Virtual Events

T.J. Newman - Falling (Online Event)

Monday, July 19, 2021 - 5:30pm

Book Passage Presents

Mon., July 19, 2021 • 5:30pm PT • Live • Online

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You just boarded a flight to New York.

There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard.

What you don’t know is that thirty minutes before the flight your pilot’s family was kidnapped.

For his family to live, everyone on your plane must die.

The only way the family will survive is if the pilot follows his orders and crashes the plane.

Enjoy the flight.

T. J. Newman, a former bookseller turned flight attendant, worked for Virgin America and Alaska Airlines from 2011 to 2021. She wrote much of Falling on cross-country red-eye flights while her passengers were asleep. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Falling is her first novel.

 

T.J. Newman photo by Melissa Young

 

Madhav Misra with Fred Ritzenberg - Labyrinth of the Wind (Online Event)

Wednesday, July 14, 2021 - 5:30pm

Book Passage Presents

Wed., July 14, 2021 • 5:30pm PT • Live • Online

In conversation with Fred Ritzenberg

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As the chief financial officer of Iran Power, Indian expat Ayan Pathak enjoys the finer things in life: high-end clubs, skiing in the sacred and dramatic Alborz mountains, and languid weekends on the Caspian Sea with his beautiful girlfriend Gaby. She is an airline pilot who covertly sympathizes with radical leftists in her native Germany. The year is 1977 and the Iranian Revolution is about to overthrow the Shah’s pro-Western monarchy in favor of an Islamic theocracy led by Ayatollah Khomeini.

One evening, Ayan is approached by the CEO of his company who pressures him to help smuggle uranium for a secret Iranian nuclear weapons program.

From there, Ayan faces difficult decisions. Should he cooperate with his boss in exchange for riches beyond his imagination? Or should he refuse and risk everything, including his life? Despite his better intentions, Ayan is sucked into the quicksand of love, lies, political intrigue, and deadly consequences. Can he be saved before it’s too late?

As Ayan is struggling with his dilemma, the country is roiling under the pressure of impending change. Hamid, Ayan’s driver and friend, is a fervent supporter of the Ayatollah Khomeini, who would remake Iran in his own image. Gaby, against the politics of privilege, pressures Ayan to also challenge the status quo.

And always lurking is Colonel Heydar Hosseini, the poetry-loving SAVAK secret police officer assigned to monitor the goings on at Iran Power.

Labyrinth of the Wind is a suspenseful work of historical fiction, set in Tehran, Delhi, and several European hotspots. The novel focuses on choices and consequences during a time of political upheaval. The story follows the timeline of historical events that occurred from 1977 to 1978, when the author lived and worked in Iran as a senior executive for a multinational energy company.

Declassified documents confirm the Iranian government’s efforts at this time to procure uranium, and the United States’ concerns about the Shah’s interest in acquiring nuclear weapons.

The author evacuated from Tehran on Christmas Day 1978, shortly before the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty.

Madhav Misra grew up in India and graduated from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi, and Columbia University, New York. He has lived and worked in London, Tehran, New York City, and San Francisco. He and his wife now divide their time between Marin, Maui, and the Himalayan foothills. Labyrinth of the Wind is his first novel.

Fred Ritzenberg is an award winning screenwriter and producer of films, including Zaytoun, runner-up for the People's Choice Award at TIFF. He's written screenplays for many top tier Hollywood producers. He currently teaches screenwriting and is Dean of the San Francisco Film School.

 

Douglas Chadwick - Four-Fifths a Grizzly (Online Event)

Tuesday, July 13, 2021 - 5:30pm

Book Passage Presents

Tues., July 13, 2021 • 5:30pm PT • Live • Online

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This event will be broadcast live and does not require registration to attend. To view, click the "Watch Here" button at the time of the event, or subscribe to our e-newsletter to receive a ten-minute reminder.

 

In what has been called wildlife biologist Douglas Chadwick's “career-capping" book, Four-Fifths a Grizzly: A New Perspective on Nature that Just Might Save Us All presents an engaging series of personal essays that illustrate the amazing interconnectedness of nature, advocating that the path toward conservation begins with how we see our place in the world.

Gathered from decades of observing and reporting, Four-Fifths a Grizzly offers a fresh view of human’s place in the natural world and challenges anyone to consider whether they are separate from or part of nature. Starting with reflections from Chadwick’s childhood, readers are introduced to a 10-year-old boy who receives a microscope handed down from his father. Fascinated by nearly invisible lifeforms he views through the lens, Chadwick is propelled on a lifelong curiosity of nature and pursuit of adventure and discovery. Today he is known for his research and coverage of Earth’s larger lifeforms: mountain goats, whales, wolverines, and grizzly bears, and the conservation issues that surround them.

Approaches nature from a scientific angle, Chadwick shows how human DNA is not all that different from any other creature, including the surprisingly close relationship between our DNA and that of grizzly bears (we share between 80 and 90 percent of our genes in common.) We are also 60 percent similar to salmon, 40 percent the same as many insects, and 24 percent of our genes match those of a wine grape. This new perspective also means understanding that we are not that far removed from our ancestors who lived closer to nature.

Douglas H. Chadwick is a wildlife biologist who carried out research on mountain goat ecology and social behavior atop the Rockies for years and has assisted other scientists studying harlequin ducks, wolverines, grizzly bears, and whales. He is also a natural history journalist who has produced 14 popular books and hundreds of magazine stories. Many of his articles have been for the National Geographic Society on subjects from snow leopards high in the Himalayas to lowland rainforests and the underwater kingdoms of coral. A founding Board member of the Vital Ground Foundation, a conservation land trust, Chadwick serves as well on the Board of the Liz Claiborne Art Ortenberg Foundation, which supports wildlife research and community-based conservation programs throughout the world.

 

Douglas Chadwick photo by Joe Riis

 

Megha Majumdar - A Burning (Online Event)

Tuesday, July 13, 2021 - 1:00pm

Book Passage Presents

Tues., July 13, 2021 • 1:00pm PT • Live • Online

Signed bookplates available!

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Jivan is a Muslim girl from the slums, determined to move up in life, who is accused of executing a terrorist attack on a train because of a careless comment on Facebook. PT Sir is an opportunistic gym teacher who hitches his aspirations to a right-wing political party and finds that his own ascent becomes linked to Jivan's fall. Lovely—an irresistible outcast whose exuberant voice and dreams of glory fill the novel with warmth and hope and humor—has the alibi that can set Jivan free, but it will cost her everything she holds dear.

Taut, symphonic, propulsive, and riveting from its opening lines, A Burning is an electrifying debut novel about three unforgettable characters who seek to rise—to the middle class, to political power, to fame in the movies—and find their lives entangled in the wake of a catastrophe in contemporary India.

Megha Majumdar was born and raised in Kolkata, India. She moved to the United States to attend college at Harvard University, followed by graduate school in social anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. She works as an editor at Catapult and lives in New York City. A Burning is her first book.

 

Megha Majumdar photo by Elena Seibert

 

Kelly Williams Brown - Easy Crafts for the Insane (Online Event)

Thursday, July 8, 2021 - 1:00pm

Book Passage Presents

Thurs., July 8, 2021 • 1:00pm PT • Live • Online

Signed bookplates available!

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This event will be broadcast live and does not require registration to attend. To view, click the "Watch Here" button at the time of the event, or subscribe to our e-newsletter to receive a ten-minute reminder.

 

From the New York Times bestselling author of Adulting comes a story about how to make something when you’re capable of nothing.

Kelly Williams Brown had 700 Bad Days. Her marriage collapsed, she broke three limbs in separate and unrelated incidents, her father was diagnosed with cancer, and she fell into a deep depression that ended in what could delicately be referred to as a “rest cure” at an inpatient facility. Before that, she had several very good years: she wrote a bestselling book, spoke at NASA, had a beautiful wedding, and inspired hundreds of thousands of readers to live as grown-ups in an often-screwed-up world, though these accomplishments mostly just made her feel fraudulent.

One of the few things that kept her moving forward was, improbably, crafting. Not Martha Stewart–perfect crafting, either—what could be called “simple,” “accessible” or, perhaps, “rustic” creations were the joy and accomplishments she found in her worst days. To craft is to set things right in the littlest of ways; no matter how disconnected you feel, you can still fold a tiny paper star, and that’s not nothing.

In Easy Crafts for the Insane, crafting tutorials serve as the backdrop of a life dissolved, then glued back together. Surprising, humane, and utterly unforgettable, this is a poignant and hysterical look at the unexpected, messy coping mechanisms we use to find ourselves again.

Kelly Williams Brown is the New York Times bestselling author of Adulting and Gracious. A former reporter, ad copywriter, and Bourbon Street bartender, she lives with her giant, neurotic dog in Salem, Oregon.

 

David Downie with Don George - Red Riviera (Online Event)

Monday, July 5, 2021 - 12:00pm

Book Passage Presents

Mon., July 5, 2021 • 12:00pm PT • Live • Online

In conversation with Don George

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Its jaws open wide, a firefighting seaplane skims the glittering Gulf of Portofino on Italy’s jagged Ligurian coast, scooping up a lone swimmer named Joe Gary. The super-rich, retired Italian-American has mob connections and a dirty political past. Has he been snatched by accident or murdered? Red Riviera, Commissioner Daria Vinci’s first investigation, is a wild ride from the tangled trails of the Cinque Terre to glamorous Portofino to roistering Genoa. It’s a Riviera made red by riotous bougainvillea and spilled blood. Half-American, Daria Vinci is an outsider, the unlikely rising star of Genoa’s secretive Special Operations Directorate DIGOS. In Red Riviera, she must face down a Fascist police chief, the CIA’s local mastermind, a former World War Two Spitfire fighter pilot, and a plucky hundred-year-old marquise whose memory is as long as it is vengeful, in order to solve her case.

David Downie is the award-winning author of three previous crime-mystery novels and over a dozen acclaimed nonfiction books translated into a variety of foreign languages, including French, Italian, Chinese, and Korean. His articles and essays have appeared in anthologies, magazines, and newspapers worldwide. Downie was born in San Francisco and graduated from UC Berkeley and Brown University. He is married to photographer Alison Harris. Since 1986 he has divided his time between Italy, France, and California. Find more at davidddownie.com.

Don George is the author of The Way of Wanderlust: The Best Travel Writing of Don George and of Lonely Planet's Guide to Travel Writing and the editor of ten anthologies, including A Moveable Feast, The Kindness of Strangers, Better Than Fiction, and An Innocent Abroad. George is Editor at Large for National Geographic Traveler, where he writes feature articles and the monthly Trip Lit column. He is also Editor of BBC Travel's literary travel column, Chance Encounters.

 

David Downie photo by Alison Harris; Don George photo courtesy of author

 

Jonathan Evison - Legends of the North Cascades (Online Event)

Thursday, July 1, 2021 - 5:30pm

Book Passage Presents

Thurs., July 1, 2021 • 5:30pm PT • Live • Online

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This event will be broadcast live and does not require registration to attend. To view, please click the "Watch Here" button at the time of the event, or subscribe to our e-newsletter to receive a ten-minute reminder.

 

Dave Cartwright used to be good at a lot of things: good with his hands, good at solving problems, good at staying calm in a crisis. But on the heels of his third tour in Iraq, the fabric of Dave’s life has begun to unravel. Gripped by PTSD, he finds himself losing his home, his wife, his direction. Most days, his love for his seven-year-old daughter, Bella, is the only thing keeping him going. When tragedy strikes, Dave makes a dramatic decision: the two of them will flee their damaged lives, heading off the grid to live in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest.

As they carve out a home in a cave in that harsh, breathtaking landscape, echoes of its past begin to reach them. Bella retreats into herself, absorbed by visions of a mother and son who lived in the cave thousands of years earlier, at the end of the last ice age. Back in town, Dave and Bella themselves are rapidly becoming the stuff of legend—to all but those who would force them to return home.

As winter sweeps toward the North Cascades, past and present intertwine into a timeless odyssey. Poignant and profound, Legends of the North Cascades brings Jonathan Evison’s trademark vibrant, honest voice to bear on an expansive story that is at once a meditation on the perils of isolation and an exploration of the ways that connection can save us.

Jonathan Evison is the author of the novels All About Lulu, West of Here, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!, Lawn Boy, and Legends of the North Cascades. He lives with his wife and family in Washington State.

 

Jonathan Evison photo by Keith Brofsky

 

Chris Offutt with Jonathan Lethem - The Killing Hills (Online Event)

Tuesday, June 29, 2021 - 1:00pm

Book Passage Presents

Tues., June 29, 2021 • 1:00pm PT • Live • Online

In conversation with Jonathan Lethem • Signed bookplates available!

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This event will be broadcast live and does not require registration to attend. To view, please click the "Watch Here" button at the time of the event, or subscribe to our e-newsletter to receive a ten-minute reminder.

 

From Chris Offutt—literary master across genres and award-winning author—comes The Killing Hills, a compelling, propulsive thriller in which a suspicious death exposes the loyalties and rivalries of a deep-rooted and fiercely private community in the Kentucky backwoods.

Mick Hardin, a combat veteran now working as an Army CID agent, is home on a leave that is almost done. His wife is about to give birth, but they aren't getting along. His sister, newly risen to sheriff, has just landed her first murder case, and local politicians are pushing for city police or the FBI to take the case. Are they convinced she can't handle it, or is there something else at work? She calls on Mick who, with his homicide investigation experience and familiarity with the terrain, is well-suited to staying under the radar. As he delves into the investigation, he dodges his commanding officer's increasingly urgent calls while attempting to head off further murders. And he needs to talk to his wife.

The Killing Hills is a novel of betrayal—sexual, personal, within and between the clans that populate the hollers—and the way it so often shades into violence. Chris Offutt has delivered a dark, witty, and absolutely compelling novel of murder and honor, with an investigator-hero unlike any in fiction.

Chris Offutt is also the author of the novels Country Dark and The Good Brother, the short-story collections Kentucky Straight and Out of the Woods, and three memoirs: The Same River Twice, No Heroes, and My Father, the Pornographer. His work has appeared in Best American Short Stories and Best American Essays, among many other places. He has written screenplays for Weeds, True Blood, and Treme, and has received fellowships from the Lannan and Guggenheim foundations. He lives in rural Lafayette County near Oxford, Mississippi.

Jonathan Lethem is the bestselling author of eleven novels, including The Feral Detective; The Fortress of Solitude; Motherless Brooklyn, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award; and most recently, The Arrest. He currently teaches creative writing at Pomona College in California.

 

Chris Offutt photo by Jean-Luc Bertini; Jonathan Lethem photo by Ian Byers-Gamber

 

Dr. Jen Gunter and Emily Willingham - A Public Talk About Private Parts (Online Event)

Monday, June 28, 2021 - 6:00pm

Book Passage Presents

Mon., June 28, 2021 • 6:00pm PT • Live • Online

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Just as she did in her groundbreaking bestseller The Vagina Bible, Dr. Jen Gunter—the internet’s most fearless advocate for women’s health—brings empowerment through knowledge in her new book, The Menopause Manifesto, by countering stubborn myths and misunderstandings about menopause with hard facts, real science, fascinating historical perspective, and expert advice.

The only thing predictable about menopause is its unpredictability. Factor in widespread misinformation, a lack of research, and the culture of shame around women’s bodies, and it’s no wonder women are unsure what to expect during the menopause transition and beyond.

Menopause is not a disease—it’s a planned change, like puberty. And just like puberty, we should be educated on what’s to come years in advance, rather than the current practice of leaving people on their own with bothersome symptoms and too much conflicting information. Knowing what is happening, why, and what to do about it is both empowering and reassuring.

Frank and funny, Dr. Jen debunks misogynistic attitudes and challenges the over-mystification of menopause to reveal everything you really need to know about: perimenopause; hot flashes; sleep disruption; sex and libido; depression and mood changes; skin and hair issues; outdated therapies; breast health; weight and muscle mass; health maintenance screening; and much more!

Filled with practical, reassuring information, this essential guide will revolutionize how women experience menopause—including how their lives can be even better for it.

Emily Willingham's Phallacy is a wry look at what the astonishing world of animal penises can tell us about how we use our own.

The fallacy sold to many of us is that the penis signals dominance and power. But this wry and penetrating book reveals that in fact nature did not shape the penis—or the human attached to it—to have the upper...hand.

Phallacy looks closely at some of nature's more remarkable examples of penises and the many lessons to learn from them. In tracing how we ended up positioning our nondescript penis as a pulsing, awe-inspiring shaft of all masculinity and human dominance, Phallacy also shows what can we do to put that penis back where it belongs.

Emphasizing our human capacities for impulse control, Phallacy ultimately challenges the toxic message that the penis makes the man and the man can't control himself. With instructive illustrations of unusual genitalia and tales of animal mating rituals that will make you particularly happy you are not a bedbug, Phallacy shows where humans fit on the continuum from fun to fatal phalli and why the human penis is an implement for intimacy, not intimidation.

Dr. Jen Gunter is an internationally bestselling author, obstetrician, and gynecologist with more than three decades of experience as a vulvar and vaginal diseases expert. Her New York Times and USA Today bestselling book, The Vagina Bible, has been translated into nineteen languages and The Guardian calls her "the world's most famous—and outspoken—gynecologist." The recipient of the 2020 NAMS Media Award from The North American Menopause Society, she is a columnist for The New York Times and the star of Jensplaining, a CBC video series that highlights the impact of medical misinformation on women. Dr. Gunter also appears in the Netflix series A User's Guide to Cheating Death and her TED Talk reached one million views in its first month. For more information, follow @DrJenGunter or visit DrJenGunter.com.

Emily Willingham is the author of Phallacy: Life Lessons from the Animal Penis and The Tailored Brain: From Ketamine, to Keto, to Companionship, A User’s Guide to Feeling Better and Thinking Smarter, publishing in 2021, and is a regular contributor to Scientific American. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she completed postdoctoral work, and hails from Texas, where she earned a BA in English and a PhD in biological sciences.

 

Dr. Jen Gunter photo by Jason LeCras; Emily Willingham photo courtesy of author

 

Ottessa Moshfegh with Rita Bullwinkel - Death in Her Hands (Online Event)

Saturday, June 26, 2021 - 4:00pm

Book Passage Presents

Sat., June 26, 2021 • 4:00pm PT • Live • Online

In conversation with Rita Bullwinkel

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From one of our most ceaselessly provocative literary talents, a novel of haunting metaphysical suspense about an elderly widow whose life is upturned when she finds an ominous note on a walk in the woods.

While on her daily walk with her dog in a secluded woods, a woman comes across a note, handwritten and carefully pinned to the ground by stones. "Her name was Magda. Nobody will ever know who killed her. It wasn't me. Here is her dead body." But there is no dead body. Our narrator is deeply shaken; she has no idea what to make of this. She is new to this area, alone after the death of her husband, and she knows no one.

Becoming obsessed with solving this mystery, our narrator imagines who Magda was and how she met her fate. With very little to go on, she invents a list of murder suspects and possible motives for the crime. Oddly, her suppositions begin to find correspondences in the real world, and with mounting excitement and dread, the fog of mystery starts to fade into menacing certainty. As her investigation widens, strange dissonances accrue, perhaps associated with the darkness in her own past; we must face the prospect that there is either an innocent explanation for all this or a much more sinister one.

A triumphant blend of horror, suspense, and pitch-black comedy, Death in Her Hands asks us to consider how the stories we tell ourselves both reflect the truth and keep us blind to it. Once again, we are in the hands of a narrator whose unreliability is well earned, and the stakes have never been higher.

Ottessa Moshfegh is the author of My Year of Rest and Relaxation, a New York Times bestseller; Homesick for Another World, a New York Times Book Review notable book of the year; Eileen, which was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Man Booker Prize, and won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction; and McGlue, which won the Fence Modern Prize in Prose and the Believer Book Award. Her stories have earned her a Pushcart Prize, an O. Henry Award, the Plimpton Prize, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Rita Bullwinkel is the author of the story collection Belly Up, which won the 2018 Believer Book Award. Bullwinkel’s writing has been published in Tin House, The White Review, Conjunctions, BOMB, Vice, NOON, and Guernica. She is a recipient of grants and fellowships from MacDowell, Brown University, Vanderbilt University, Hawthornden Castle, and The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. Both her fiction and translation have been nominated for Pushcart Prizes. She is an Editor at Large for McSweeney’s and a Contributing Editor for NOON. She lives in San Francisco and teaches at the California College of the Arts.

 

Otessa Moshfegh photo by Jessica Lehrman; Rita Bullwinkel photo by Jenna Garrett

 

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