Fiction

POSTPONED: Lily King - Writers & Lovers (Corte Madera Store)

Saturday, April 25, 2020 - 1:00pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

Blindsided by her mother's sudden death and wrecked by a recent love affair, Casey Peabody has arrived in Massachusetts in the summer of 1997 without a plan. Her mail consists of wedding invitations and final notices from debt collectors. A former child golf prodigy, she now waits tables in Harvard Square and rents a tiny, moldy room at the side of a garage where she works on the novel she's been writing for six years. At thirty-one, Casey is still clutching onto something nearly all her old friends have let go of: the determination to live a creative life. When she falls for two very different men at the same time, her world fractures even more. Casey's fight to fulfill her creative ambitions and balance the conflicting demands of art and life is challenged in ways that push her to the brink.

Writers & Lovers follows Casey—a smart and achingly vulnerable protagonist—in the last days of a long youth, a time when every element of her life comes to a crisis. Written with King's trademark humor, heart, and intelligence, Writers & Lovers is a transfixing novel that explores the terrifying and exhilarating leap between the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another.

Lily King is the author of the novels The Pleasing Hour, The English Teacher, Father of the Rain, and Euphoria, one of the New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of 2014 and winner of the Kirkus Prize. She lives in Maine.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

POSTPONED: Alexandra Chang - Days of Distraction

Thursday, April 9, 2020 - 7:00pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

The plan is to leave. As for how, when, to where, and even why—she doesn’t know yet. So begins a journey for the twenty-four-year-old narrator of Days of Distraction. As a staff writer at a prestigious tech publication, she reports on the achievements of smug Silicon Valley billionaires and start-up bros while her own request for a raise gets bumped from manager to manager. And when her longtime boyfriend, J, decides to move to a quiet upstate New York town for grad school, she sees an excuse to cut and run.

Moving is supposed to be a grand gesture of her commitment to J and a way to reshape her sense of self. But in the process, she finds herself facing misgivings about her role in an interracial relationship. Captivated by the stories of her ancestors and other Asian Americans in history, she must confront a question at the core of her identity: What does it mean to exist in a society that does not notice or understand you?

Equal parts tender and humorous, and told in spare but powerful prose, Days of Distraction is an offbeat coming-of-adulthood tale, a touching family story, and a razor-sharp appraisal of our times.

Alexandra Chang is from Northern California. She graduated from UC Berkeley and received her MFA from Syracuse University. Her fiction has appeared in Zoetrope: All-StoryGlimmer TrainLARB Quarterly Journal, Catapult, and elsewhere. She has previously worked as a technology reporter for WIRED and Macworld, and now lives in upstate New York.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

POSTPONED: Kevin Nguyen - New Waves (Corte Madera Store)

Saturday, April 25, 2020 - 7:00pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

Lucas and Margo are fed up. Margo is a brilliant programmer tired of being talked over as the company’s sole black employee, and while Lucas is one of many Asians at the firm, he’s nearly invisible as a low-paid customer service rep. Together, they decide to steal their tech startup’s user database in an attempt at revenge. The heist takes a sudden turn when Margo dies in a car accident, and Lucas is left reeling, wondering what to do with their secret—and wondering whether her death really was an accident. When Lucas hacks into Margo’s computer looking for answers, he is drawn into her private online life and realizes just how little he knew about his best friend.

With a fresh voice, biting humor, and piercing observations about human nature, Kevin Nguyen brings an insider’s knowledge of the tech industry to this imaginative novel. A pitch-perfect exploration of race and startup culture, secrecy and surveillance, social media and friendship, New Waves asks: How well do we really know one another? And how do we form true intimacy and connection in a tech-obsessed world?

Kevin Nguyen is the features editor at The Verge and was previously a senior editor at GQ. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

POSTPONED: Souvankham Thammavongsa - How to Pronounce Knife (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Tuesday, April 28, 2020 - 6:00pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

In the title story of Souvankham Thammavongsa's debut collection, a young girl brings a book home from school and asks her father to help her pronounce a tricky word, a simple exchange with unforgettable consequences. Thammavongsa is a master at homing in on moments like this — moments of exposure, dislocation, and messy feeling that push us right up against the limits of language.

The stories that make up How to Pronounce Knife focus on characters struggling to find their bearings in unfamiliar territory, or shuttling between idioms, cultures, and values. A failed boxer discovers what it truly means to be a champion when he starts painting nails at his sister's salon. A young woman tries to discern the invisible but immutable social hierarchies at a chicken processing plant. A mother coaches her daughter in the challenging art of worm harvesting.

In a taut, visceral prose style that establishes her as one of the most striking and assured voices of her generation, Thammavongsa interrogates what it means to make a living, to work, and to create meaning.

Souvankham Thammavongsa was born in the Lao refugee camp in Nong Khai, Thailand and was raised and educated in Toronto. She is the award-winning author of four books of poetry and her fiction has appeared in Harper's, Granta, the Paris Review, Ploughshares, Best American Non-Required Reading 2018, and the O. Henry Prize Stories 2019. Photo credit Jennifer Rowsom.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

POSTPONED: A.H. Kim - A Good Family (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 - 6:00pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

Beth is the darling of God Halsa, a pharmaceutical giant, and she's got the outrageous salary and lifestyle to prove it. Until she lands in white-collar women's prison, thanks to a high-profile whistleblower suit.

Sam, Beth's husband, used to be the town's most eligible bachelor, and he's never had to do anything for himself. Until his wife goes to jail, and he's left to raise two daughters on his own.

Lise, the au pair, is the whistleblower. But is she? Everyone knows she's not clever enough to have done it alone.

Hannah, Sam's sister, is devoted to her family. There's nothing she wouldn't do for them.

Eva, Beth's sister, is the smart one. (Read: not the pretty one.) Her life seems perfect on the surface, but sibling rivalry runs deep.

Martin, Beth's brother, is the firstborn, the former golden boy turned inside-the Beltway businessman. But what is he hiding?

Someone knows something. Someone betrayed Beth. This is the story of the Min-Lindstroms. This is the story of the all-American family as it implodes under the weight of secrets, lies and the unchecked desire for wealth and power.

A.H. Kim is an immigrant, graduate of Harvard College and Berkeley Law, lawyer, and mother of two sons. She lives in San Francisco with her husband. A Good Family is her first novel.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

POSTPONED: Zeyn Joukhadar - The Thirty Names of Night (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 - 6:00pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

Five years after a suspicious fire killed his ornithologist mother, a closeted Syrian American trans boy sheds his birth name and searches for a new one. He has been unable to paint since his mother’s ghost has begun to visit him each evening. As his grandmother’s sole caretaker, he spends his days cooped up in their apartment, avoiding his neighborhood masjid, his estranged sister, and even his best friend (who also happens to be his longtime crush). The only time he feels truly free is when he slips out at night to paint murals on buildings in the once-thriving Manhattan neighborhood known as Little Syria.

One night, he enters the abandoned community house and finds the tattered journal of a Syrian American artist named Laila Z, who dedicated her career to painting the birds of North America. She famously and mysteriously disappeared more than sixty years before, but her journal contains proof that both his mother and Laila Z encountered the same rare bird before their deaths. In fact, Laila Z’s past is intimately tied to his mother’s—and his grandmother’s—in ways he never could have expected. Even more surprising, Laila Z’s story reveals the histories of queer and transgender people within his own community that he never knew. Realizing that he isn’t and has never been alone, he has the courage to officially claim a new name: Nadir, an Arabic name meaning rare.

As unprecedented numbers of birds are mysteriously drawn to the New York City skies, Nadir enlists the help of his family and friends to unravel what happened to Laila Z and the rare bird his mother died trying to save. Following his mother’s ghost, he uncovers the silences kept in the name of survival by his own community, his own family, and within himself, and discovers the family that was there all along.

Featuring Zeyn Joukhadar’s signature “magical and heart-wrenching” (The Christian Science Monitor) storytelling, The Thirty Names of Night is a timely exploration of how we all search for and ultimately embrace who we are.

Zeyn Joukhadar is the author of The Map of Salt and Stars. He is a member of the Radius of Arab American Writers (RAWI) and of American Mensa. Joukhadar’s writing has appeared in Salon, The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, and elsewhere and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net. The Map of Salt and Stars was a 2018 Middle East Book Award winner in Youth Literature and a 2018 Goodreads Choice Award Finalist in Historical Fiction and was shortlisted for the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize. He has been an artist in residence at the Montalvo Arts Center, the Fes Medina Project, Beit al-Atlas, and the Arab American National Museum.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

POSTPONED: Ishmael Beah - Little Family (Corte Madera Store)

Wednesday, April 29, 2020 - 7:00pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

Tickets: $30 (includes signed copy of Litle Family)

Hidden away from a harsh outside world, five young people have improvised a home in an abandoned airplane, a relic of their country’s chaos. Elimane, the bookworm, is as street-smart as he is wise. Clever Khoudiemata maneuvers to keep the younger kids—athletic, pragmatic Ndevui; thoughtful Kpindi; and especially their newest member, Namsa—safe and fed. When Elimane makes himself of service to the shadowy William Handkerchief, it seems as if the little family may be able to keep the world at bay and their household intact. But when Khoudi comes under the spell of the “beautiful people”—the fortunate sons and daughters of the powerful—the desire to resume an interrupted coming of age and follow her own destiny proves impossible to resist.

A profound and tender portrayal of the connections we forge to survive the fate we’re dealt, Little Family marks the further blossoming of a unique global voice.

Ishmael Beah's first book, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, was a #1 New York Times bestseller and has been published in more than forty languages. Among other work on behalf of young people affected by war, Beah is a UNICEF Ambassador and Advocate for Children Affected by War and a member of the Human Rights Watch Children's Rights Advisory Committee. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and their children.

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Please note: Tickets are non-refundable

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

POSTPONED: David Nicholls - Sweet Sorrow (Corte Madera Store)

Saturday, May 16, 2020 - 1:00pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

It’s been ten years since One Day became an international publishing phenomenon and five years since Us landed on the Man Booker Prize longlist. Now, David Nicholls is back with what the UK’s Daily Mirror raves is “his best book yet”—Sweet Sorrow, a coming-of-age story about first love told from the perspective of a middle-aged man on the verge of marriage and a fresh start.  Rich with the wisdom that comes with maturity but full of the passionate urgency of youth, it’s a novel that will make readers laugh, cry, and wince with recognition.

Sixteen-year-old Charlie Lewis is the kind of boy you don’t remember in the school photograph. He’s failing his classes. At home he looks after his depressed father—when surely it should be the other way round—and if he thinks about the future at all, it is with a kind of dread. But then Fran Fisher bursts into his life and despite himself, Charlie begins to hope. In order to spend time with Fran, Charlie must accept a challenge that will lose him the respect of his friends and require him to become a different person. He must join the Company. And if the Company sounds like a cult, the truth is even more appalling: the price of hope, it seems, is Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, learned and performed in a theater troupe over the course of a summer. And now thirty-eight-year-old Charlie can’t go to the altar without coming to terms with his relationship with Fran, his friends, and his former self.

Poignant, funny, enchanting, devastating, Sweet Sorrow is a bittersweet and brilliantly funny tale about the rocky path to adulthood and the confusion of family life, a celebration of the reviving power of friendship and that brief, searing explosion of first love that can only be looked at directly after it has burned out.

David Nicholls is the best-selling author of Us, One Day, The Understudy, and Starter for Ten. His novels have sold over eight million copies worldwide and are published in forty languages. Nicholls trained as an actor before making the switch to writing, and he recently won a BAFTA for Patrick Melrose, his adaptation of the novels by Edward St Aubyn, which also won him an Emmy nomination. He lives in London.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

POSTPONED: Mary Pauline Lowry - The Roxy Letters (Corte Madera Store)

Monday, April 27, 2020 - 7:00pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

In conversation with David Gotz, archivist at the Belvedere/Tiburon Landmarks Society

Bridget Jones penned a diary; Roxy writes letters. A bit about Roxy. She is a sometimes vegan, always broke artist with a heart the size of Texas and an ex-boyfriend living in her spare bedroom. She has a less than inspiring job at the deli counter of the original Whole Foods in Austin, TX. It’s been ages since she had sex with someone other than her—admittedly, superlative—vibrator. And Roxy is outraged at the big corporate changes taking root in her beloved hometown.

When a new Lululemon pops up at the intersection of 6th and Lamar where the old Waterloo Video used to be, Roxy can stay silent no longer. Encouraged by her two best friends—Annie, former deli counter comrade and current assistant to the Whole Foods CEO; and vivacious Artemis who has as many personas as she has paramours—Roxy stages a protest. What starts as her fight against a corporate active-wear takeover turns into an adventure of self- discovery—replete with troublesome neighbors, good (and not-so-good) sex, an arrest or two, professional growth, and maybe even love along the way.

Mary Pauline Lowry is a native of Austin, Texas. She received her MFA from Boise State University. The author of the novels The Roxy Letters and Wildfire, she’s also a regular contributor to O, The Oprah Magazine. Her work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New York Times, The Millions, and other publications.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

POSTPONED: Literary Luncheon: Laura Lippman - My Life as a Villainess: Essays (Corte Madera Store)

Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 12:00pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

Ticket: $55 (includes meal & signed copy of My Life as a Villainess: Essays)

New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman’s first book of nonfiction, My Life as a Villainess, is a collection of personal, wry, relatable, often surprising essays that explore childhood, motherhood, friendship, her career as a newspaper reporter, and as a novelist. Lippman's life stories are at once specific and universal, with as many twists as her award-winning crime fiction.

These candid essays offer insights into the experiences that have helped Lippman become one of the most successful writers of her generation.

Since Laura Lippman's debut in 1997, she has been recognized as a distinctive voice in mystery fiction and named one of the "essential" crime writers of the last 100 years. Her books have won most of the major awards in her field and been translated into thirty languages. A perennial bestselling author, she lives in Baltimore, New York, and New Orleans with her family.

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Please note: Tickets are non-refundable.

51 Tamal Vista Blvd
Corte Madera, CA 94925

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