Virtual Events

Virtual Class: Art History with Kerrin Meis - The Window in Western Art (via Zoom)

Saturday, January 16, 2021 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Two Saturdays: January 16 and 23, 2021

Hosted via Zoom • Live • 1:00-3:00pm PT • $80

In this class we will look at the function of the window in Western Art, from Medieval stained glass windows to status symbols in Renaissance portraiture to Vermeer's interiors with the ever-present window. Is it only a "source of light?" We will pay special attention to the 19th Century Romantic painters' Rooms with a View, especially in Germany and Scandinavia, in Matisse's interiors from Paris to Nice, and in artist's studios. We encounter Caspar David Friedrich, Otto Menzel, Edward Hopper, Rene Magritte, Marcel Duchamp, and others who employed the window as a metaphor on the human condition.

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.


Virtual Class: Wendy Walsh - Advanced Italian (via Zoom)

Thursday, January 28, 2021 - 9:00am to 11:00am

Six Thursdays: January 28th - March 4th, 2021

Hosted via Zoom • Live • 9:00-11:00am PT • $195


We will be working on the many common errors and questions about Italian grammar. Please contact Wendy Walsh at to receive syllabus and handouts.

Wendy Walsh has a PhD in Italian Literature from UC Berkeley. She has been teaching Italian language and literature since 1979.


Virtual Class: Wendy Walsh - Intermediate Italian (via Zoom)

Tuesday, January 26, 2021 - 8:45am

Six Tuesdays: January 26th - March 2nd, 2021

Hosted via Zoom • Live • 8:45-10:45am PT • $195


We will be working on verb tenses, concentrating on the passato prossimo and the imperfetto. Please contact Wendy Walsh at to receive syllabus and handouts.

Wendy Walsh has a PhD in Italian Literature from UC Berkeley. She has been teaching Italian language and literature since 1979.


Rebecca Walker and Lily Diamond - What's Your Story? (Virtual Event)

Sunday, January 17, 2021 - 4:00pm


Sunday, January 17th, 2021

Online • Live • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

In conversation with Whitney Leigh Morris

Transformational questions for personal and collective change.

In this time of global reckoning, revolution, and reinvention, authors Rebecca Walker and Lily Diamond invite you to excavate the narratives that have shaped your life and write a new, fulfilling story for the future. Consisting of 150+ questions—designed to be answered in as little as five minutes or as long as a lifetime—What’s Your Story?: A Journal for Everyday Evolution is essential for anyone ready to begin living their most authentic, creative, and meaningful life.

  • Explore by area of life: Each chapter invites you to explore a different part of life as you move through your day—from waking up and encountering your mind, to being in relationship with your body, other people, nature, and technology, to reflecting on community, identity, and mortality.
  • Explore by theme: Five themes, color-coded throughout each chapter, allow you to explore a particular focus from beginning to end: creativity and self-expression; self-care; activism; spirituality; and grief, loss, and the work of healing.

“Finding the voice to know, write, and speak your story can mean the difference between an existence of repressed silence and a life of joyful fulfillment,” write the authors. “Our stories have the power to limit or liberate us.”

Rebecca Walker is a best-selling author, editor, and cultural critic who has contributed to the global conversation about race, gender, culture, and power for over two decades. She has spoken at over four hundred universities, conferences, literary festivals, and corporate campuses around the world, and is a co-founder of the Third Wave Fund, an organization that supports women and transgender youth working for social justice. Rebecca has won many awards, and was named by Time magazine as one of the most influential leaders of her generation. She lives in Los Angeles. Learn more at

Lily Diamond is a writer, educator, and advocate working to democratize wellness through storytelling, accessible practices for inner and outer nourishment, and revolutionary acts of self-care in relationship to our earth and human communities. Lily is author of bestselling memoir-cookbook Kale & Caramel: Recipes for Body, Heart, and Table, and her work has been featured in the New York Times, VICE, Healthyish, Women’s Review of Books, Refinery29, and more. She lives in Maui, Hawai‘i, where she grew up, on occupied native Hawaiian land. Learn more at

Whitney Leigh Morris is a Small Space Lifestyle Consultant based in Venice, California. A firm believer that you don't need to "live large" to live beautifully, Morris uses her blog and Instagram account to share tips and ideas geared towards helping individuals, couples, and families live comfortably, contentedly, and less wastefully in compact quarters. Morris also shares her experiences and advice via a diverse array of editorial outlets and speaking engagements, and via her mini video series, Tiny Takeaways. She is the author of the book, Small Space Style: Because You Don’t Need to Live Large to Live Beautifully. Morris is an engaged member of the Venice community, is on the Board of The Rightway Foundation, and was named a Wall Street Journal Woman of Note. She lives at the Cottage with her husband, their child, and two rescue beagles.

Rebecca Walker & Lily Diamond photo by Lily Diamond


Virtual Class: Don George - Write Your Best Travel Story (via Zoom)

Tuesday, January 19, 2021 - 4:00pm to 7:00pm

Six Tuesdays: January 19th - February 23rd, 2021

Hosted via Zoom • Live • 4:00-7:00pm PT • $495

Class limited to nine attendees

Please note: This class is currently at capacity. If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please email

This class is patterned on a graduate school creative writing workshop, with emphasis on the craft of writing a publishable travel story. In this workshop, participants will conceive, pitch, and write an original travel piece of up to 2,500 words. This may be based on a recent close-to-home travel experience or on a memory of a past trip. In the workshop, we'll begin by closely reading, discussing, and critiquing examples of excellent travel writing. Then each participant will present their story idea for discussion and revision, and then write an original travel piece of up to 2,500 words. Each piece will be closely read and discussed in class. Subsequent classes will allow for revision, discussion, and further refinement of each piece. During the course of the workshop, in addition to individual critiques, we'll talk about the fine points of structure, pacing, and making your point. This highly successful class has led to numerous published stories in widely known venues such as the annual Best Travel Writing and Lonely Planet anthologies.

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.

What students are saying about Don George:

“Don George's travel writing workshop was a rigorous, profound, magical experience, the product of a uniquely nurturing environment. Taking his courses has encouraged me to write without fear of failure, and with greater confidence and creativity than ever before. Any writer—whether officially a travel writer, or any other writer considering issues of place—should jump at the chance to work with him."
—Diane Vadino

"I have always wanted to take a writing workshop from Don George, but was never able to because I did not live in the Bay Area. When he offered his workshop virtually this year, I jumped at the chance and could not be happier with the experience. It motivated me to work on a piece and the feedback I received from the other attendees enabled me to take an "okay" piece I had written and turn it into a piece I'm really proud of by the end of the workshop. I ended up going in a different direction than intended, but it ended up being the right direction I could not see by myself. I would have not been able to get my writing to where it needed to be without Don and the workshop participants. I would sign up for another virtual workshop with Don George in a heartbeat.”
—Lisa Boice


Conversations with Authors - Jean Shinoda Bolen (Online Event)

Saturday, March 6, 2021 - 4:00pm

Saturday, March 6th, 2021

Online • Live • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

In conversation with Terry Tempest Williams

Conversations with Authors is our free online event series! Join us throughout the week for new chats between different authors.


Jean Shinoda Bolen’s book Like a Tree, which grew out of her experience mourning the loss of a Monterey pine that was cut down in her neighborhood, provides an insightful look into the fusion of ecological issues and global gender politics.

That moment of loss, combined with Bolen's practice of walking among tall trees, led to her deep connection with trees and an understanding of their many complexities. From their anatomy and physiology, to trees as archetypal and sacred symbols, Bolen expertly explores the dynamics of ecological activism spiritual activism and sacred feminism. And, she invites us to join the movement to save trees. While there is still much work to be done to address environmental problems, there are many stories of individuals and organizations rising up to make a change and help save our planet. The words and stories that Bolen weaves throughout this book are both inspirational and down-to-earth, calling us to realize what is happening to not only our trees, but our people. By writing about both the work of organizations like Greenpeace and the UN Commission on the Status of Women, Bolen highlights her passions and shares her unique vision for the world.

Jean Shinoda Bolen is a psychiatrist, Jungian analyst, and an internationally known author and speaker. She is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, a former clinical professor of psychiatry at Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute, University of California Medical Center and a past board member of the Ms. Foundation for Women, the International Transpersonal Association, and the C.G. Jung Institute of San Francisco. She is the author of thirteen books in over one hundred foreign editions and is in three acclaimed documentaries.

Terry Tempest Williams is the author of 17 books of creative nonfiction including the classic in environmental literature Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place; When Women Were Birds; The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks; and most recently, Erosion: Essays of Undoing, just out in paperback. A member of the American Academy of Arts and letters, she is currently writer-in-residence at the Harvard Divinity School and lives in Castle Valley, Utah with the writer Brooke Williams.


Below, please find the link to purchase their books.


Jacqueline Winspear - The Consequences of Fear (Online Event)

Tuesday, March 23, 2021 - 6:00pm

Tuesday, March 23th • Online

Live • 6:00pm PT/9:00pm ET • $40

In conversation with Elaine Petrocelli

Purchase a ticket for this event and receive a complimentary signed copy of The Consequences of Fear, delivered right to your door!


As Europe buckles under Nazi occupation, Maisie Dobbs investigates a possible murder that threatens devastating repercussions for Britain's war efforts in this latest installment in the New York Times bestselling mystery series.

October 1941. While on a delivery, young Freddie Hackett, a message runner for a government office, witnesses an argument that ends in murder. Crouching in the doorway of a bombed-out house, Freddie waits until the coast is clear. But when he arrives at the delivery address, he’s shocked to come face to face with the killer.

Dismissed by the police when he attempts to report the crime, Freddie goes in search of a woman he once met when delivering a message: Maisie Dobbs. While Maisie believes the boy and wants to help, she must maintain extreme caution: she’s working secretly for the Special Operations Executive, assessing candidates for crucial work with the French resistance. Her two worlds collide when she spots the killer in a place she least expects. She soon realizes she’s been pulled into the orbit of a man who has his own reasons to kill—reasons that go back to the last war.

As Maisie becomes entangled in a power struggle between Britain’s intelligence efforts in France and the work of Free French agents operating across Europe, she must also contend with the lingering question of Freddie Hackett’s state of mind. What she uncovers could hold disastrous consequences for all involved in this compelling chapter of the “series that seems to get better with every entry” (Wall Street Journal).

Jacqueline Winspear is author of the New York Times bestsellers A Lesson in Secrets, The Mapping of Love and Death, Among the Mad, An Incomplete Revenge, Leaving Everything Most Loved, Journey to Munich, In This Grave Hour, To Die But Once, and her latest in the Maisie Dobbs series, The Conseqeunces of Fear; as well as What Would Maisie Do?, a non-fiction book based upon the series; and her memoir, This Time Next Year We'll Be Laughing. In addition, her recent published essays include "Writing About War," for which she interviewed writers including Kate Atkinson, Rhys Bowen, Jeff Shaara, and Adam Hochschild, exploring the impact of writing about war on the author; and "Women On Fire," about women working in wildfire management. Her essay on writing the historical mystery will appear in the upcoming anthology/handbook from Mystery Writers of America, How To Write A Mystery, edited by Lee Child (April 2021). Winspear has won numerous awards for her work, including the Agatha, Alex, and Macavity awards for Maisie Dobbs, which was also nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel and was a New York Times Notable Book.

Elaine Petrocelli is the founder and president of Book Passage, the fiercely independent bookstore in Corte Madera, California, and at the San Francisco Ferry Building. Over the past 44 years, Book Passage has hosted more than 10,000 classes, conferences, and author events, featuring Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Salman Rushdie, John McCain, Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and thousands of new writers. She hosts the Conversations with Authors series, featuring Isabel Allende, Khaled Hosseini, Anne Lamott, Dave Eggers and other great writers.


Conversations with Authors - Chang-rae Lee (Virtual Event)

Saturday, February 6, 2021 - 4:00pm

Saturday, February 6th, 2021

Online • Live • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

In conversation with R. O. Kwon

Conversations with Authors is our free online event series! Join us throughout the week for new chats with different authors.


Chang-rae Lee's latest novel, My Year Abroad, is an exuberant, provocative story about a young American life transformed by an unusual Asian adventure—and about the human capacities for pleasure, pain, and connection. 

Tiller is an average American college student with a good heart but minimal aspirations. Pong Lou is a larger-than-life, wildly creative Chinese American entrepreneur who sees something intriguing in Tiller beyond his bored exterior and takes him under his wing. When Pong brings him along on a boisterous trip across Asia, Tiller is catapulted from ordinary young man to talented protégé, and pulled into a series of ever more extreme and eye-opening experiences that transform his view of the world, of Pong, and of himself. In the breathtaking, “precise, elliptical prose” that Chang-rae Lee is known for (The New York Times), the narrative alternates between Tiller’s outlandish, mind-boggling year with Pong and the strange, riveting, emotionally complex domestic life that follows it, as Tiller processes what happened to him abroad and what it means for his future.

Chang-rae Lee is the author of Native Speaker, winner of the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for first fiction, as well as On Such a Full Sea, A Gesture Life, Aloft, and The Surrendered, winner of the Dayton Peace Prize and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Chang-rae Lee teaches writing at Stanford University.

R. O. Kwon is a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellow. The Incendiaries is her first novel, and it was named a best book of the year by over forty publications. Her writing is published in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Paris Review, Buzzfeed, New York Magazine, NPR, and elsewhere. Born in South Korea, she has lived most of her life in the United States.

Chang-rae Lee photo by Michelle Branca Lee
R. O. Kwon photo by Smeeta Mahanti


Below, please find the link to purchase their books.


Barbara McHugh with Dorothy Edwards - Bride of the Buddha (Virtual Event)

Saturday, January 30, 2021 - 4:00pm



Saturday, January 30th, 2021

Virtual • Live • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

A page-turner about a woman's struggle in an unapologetic religious patriarchy, Bride of the Buddha offers a penetrating perspective on the milieu of the Buddha, with a fanciful twist.

Bride of the Buddha is a vivid portrayal of the life of Yasodhara—abandoned wife of the Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama—depicting her as a spiritual seeker in her own right, a woman who sought to understand the meaning of life even before her husband left their marriage and their infant son Rahula to seek his own enlightenment. Author Barbara McHugh brings to life the world of the aristocratic clan into which Yasodhara and Siddhartha Gautama were born and imagines Yasodhara as intelligent, resourceful and independent—a woman who had always sought her own spiritual path, despite the constraints placed on women at the time. Following the Siddhartha’s departure, Yasodhara devotes herself to her life as a mother, but when the Buddha returns and their young son leaves his family to enter the sangha, she is devastated to learn that, as a woman, she is prohibited from joining them. Bereft, she leaves the comforts of her family to live in the wild and apprentices herself to a female holy woman. After many adventures of her own, she conceals her gender and enters the Buddha’s sangha as a young monk named Ananda, who will eventually become one of the Buddha’s closest confidants and ultimately the one who convinces the Buddha to allow women into their community.

In the best tradition of historical fiction, McHugh, as she states in the novel’s Historical Note, mixes “fact and fiction, taking advantage of modern scholarship, while at the same time weaving in myths and symbolic narratives to express truth beyond words” in order to portray “a Buddha who is both a historical being and an evolving, collective creation of the human imagination.” McHugh brings the past vividly to life in Bride of the Buddha while also addressing issues still debated today, including gender identity, sexuality, the role of women in religious communities, motherhood, and more. She has created a book that, as Sam Keen, author of Fire in the Belly and Your Mythic Journey writes, brings “Yasodhara out of the shadows” and makes “...use of historical texts, oral traditions, and a vivid imagination, [to create] a portrait of the bride of Buddha and the world in which he lived...unforgettable.”

Barbara McHugh, PhD, is a Buddhist practitioner with a degree in religion and literature from The Graduate Theological Union and UC Berkeley. She is a published poet, writing coach, and book doctor. Her research for this book includes exhaustive study of Pali texts in translation and on-site explorations in India.

Dorothy Edwards' first published work is Langston's Moon, a children's story about an African American family. Currently she is at work on a novel set in the Caribbean and a non-fiction book about imagination.


Conversations with Authors - Julia Turshen (Online Event)

Sunday, March 14, 2021 - 4:00pm

Sunday, March 14th, 2021

Online • Live • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

In conversation with Pati Jinich

Conversations with Authors is our free online event series! Join us throughout the week for new chats beween different authors.


Julia Turshen’s Simply Julia: 110 Recipes for Healthy Comfort Food is her first collection of recipes featuring a healthier take on the simple, satisfying comfort food for which she’s known.

Julia has always been cooking. As a kid, she skipped the Easy-Bake Oven and went straight to the real thing. Throughout her life, cooking has remained a constant, and as fans of her popular books know, Julia’s approach to food is about so much more than putting dinner on the table—it is about love, community, connection, and nourishment of the body and soul.

In Simply Julia, readers will find 110 foolproof recipes for more nutritious takes on the simple, comforting meals Julia cooks most often. With practical chapters such as weeknight go-tos, make-ahead mains, vegan one-pot meals, chicken recipes, easy baked goods, and more, Simply Julia provides endlessly satisfying options comprised of accessible and affordable ingredients. Think dishes like Stewed Chicken with Sour Cream + Chive Dumplings, Hasselback Carrots with Smoked Paprika, and Lemon Ricotta Cupcakes—the kind of flavorful yet unfussy food everyone wants to make at home.

In addition to her tried-and-true recipes, readers will find Julia’s signature elements—her “Seven Lists” (Seven Things I Learned From Being a Private Chef that Make Home Cooking Easier; Seven Ways to Use Leftover Buttermilk; Seven Ways to Use Leftover Egg Whites or Egg Yolks), menu suggestions, and helpful adaptations for dietary needs, along with personal essays and photos and gorgeous food photography.

Julia is the bestselling cookbook author of Small Victories, named a Best Cookbook by the New York Times and NPR; Feed the Resistance, Eater’s Book of the Year, 2017; and Now & Again, named the Best Cookbook of 2018 by Amazon. She hosts the IACP-nominated podcast “Keep Calm and Cook On” and has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, and Saveur. She is the founder of Equity At The Table, an inclusive digital directory of women and non-binary individuals in food. Julia lives in the Hudson Valley with her wife and pets.

Pati Jinich (pronounced HEEN-ich) is the host of Pati's Mexican Table, now in its ninth season. Named one of the "100 Greatest Cooks of All-Time" by Epicurious and Bon Appétit, she has won a Gracie Award for her television work and is a three-time Emmy and IACP Award nominee. She is the resident chef of the Mexican Cultural Institute and has appeared on NPR's Splendid Table and All Things Considered, NBC's Today, CBS's The Talk, ABC's Good Morning America, and Food Network. Born and raised in Mexico City, she lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with her husband and three boys.


Below, please find the link to purchase their books.



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