Left Coast Writers® Events

Left Coast Writers® Salon: David Downie - A Taste of Paris (Corte Madera)

Monday, October 2, 2017 - 7:00pm

In-conversation with Laurie McAndish King

From the critically acclaimed author of Paris, Paris and A Passion for Paris, comes a delectable culinary history of the gastronomic capital of the world.

In his trademark witty and informative style, David Downie embarks on a quest to discover “What is it about the history of Paris that has made it a food lover’s paradise?” in A Taste of Paris. Long before Marie Antoinette said, “Let them eat cake!” (actually, it was brioche), the Romans of Paris devoured foie gras, and live oysters rushed in from the Atlantic; one Medieval cookbook describes a thirty-two part meal featuring hare stew, eel soup, and honeyed wine; during the last great banquet at Versailles a year before the Revolution the gourmand Louis XVI savored thirty-two main dishes and sixteen desserts; yet, in 1812, Grimod de la Reynière, the father of French gastronomy, regaled guests with fifty-two courses, fifteen wines, three types of coffee, and seventeen liqueurs.

Following the contours of history and the geography of the city, Downie sweeps readers on an insider’s gourmet walking tour of Paris and its environs, revealing the locations of Roman butcher shops, classic Belle Epoque bistros serving diners today and Marie Antoinette’s exquisite vegetable garden that still supplies produce, no longer to the unfortunate queen, but to the legendary Alain Ducasse and his stylish restaurant inside the palace of Versailles. Along the way, readers learn why the rich culinary heritage of France still makes Paris the ultimate arbiter in the world of food.

David Downie, a native San Franciscan, lived in New York, Providence, Rome and Milan before moving to Paris in the mid-80s. He divides his time between France and Italy. His travel, food and arts features have appeared in print publications worldwide including Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Saveur, Epicurious.com, and Gault&Millau, the premier French food guide. He is the author of the several books, including the highly acclaimed Paris, Paris and A Passion for Paris.

A Taste of Paris: A History of the Parisian Love Affair with Food Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250082930
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: St. Martin's Press - September 26th, 2017

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Left Coast Writers®: Maxine Schur - Places in Times (San Francisco)

Monday, October 9, 2017 - 6:00pm

For years readers have delighted in Maxine Rose Schur's award-winning travel essays. Now, all the tales of her unusual honeymoon are gathered in one illustrated volume, Places in Time. Whether camping in the center of Paris, dangling off a Panamanian tramp steamer, or hitching across Australia, her tales are funny, exciting and tender. Maxine Rose Schur set out to see the world. With high spirits and little money, the author traveled not only far geographically, but emotionally, toward the hearts of others. She faced the violent grief of a Mexican sheriff, celebrated a wild elopement in Turkey and was initiated into a mysterious daily ritual with an Iranian forest ranger. Looking back, she tempers her youthful encounters with mid-life wisdom, capturing the spirit of all those she met, and evoking cherished places in time. If you're looking for travel writing that blends gentle insight with delicious surprise, fasten the seatbelt on your armchair and come along.

Maxine Rose Schur is an award-winning travel journalist and the author of several books for both children and adults. As the recipient of the Joan G. Sugarman Award given by the Washington Independent Writer’s Legal and Educational Fund, Ms Schur was the 1997 Baker-Nord Guest Lecturer on Writing in the Humanities at Case Western Reserve University. In 2004, she was named the Dan Stone Memorial Children’s Book Author. Her evocative rendering of daily life in an Ethiopian village Day of Delight won the 1994 Parent's Choice Award and was read by Gregory Hines on National Public Radio and recorded on CD. 

Places in Time: Reflections on a Journey Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781592661039
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Capra Press - December 10th, 2013

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Left Coast Writers®: Barbara Ridley - When It's Over (Corte Madera)

Saturday, October 14, 2017 - 7:00pm

World War II envelops Europe and Lena Kulkova flees Czechoslovakia to join her lover, Otto, in England, leaving her Jewish family behind in Prague. But Lena soon finds herself navigating anti-refugee sentiment, wartime deprivations, a new romance with a wealthy Englishman, and the progressive politics that will eventually oust Churchill. Based on family history and a trove of personal letters, When It’s Over is a moving, resonant, and timely debut. 

Coming of age in Prague in the 1930s, Lena Kulkova is inspired by the left-wing activists who resist the rise of fascism. She meets Otto, a refugee from Hitler’s Germany, and follows him to Paris to work for the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War. As the war in Spain ends and a far greater war engulfs the continent, Lena gets stuck in Paris with no news from her Jewish family, including her beloved baby sister, left behind in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia. Otto, meanwhile, has fled to a village in England, and urges Lena to join him, but she can’t obtain a visa.

When Lena and Otto are finally reunited, the safe haven Lena has hoped for doesn’t last long. Their relationship becomes strained, and Lena is torn between her loyalty to Otto and her growing attraction to Milton, the son of the eccentric Lady of the Manor. As the war continues, she yearns to be reunited with her sister, while Milton is preoccupied with the political turmoil that leads to the landslide defeat of Churchill in the 1945 election.

Based on a true story, When It’s Over is a moving, resonant, and timely read about the lives of war refugees, dramatic political changes, and the importance of family, love, and hope.

Barbara Ridley was raised in England but has lived in California for more than thirty years. After a successful career as a nurse practitioner, which included publication in numerous professional journals, she is now focused on creative writing. Her work has appeared in literary journals, such as The Writers Workshop Review, Still Crazy, Ars Medica, The Copperfield Review, and BLYNKT. This is her first novel. Ridley lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her partner and her dog, and has one adult daughter, of whom she is immensely proud.

When It's Over Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781631522963
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: She Writes Press - September 26th, 2017

Coming of age in Prague in the 1930s, Lena Kulkova is inspired by the left-wing activists who resist the rise of fascism. She meets Otto, a refugee from Hitler's Germany, and follows him to Paris to work for the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War.


51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Left Coast Writers®: Audrey Fielding - Salento by 5 (San Francisco)

Monday, November 13, 2017 - 6:00pm

Salento by 5: Friendship, Food, Music and Travel Within the Heel of Italy's Boot is a collection of richly woven stories, travel tips, drawings and recipes written about the Southern Italian area of Salento by five authors: three local Italians from Salento and two travelers from California. A friendship that begins in the Rome airport, migrates to Salento at the southern tip of Puglia (the heel of Italy’s boot), blossoms over food and wine (of course), and culminates in a narrative filled with nostalgic and personal recollections of Salento’s history, culture, and its unique people. The five authors are The Traveler; The Raconteur; The Sketcher; The Music Maker; and The Cook.

Audrey Fielding is The Traveler. She captures the enchantment of the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, the whisper of wind in the olive groves and the tastes of earthy greens, ear-shaped pasta, and bowls of steaming mussels. As editor/writer Audrey was introduced to Italy on a teaching sabbatical in 1992. Serendipitous events brought her to Salento in 2003 and ever since, she has returned yearly to an apartment facing the sea.

Salento by 5: Friendship, Food, Music, and Travel Within the Heel of Italy's Boot Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9780986439087
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gemelli Press LLC - August 15th, 2016

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111