Virtual Events

Yasmin Zaher - The Coin: A Novel (Online)

Wednesday, July 17, 2024 - 1:00pm

Yasmin Zaher

The Coin
A Novel


Online/Virtual
Wed., July 17, 2024 • 1:00pm PT

This event is free and will be hosted live online. Please contact events@bookpassage.com with questions regarding events.
 

A bold and unabashed novel about a young Palestinian woman's unraveling as she teaches at a New York City middle school, gets caught up in a scheme reselling Birkin bags, and strives to gain control over her body and mind

The Coin’s narrator is a wealthy Palestinian woman with impeccable style and meticulous hygiene. And yet the ideal self, the ideal life, remains just out of reach: her inheritance is inaccessible, her homeland exists only in her memory, and her attempt to thrive in America seems doomed from the start.

In New York, she strives to put down roots. She teaches at a school for underprivileged boys, where her eccentric methods cross boundaries. She befriends a homeless swindler, and the two participate in an intercontinental scheme reselling Birkin bags.

But America is stifling her—her willfulness, her sexuality, her principles. In an attempt to regain control, she becomes preoccupied with purity, cleanliness, and self-image, all while drawing her students into her obsessions. In an unforgettable denouement, her childhood memories converge with her material and existential statelessness, and the narrator unravels spectacularly.

In enthralling, sensory prose, 
The Coin explores nature and civilization, beauty and justice, class and belonging—all while resisting easy moralizing. Provocative, wry, and inviting, The Coin marks the arrival of a major new literary voice.

 


Yasmin Zaher is a Palestinian journalist and writer born in 1991 in Jerusalem. The Coin is her first novel.

 


Named a Most Anticipated Book by The Seattle TimesVultureMarie Claire, Ms.BookshopLiterary Hub, and Electric Literature

"In her debut novel, Zaher draws a Venn diagram of the glamorously neurotic and the politically oppressed, then sets her protagonist spinning in that maddening little overlap." —Madeline Leung Coleman, Vulture

"A very stylish novel that manages to broach class and statelessness with tact and humor, while also touching on beauty, sex, love and the nature of civilization itself, all from a Palestinian debut novelist." —Literary Hub

 

 

 

Yasmin Zaher photo courtesy of the publicist.

Online

Italian for Travel with Valentina Medda

Thursday, July 11, 2024 - 12:30pm


Italian for Travel

Valentina Medda

Three Thursdays

 July 11, 18, & 25, 2024

  10:30am – 12:30pm

Corte Madera - $175

 

Our three-session traveler's class is perfect for those planning a trip to Italy. You will learn essential language skills and cultural insights to make your trip smoother. You’ll be able to order your spritz before dinner, ask for directions, reserve a taxi or a table at a restaurant, check-in at the hotel or Airbnb, purchase tickets to a museum, or indulge in some serious shopping in Milan...and much more! Don't miss out on this opportunity to make your Italian adventure more immersive and unforgettable.
 

Valentina Medda was born and raised in the beautiful island of Sardinia. She holds an honors degree in Japanese studies from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and also earned a master’s degree in Italian Language and Literature Teaching Methodology from the International University of Siena. Valentina is a certified CELI examiner and holds preparation courses for Italian citizenship applicants. 

Valentina is very passionate about her job and truly loves being part of her students’ progress. She lives in Marin with her husband, son, and their beloved Milo rescue senior dog, Roscoe. 

 

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Italian Conversation, Advanced Beginner with Valentina Medda

Friday, June 7, 2024 - 10:30am


Italian Conversation: Advanced Beginner

Valentina Medda

Five Fridays
June 7, 14, 28 and July 12, 26, 2024

  10:30am – 12:00pm

Corte Madera - $220

 

Join Valentina for a fun and communicative approach to Italian. This conversation class is for students who have completed Beginner 4 and up at Book Passage, or Italian learners with an advanced beginner proficiency. Students will find this 5-week Italian course a great opportunity for vocabulary enrichment and reinforcement of previously acquired knowledge. During our 5 weeks together, students will put their Italian language skills into practice, through conversation, listening, and a variety of hands-on learning activities, including role-playing scenarios, group discussions, and fun games.

Please note: Students must have familiarity with the passato prossimo (the simple past tense) to enroll in this class!

Please contact us at classes@bookpassage.com if you have questions about which level class is best for you.
 

Valentina Medda was born and raised in the beautiful island of Sardinia. She holds an honors degree in Japanese studies from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and also earned a master’s degree in Italian Language and Literature Teaching Methodology from the International University of Siena. Valentina is a certified CELI examiner and holds preparation courses for Italian citizenship applicants. 

Valentina is very passionate about her job and truly loves being part of her students’ progress. She lives in Marin with her husband, son, and their beloved Milo rescue senior dog, Roscoe. 

 

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Italian Conversation, Lower Beginner with Valentina Medda

Thursday, June 6, 2024 - 10:30am


Italian Conversation: Lower Beginner

Valentina Medda

Six Thursdays
June 6, 13, 27 and July 11, 18, 25, 2024

  10:30am – 12:00pm

Corte Madera - $265

 

Join Valentina for a fun and communicative introduction to the Italian language. This 6-week Italian course caters to students at a lower beginner proficiency level seeking additional practice opportunities. Students will focus on conversation, listening, and various hands-on learning activities. These include engaging in role-playing scenarios, participating in group discussions, and enjoying interactive games.

Please contact us at classes@bookpassage.com if you have questions about which level class is best for you.
 

Valentina Medda was born and raised in the beautiful island of Sardinia. She holds an honors degree in Japanese studies from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and also earned a master’s degree in Italian Language and Literature Teaching Methodology from the International University of Siena. Valentina is a certified CELI examiner and holds preparation courses for Italian citizenship applicants. 

Valentina is very passionate about her job and truly loves being part of her students’ progress. She lives in Marin with her husband, son, and their beloved Milo rescue senior dog, Roscoe. 

 

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Phil Cousineau - Writing Down the Country: On the Road Research

Thursday, August 8, 2024 - 10:00am to 12:00pm


A Special Travel Writers and Photographers Conference 2024 Pre-Conference Class

Writing Down the Country:
On the Road Research

Thursday, August 8th, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm PT

Corte Madera in-person class

 

 

 

Join author and storyteller, Phil Cousineau, in the venerable art of what correspondents used to call "writing down the country," which combines avid on-site research with scintillating prose. Cousineau will explore ways of traveling to thoroughly gather the background for your travel stories, novels, and scripts. Featuring slides from his own travels, writing prompts and exercises, this class will demonstrate the joy and exhilaration of travel writing that aims to capture the spirit of the places you are visiting. 
 
Phil Cousineau is an award-winning writer and filmmaker, teacher and editor, lecturer and travel leader, storyteller, TV and radio host. His life-long fascination with the art, literature, and history of culture has taken him on many journeys around the world. He lectures frequently on a wide range of topics--from mythology, film, and writing, to beauty, travel, sports, and creativity. He has more than 30 nonfiction books and 15 scriptwriting credits to his name.

 

Read more about the 2024 Travel Writers and Photographers Conference here.

 

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

Crafting Compelling Characters & Dialogue with Anoop Judge

Thursday, June 20, 2024 - 5:00pm

Crafting Compelling Characters & Dialogue

Two Thursdays, June 20 and 27
5:00PM -7:00PM

$125

Online via Zoom
Classes will be recorded and video replay will be available for a limited time. 

 
* Note that for all classes held on Zoom, registration closes at noon the day before the class begins.  Same-day registrations are not available, so please plan ahead.

 

In this two-day workshop, students will explore how to craft compelling characters and dialogue for any genre (fiction, essays, nonfiction, or memoir).

Meeting 1, Character: Characters are the heartbeat of any story. Through them, we can explore and make sense of the world. During our first meeting, we will explore the tools you need to develop a variety of compelling characters with their own storylines and adventures. Learn to create a protagonist you can’t wait to meet.

Meeting 2, Dialogue: How can you best give voice to your characters? Dialogue serves many essential functions. In this meeting, we’ll examine the range of ways that great writers incorporate dialogue into their prose. You’ll also learn how to avoid dialogue pitfalls like wordiness, clunkiness, ambivalence, and wishy-washiness. 


Anoop Judge, born and raised in New Delhi, is the author of four novels, The Rummy Club which won the 2015 Beverly Hills Book Award, The Awakening of Meena Rawat, an excerpt of which was nominated for the 2019 Pushcart Prize, No Ordinary Thursday, and Mercy and Grace. Her essays and short stories have appeared in Green Hills Literary Lantern, Rigorous Journal, Lit Hub, Lumiere Review, DoubleBack Review, and the Ornament anthology, among others. Anoop calls herself a “recovering litigator” —she worked in state and federal courts for many years before she replaced legal briefs with fictional tales. She holds an MFA from St. Mary’s College of California and was the recipient of the 2021 Advisory Board Award and the 2023 Alumni Scholarship. Anoop has worked as an Instructor at Stanford University and through The Writer's Grotto in San Francisco, teaching classes on Novel Writing, and How to Plot a Novel.

Zoom
CA

Ernesto Londoño with Avram Kosasky - Trippy: The Peril and Promise of Medicinal Psychedelics (Online)

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 - 4:00pm

Ernesto Londoño
In conversation with Avram Kosasky

Trippy
The Peril and Promise of Medicinal Psychedelics


Online/Virtual
Tues., May 21st, 2024 • 4:00pm PT

This event will be hosted live online. Please contact events@bookpassage.com with questions regarding events.
 

 


A riveting look at the tremendous promise and inherent risks of the use of psychedelics in mental health treatment through the lens of a New York Times reporter whose journalistic exploration of this emerging field began with a personal crisis.

When he signed up for a psychedelic retreat run by a mysterious Argentine woman deep in Brazil’s rainforest in early 2018, Ernesto Londoño, a veteran New York Times journalist, was so depressed he had come close to jumping off his terrace weeks earlier. His nine-day visit to Spirit Vine Ayahuasca Retreat Center included four nighttime ceremonies during which participants imbibed a vomit-inducing plant-based brew that contained DMT, a powerful mind-altering compound.

The ayahuasca trips provided Londoño an instant reprieve from his depression and became the genesis of a personal transformation that anchors this sweeping journalistic exploration of the booming field of medicinal psychedelics. Londoño introduces readers to a dazzling array of psychedelic enthusiasts who are upending our understanding of trauma and healing. They include Indigenous elders who regard psychedelics as portals to the spirit world; religious leaders who use mind-bending substances as sacraments; war veterans suffering from PTSD who credit psychedelics with changing their lives; and clinicians trying to resurrect a promising field of medicine hastily abandoned in the 1970s as the United States declared a War on Drugs.

Londoño’s riveting personal narrative pulls the reader through a deeply researched and brilliantly reported account of a game-changing industry on the rise. 
Trippy is the definitive book on psychedelics and mental health today, and Londoño’s in-depth and nuanced look at this shifting landscape will be pivotal in guiding policymakers and readers as they make sense of the perils, limitations, and promises of turning to psychedelics in the pursuit of healing.

 


Ernesto Londoño is a national correspondent at The New York Times, where he has worked since 2014. He was born and raised in Colombia and has spent two decades covering some of the most important stories of his generation. He covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; the Arab Spring; served on the editorial board of The New York Times; and was the newspaper's bureau chief in Brazil.

 

Avram Kosasky is a writer, artist, and sometime chef living in Brooklyn, NY. A regularly contributor to Book Passage's online content, you can watch his interview with George Saunders here. When he isn't devouring fiction new and old, you'll probably find him in the kitchen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


“A moving, tender and thoughtful exploration of a complicated subject. If you want to understand psychedelics better, this is a great place to start”
—Johann Hari, New York Times bestselling author of Stolen Focus and Lost Connections

"A compulsively readable romp through a burgeoning scene that has immense potential for both harm and healing."
—Dan Harris, New York Times bestselling author of 10% Happier and host of the Ten Percent Happier podcast

"In Ernesto Londoño's courageous and revelatory book, a whole new continent sails into view: of the hidden corners of our minds, and of the mysterious substances that light them up. This journey inside the brain and around the world taught me more than any book I've read in a long time. It's an important book, one that will save people's lives."
—Benjamin Moser, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Sontag: Her Life and Work

 

 

Ernesto Londoño photo credit Jenn Ackerman; Avram Kosasky photo courtesy of the author.

Online

Joseph M. Thompson with Roy Ruth - Cold War Country (Online)

Thursday, May 16, 2024 - 1:00pm

Joseph M. Thompson
In conversation with Roy Ruth

Cold War Country
How Nashville's Music Row and the Pentagon Created the Sound of American Patriotism


Online/Virtual • Free Event
Thurs., May 16, 2024 • 1:00pm PT

This event will be hosted live online. Please contact events@bookpassage.com with questions regarding events.
 

Country music maintains a special, decades-long relationship to American military life, but these ties didn't just happen. This readable history reveals how country music's Nashville-based business leaders on Music Row created partnerships with the Pentagon to sell their audiences on military service while selling the music to servicemembers. Beginning in the 1950s, the military flooded armed forces airwaves with the music, hosted tour dates at bases around the world, and drew on artists from Johnny Cash to Lee Greenwood to support recruitment programs. Over the last half of the twentieth century, the close connections between the Defense Department and Music Row gave an economic boost to the white-dominated sounds of country while marginalizing Black artists and fueling divisions over the meaning of patriotism.

This story is filled with familiar stars like Roy Acuff, Elvis Presley, and George Strait, as well as lesser-known figures: industry executives who worked the halls of Congress, country artists who dissented from the stereotypically patriotic trappings of the genre, and more. Joseph M. Thompson argues convincingly that the relationship between Music Row and the Pentagon helped shape not only the evolution of popular music but also race relations, partisanship, and images of the United States abroad.

 

Joseph M. Thompson -- I am an assistant professor at Mississippi State University. My first book project, “Cold War Country: Music Row, the Pentagon, and the Sound of American Patriotism,” traces the economic and symbolic connections between popular music and the U.S. military during the Cold War. This project places particular focus on the country music industry’s role in military recruitment since World War II to show how the relationship between genre and militarism helped create the sonic and political color lines of the late twentieth century. My work has received funding from several institutions, including the Rose Library at Emory University, the Southern Historical Collection at UNC-Chapel Hill, Virginia Humanities, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, and the American Council of Learned Societies.

 


 

Roy Ruth -- I was born into a legendary farming family on the decline in Fresno, California. I had a good childhood, hated school, went to work on the ranch, left in my thirties during a divorce, spent years on junkyard motorcycles — started writing later in Austin, Texas cuz it was cheaper than farming. I’ve operated on the street most of the time. I currently live in an Airstream on the edge of downtown Ventura. royruth.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Joseph M. Thompson photo courtesy of the author. Roy Ruth photo courtesy of the author.

Online

Anne Berest with Julie Orringer - The Postcard (Online)

Tuesday, May 14, 2024 - 3:00pm

Anne Berest
In conversation with Julie Orringer

The Postcard


Online/Virtual
NEW START TIME: Tues., May 14, 2024 • 3:00pm PT

This event will be hosted live online. Please contact events@bookpassage.com with questions regarding events.
 

We are thrilled to welcome you to our live FREE virtual event with Winner of the Choix Goncourt Prize, Anne Berest, in celebration of her newest work, The Postcard! You will hear from Anne all about the new book, get an inside look into her writing process, and even have the chance to ask questions and have them answered live! Learn a bit more about the highly anticipated book below and request your virtual viewing link today! 

 


A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR 
TIME MagazineNPRLibrary JournalThe Globe and MailLilithForward MagazineToronto StarThe New Yorker

Winner of the Choix Goncourt Prize, Anne Berest’s The Postcard is a vivid portrait of twentieth-century Parisian intellectual and artistic life, an enthralling investigation into family secrets, and poignant tale of a Jewish family devastated by the Holocaust and partly restored through the power of storytelling.

January, 2003. Together with the usual holiday cards, an anonymous postcard is delivered to the Berest family home. On the front, a photo of the Opéra Garnier in Paris. On the back, the names of Anne Berest’s maternal great-grandparents, Ephraïm and Emma, and their children, Noémie and Jacques—all killed at Auschwitz.

Fifteen years after the postcard is delivered, Anne, the heroine of this novel, is moved to discover who sent it and why. Aided by her chain-smoking mother, family members, friends, associates, a private detective, a graphologist, and many others, she embarks on a journey to discover the fate of the Rabinovitch family: their flight from Russia following the revolution, their journey to Latvia, Palestine, and Paris. What emerges is a moving saga that shatters long-held certainties about Anne’s family, her country, and herself.

 


Anne Berest's first novel to appear in English, The Postcard (Europa, 2023), was a national indie bestseller, a Library Journal, NPR, and TIME Best Book of the Year, a Vogue Most Anticipated Book of the Year, and a finalist for the Goncourt Prize in France. It was described as "stunning" by Leslie Camhi in The New Yorker, as a "powerful literary work" by Julie Orringer in The New York Times Book Review, and as "intimate, profound, essential" in the pages of ELLE magazine. With her sister, Claire Berest, she is also the author of Gabriële (Europa, 2025), a critically acclaimed, best-selling "true novel" based on the life of her great-grandmother, Gabriële Buffet-Picabia, wife of Francis Picabia, Marcel Duchamp's lover and muse, a leader of the French Resistance, and an art critic of considerable note. Berest lives in Paris with her family.  

 

Tina Kover's (not appearing) translations for Europa Editions include Antoine Compagnon's A Summer with Montaigne and Négar Djavadi's Disoriental, winner of the Albertine Prize and the Lambda Literary Award, and a finalist for both the 2020 National Book Award for Translated Literature and the PEN Translation Prize.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JULIE ORRINGER is the New York Times best-selling author of two award-winning books: The Invisible Bridge, a novel, and How to Breathe Underwater, a collection of stories. Her latest book is The Flight Portfolio. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Cullman Center at the New York Public Library, the MacDowell Colony, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and children.

 

 

 

 

 


Named a Most Anticipated Book by the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Bustle, Book Riot, Vogue
Named a May ABA Indie Next Pick
Finalist for Fiction and Book Club for the National Jewish Book Award

Winner of the Choix Goncourt Prize, the Prix Renaudot des lycéens, and the ELLE Readers Prize

“Powerful, meticulously imagined... The Postcard (translated into a lucid and precise English by Tina Kover) takes its readers on a deep dive into one Jewish family’s history, and, inextricably, into the devastating history of the Holocaust in France... [A] powerful literary work... that contains a single grand-scale act of self-discovery and many moments of historical illumination.”—Julie Orringer, The New York Times Book Review 

The Postcard is also a historical detective story about how to uncover those truths—and what remains forever lost in the fragments of documentation that leave a scattered trail.”—Lucas Wittmann, TIME Magazine

 

 

Anne Berest photo credit DR; Tina Kover photo courtesy of the publicist. Julie Orringer photo credit Brigitte Lacombe.

Online

Hidden Gems of Art in Italy with Kerrin Meis

Friday, June 28, 2024 - 1:00pm


Hidden Gems of Art in Italy

Two Fridays -  June 28 & July 12, 2024
1:00PM-3:00PM PT

Corte Madera Store
$120 for both, $65 for one session

 


Join Kerrin Meis for this special, two-part presentation on the many excursions she made with her brother-in-law from his home in San Giusto. We will discover many masterpieces- some in tiny villages, others in better-known cities and churches. From Benedetto Antelami's tiny stone plaque in the Cathedral in Parma where we had gone to admire the famous ceiling fresco, to Piero della Francesca's Madonna del Parto in a tiny chapel in the village of Monterchi, to Caravaggio's Madonna and the Pilgrims tucked away in the mostly ignored Church of San Agostino in Rome.

Every trip was an adventure of discovery: A little known church at the edge of town in San Gimignano, a private museum in Milano, the most important but little visited attraction in Verona, Vicenza's fascinating field trip, papal Pienza, and a tiny chapel in Assisi. Perugia has some stunning art work including a palace museum and an underground city. Modena, famous as the home of Ferraris and Luciano Pavarotti has a Duomo with an absolutely captivating Romanesque facade. In Orvieto, the cathedral is home not only to Signorelli's Last Judgment but some intriguing portraits.

These and many more surprises await us beginning with the city of Udine, a place that is a work of art in itself, then on to Castiglione Olona where Masolino, famous for his work in Rome painted murals for the Collegiata and elsewhere.



Kerrin Meis taught art history at SFSU for ten years and has led study tours in Europe. Her Book Passage classes have been favorites for years.

Book Passage Corte Madera
51 Tamal Vista blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

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