mustered up what could be called her first-ever sequel, here part two, if you will, which is set around the actual events leading to the 1881 shootout at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone.

by Grace Lichtenstein

5 May 2015

The language and  dialogue in his latest novel, The Whites, gives away his identity -- and that's a good thing.

After reading The Whites “by Richard Price writing as Harry Brandt” the big question I had was: why the awkward authorial byline? In interviews, Price said he wanted to try his hand at a straight-ahead crime novel, as opposed to his works that make greater sociological statements like Clockers or Lush Life. But The Whites certainly achieves the higher-than-just-police-stuff standard Price has always set for himself.

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