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« Week of August 17, 2014 »
Start: 9:00 am
End: 3:00 pm



The Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference has an extraordinary, international reputation among publishers, editors, and writers. Now in its 22nd year, this four-day Conference offers an array of writing and photography workshops in the morning, a full afternoon of panels and discussions, and evening faculty presentations. There are optional, working field trips to explore the resources of the Bay Area. The faculty includes publishers, magazine editors, photographers, travel essayists, food writers, restauranteurs, guidebook writers, and more. There are hours of informal interaction between faculty and participants during lunch and in discussions that often last late into the evening.

Questions or concerns? Contact Kathryn Petrocelli at 800-999-7909, ext. 239, or email 

2014 Faculty
2014 Schedule
Conference Contests!
Conference Days
Private Consultations


Start: 7:00 pm

Kelli Stanley mesmerizes readers with City of Ghosts—the most thrilling novel yet in her award-winning series of novels featuring private investigator Miranda Corbie. Stanley’s previous novels include City of Dragons, City of Secrets, The Curse-Maker, and Nox Dormienda, winner of the Bruce Alexander Award for Best Historical Mystery.



Start: 7:00 pm
The world Cal and Frida have always known is gone, and they've left the crumbling city of Los Angeles far behind them. They now live in a shack in the wilderness, working side-by-side to make their days tolerable in the face of hardship and isolation. Mourning a past they can't reclaim, they seek solace in each other. But the tentative existence they've built for themselves is thrown into doubt when Frida finds out she's pregnant.

Terrified of the unknown and unsure of their ability to raise a child alone, Cal and Frida set out for the nearest settlement, a guarded and paranoid community with dark secrets. These people can offer them security, but Cal and Frida soon realize this community poses dangers of its own. In this unfamiliar world, where everything and everyone can be perceived as a threat, the couple must quickly decide whom to trust.

A gripping and provocative debut novel by a stunning new talent, California ($26.00) imagines a frighteningly realistic near future, in which clashes between mankind's dark nature and deep-seated resilience force us to question how far we will go to protect the ones we love.
Edan Lepucki is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a staff writer for The Millions. Her short fiction has been published in McSweeney's and Narrative magazine, among other publications, and she is the founder and director of Writing Workshops Los Angeles. This is her first novel.
Start: 7:00 pm
When Natasha, a talented young artist working as a congressional aide, meets Michael Faulk, an Episcopalian priest struggling with his faith, the stars seem to align. Although he is nearly two decades older, they discover in each other the happy yearning and exhilaration of lovers, and within months they are engaged. Shortly before their wedding, while Natasha is vacationing in Jamaica and Faulk is in New York attending the wedding of a family friend, the terrorist attacks of September 11 shatter the tranquillity of the nation's summer. Alone in a state of abject terror, cut off from America and convinced that Faulk is dead, Natasha makes an error in judgment that leads to a private trauma of her own on the Caribbean shore. A few days later, she and Faulk are reunited, but the horror of that day and Natasha's inability to speak of it inexorably divide their relationship into "before" and "after." They move to Memphis and begin their new life together, but their marriage quickly descends into repression, anxiety, and suspicion. 

In prose that is direct, exact, and lyrical, Richard Bausch plumbs the complexities of public and personal trauma, and the courage with which we learn to face them. Above all, Before, During, After ($26.95) is a love story, offering a penetrating and exquisite portrait of intimacy, of spiritual and physical longing, and of the secrets we convince ourselves to keep even as they threaten to destroy us. An unforgettable tour de force from one of America's most distinguished storytellers.

Richard Bausch is the author of twelve novels and eight volumes of short stories. He is a recipient of many awards, including the PEN/Malamud Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award, the Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and, in 2012, the Rea Award for the Short Story. He is currently professor of English at Chapman University in Orange, California. 
Start: 12:30 pm

A beautiful cookbook destined to become an heirloom, A Simple Feast: A Year of Recipes to Savor and Share presents a year of life in food. Each chapter presents a story--apple picking, snow day, tea party, date night, rooftop barbeque, etc.--and recipes inspired by the whimsy that lies therein. The food here is simple and elegant, taking cues from the bounty of local markets and farms, embodying modern American cooking. This is a playful journey guided by the ever stylish Jewels of New York, who lead the reader through the seasons and the culinary adventures each has to offer.

Founded in 2009 and led by Diana Yen, The Jewels of New York is a multidisciplinary creative studio that combines the love of cooking with the beauty of everyday things. The studio aims to uncover the hidden treasures New York has to offer and share them with others through seasonally based cooking. With a background in home and lifestyle design, Yen brings a sense of beauty and community to the table.



Start: 6:00 pm
A fast-paced, gorgeously written follow-up to Steph Cha's critically acclaimed debut Follow Her Home, featuring a sharply observant, thoroughly modern sleuth with an unforgettable voice

No longer an amateur sleuth, Steph Cha’s “compelling and original” crime heroine Juniper Song is working as an apprentice for Chaz Lindley’s P.I. firm when she finds herself nose deep in a Hollywood murder scandal.  When a young woman named Daphne Freamon calls looking for an eye on her boyfriend, Chaz punts the client to Song.  Daphne is an independently wealthy painter living in New York, and her boyfriend Jamie Landon is a freelance screenwriter living in Los Angeles, ghostwriting a vanity project for movie star Joe Tilley.  Song quickly learns that there’s more to this case than a simple tail, and her suspicions are confirmed when Tilley winds up dead in a hotel room.  Nonetheless, when Jamie becomes the prime suspect in the movie star’s murder, she agrees to help the charismatic couple discover the truth, even as the police build their case against Jamie.  As she chases leads and questions grieving Hollywood insiders, she uncovers a sordid layer of blackmail and hidden identities, of a history of violence that leaves no one safe from judgment.

A stunningly written, fast-paced, and edgy read, Beware, Beware ($25.99) takes readers to the dark heart that beats behind the glittery surfaces of LA’s celebrity royalty and in a tale perfect for fans of Lisa Unger and Tana French.

Steph Cha is a graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School. She lives in her native city of Los Angeles, California.
Start: 6:30 pm
Left Bank, Larkspur • Single $110; Couple $175 (one book) 
Please note: online registration for this event has closed.
Once a week Mark Kurlansky and his daughter spun the globe, and where her finger landed set the stage for that week’s family dinner. This tradition morphed into a cookbook of 52 meals, including appetizers, main and side dishes, and a dessert— 250 recipes in all. The book is full of stories and insights from his travels all over the world. Kurlansky’s many books include World Without Fish and Salt: A World History.
Start: 7:00 pm
True Love Scars ($20.00) is a tragic love story set in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Although it takes place in the past, the themes running through the book -- trying to live an authentic life, struggling against the powers that be, navigating the terrain between love and lust, loyalty and betrayal (and there are more) -- are as relevant today as ever.

It’s 1972 and the Sixties are gone, baby, gone. Only Michael Stein, age 19, doesn’t have a clue. Soon enough he will. The love is gone and all that’s left are the drugs. How the dream died and what there is left after. How you cope. 

To the relentless beat of the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, The Beatles and others, True Love Scars' narrator, known to his friends as Writerman, is searching for what he calls the “authentic real.” A way he felt, a way he lived, in the late Sixties, in the days when he was with Sweet Sarah, his high school girlfriend, his first love. Searching for who he was before he lost her, and his life crashed and burned.

Writerman’s story is one long deep breath. The exhale is obsessive, transgressive. How macho meets feminism. How second chakra rises up to third. Through all the women: Sweet Sarah, Beat-Chick Elise, Jaded, Simone, Harper, Eve. A puff, a party, a tragedy —from marijuana to angel dust, teenage heartbreak to addiction, from “All You Need is Love” to the junked-out punk of the New York Dolls. 
“Michael Goldberg is comparable to Kerouac in a 21st century way, someone trying to use that language and energy and find a new way of doing it.” – Mark Mordue, author of Dastgah: Diary of a Head Trip

“Radioactive as Godzilla.” – Richard Meltzer, author of The Aesthetics of Rock

"Holden Caulfield meets Lord Buckley?” – Paul Krassner, founder of The Realist

 “True Love Scars reads like a fever dream from the dying days of the Summer of Love. Keyed to a soundtrack of love and apocalypse, Writerman pitches headlong into a haze of drugs, sex and confusion in search of what no high can bring: his own redemption. Read it and be transformed.” – Alina Simone, occasional Op/Ed columnist for the New York Times, author of Note to Self and You Must Go and Win

Michael Goldberg grew up in Mill Valley and attended Tam High where he put on dance concerts (Michael Bloomfield headlined one), created a light show troop that projected psychedelic images behind the musicians and wrote about rock ‘n’ roll for the school paper. In late 1983 he joined the staff of Rolling Stone magazine where he worked as a senior writer and the magazine’s West Coast Editor for a decade. His journalism also appeared in Esquire, Wired, Details, British Mirabella, NME, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Creem, New West, New York Rocker and many other publications. He started Addicted To Noise, the highly influential music web site, in 1994. He was a senior vice-president and editor in chief at SonicNet from March 1997 through May 2000. Goldberg writes a monthly column, The Drama You’ve Been Craving, for the Australian version of Addicted To Noise.

Start: 9:30 am
End: 2:30 pm

Please note that this class has been cancelled.  Feel free to contact the Classes Dept with any questions at 415-927-0960. 

Aug. 22 • 9:30-2:30 pm • $160 

This one day Italian immersion class is truly a wonderful opportunity for both Beginning and Intermediate level students. 

Subjects that will be covered include:

  • VERBO PIACERE (and other verbs with a smiliar construction)

Silvia Iannelli is a private Italian tutor who was born and raised in Rome. She creates a fun and welcoming environment for her students, motivating them through activities and exercises. Her personal quote is: “La traduzione della parola e’ nel cuore ~ The translation of a word is in the heart.”

Start: 6:00 pm
3 Minute Reads from San Francisco Grotto Writers 50+ Writers, 3 Minutes Each!

Join us for a fast-paced and irreverent evening, showcasing new work from the students of the San Francisco Writer's Grotto writing classes. On this Friday evening, both fiction and nonfiction writers will read their work — but only for 3 minutes each! Their instructors (Grotto authors) will enforce the time limit. Join us for wine, fun, and fresh new writing.

Start: 6:00 pm

Fri., Aug. 22 • 6:00 pm • Book Passage Café

Join Book Passage as we toast the newest line of wines carried by our café! Tuscan Sun Wines cast their signature warmth and vivacity across any table. Through this line of hand-selected Italian wines, writer, cook, and designer Frances Mayes draws on her long connection to Cortona and her friendships with noted winemakers throughout Italy. Frances brings the casual, beautiful, everyday expression of Tuscan wine to her fans and beyond; a ray of Tuscan Sun shines in each bottle!


Start: 10:00 am
End: 2:00 pm
Sat., Aug. 23 • 10:00-4:00pm • $105
It’s you, the blank page . . . and a mentor to guide you using concrete, inspiring exercises in a supportive group setting through the step-by-step writing of an entire draft of a short story (or complete chapter) in one fun-filled writing day. Leave with a powerfully written, well-structured story peopled with unforgettable characters. You’ll also get feedback about revising it for publication.
Elizabeth Stark Powers is the author of a novel, Shy Girl, and two distributed films. She blogs at

Start: 10:00 am

Christine Bronstein and illustrator Karen Young team up to bring children and parents a great new read-aloud in Stewie Boomstein Starts School.

The book begins as a fun story about Stewie Boomstein—a loud, sometimes cranky, funny boy—who has a very bad day at school and how he and his family overcome his problem. In the second half of the book, there is a parent tips section, which includes concrete tips for parents from our interviews with two renowned child and education specialists. Stewie Boomstein Starts School is aimed to help parents and children smooth the transition into school. 

Christine Bronstein is the founder of A Band of Women and their publishing house, Nothing But the Truth Publishing. Based on her experience with her own children, and her interviews with child specialists, Stewie Boomstein Starts School is about dealing with the fear of the unknown that many children feel on their first day of school and how parents can help turn this often traumatic transition into an exciting journey and familial bonding experience.

Karen Young is a Rhode Island School of Design alum and an art therapist. She moved next door to Christine in 2013, and fell in love with the story. She wishes this book had been available when her daughter Grace began pre-school, and feels confident it will help other parents with the transition. 


Start: 1:00 pm

Please note: this event has been cancelled.

Eating locally grown, organic, and crueltyfree food is a laudable goal, but it’s hard to achieve without some help. The Green Teen Cookbook provides that essential assistance. It’s more than just a cookbook: it’s an all-in-one guide for going green and eating well. Pam McElroy is an editor and caterer living in San Francisco, California.




Start: 3:00 pm
End: 6:00 pm
 Please note: this event is cancelled. View our Cooks with Books event with Mark Kurlansky here.
Sat., Aug. 23 • 3:00-6:00 pm • Cavallo Point Cooking School • $125 per person
Once a week in the Kurlansky home, Mark and his young daughter spun the globe. The country on which her finger landed set the stage for that week’s dinner. This tradition morphed into a cookbook. There are 52 specific and simple dinner meals that include appetizers, main and side dishes, and a dessert for a full 250 recipes. Readers will enjoy the stories, insights, culture and history from his travels all over the the world. Mark Kurlansky is a playwright, journalist, and author of several books. If you have children who enjoy cooking, this may be the time to bring them. Seats are limited.

Start: 4:00 pm
The Art of Tinkering ($32.50) is an unprecedented celebration of what it means to tinker: to take things apart, explore tools and materials, and build wondrous, wild art that’s part science and part technology. Join 150+ makers as they share the stories behind their beautiful and bold work—and use the special conductive ink on the cover to do some tinkering yourself!

Brought to you by the Exploratorium’s Tinkering Studio.

As codirectors of the Tinkering Studio, Karen Wilkinson and Mike Petrich see their roles at the Exploratorium as advocates for making as a way of knowing. They believe deeply in studio pedagogy and the ability that we all have to think with our hands, and are curious about how people develop personal and unique understandings of the world for themselves. As undergraduates, both attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where Mike studied fine arts, filmmaking, and photography and Karen focused on environmental design. 

Before coming to the Exploratorium, they pursued graduate studies in education and technology at Harvard and MIT. Today, after more than twenty years working as a team to integrate science, art, and technology into curriculum for both in-school and out-of-school learning environments, they foster and facilitate informal learning spaces for making and tinkering, offering people a chance to connect to their own learning in a deeply personal way. They’ve worked with audiences as diverse as museum visitors, primary school students, Tibetan monks, prison inmates, and graduate school researchers, and are both happy to call the Tinkering Studio home, where they are able to work with a delightfully quirky group of artists, educators, and innovators. 

The Exploratorium—San Francisco’s renowned museum of science, art, and human perception—is dedicated to changing the way the world learns. Within the Exploratorium, the Tinkering Studio is a workshop in which science and technology become powerful tools for personal expression, and where visitors gather to participate in hands-on, mind-expanding activities and demonstrations.

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