San Francisco Events

Rhonda V. Magee - The Inner Work of Racial Justice (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - 6:00pm

In a society where unconscious bias, microaggressions, institutionalized racism, and systemic injustices are so deeply ingrained, healing is an ongoing process. When conflict and division are everyday realities, our instincts tell us to close ranks, to find the safety of our own tribe, and to blame others. This book shows that in order to have the difficult conversations required for working toward racial justice, inner work is essential. Through the practice of embodied mindfulness—paying attention to our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations in an open, nonjudgmental way—we increase our emotional resilience, recognize our own biases, and become less reactive when triggered.

As Sharon Salzberg, New York Times-bestselling author of Real Happiness writes, “Rhonda Magee is a significant new voice I've wanted to hear for a long time—a voice both unabashedly powerful and deeply loving in looking at race and racism.” Magee shows that embodied mindfulness calms our fears and helps us to exercise self-compassion. These practices help us to slow down and reflect on microaggressions—to hold them with some objectivity and distance—rather than bury unpleasant experiences so they have a cumulative effect over time. Magee helps us develop the capacity to address the fears and anxieties that would otherwise lead us to re-create patterns of separation and division.

It is only by healing from injustices and dissolving our personal barriers to connection that we develop the ability to view others with compassion and to live in community with people of vastly different backgrounds and viewpoints. Incorporating mindfulness exercises, research, and Magee's hard-won insights, The Inner Work of Racial Justice offers a road map to a more peaceful world.

Rhonda V. Magee is a professor of law at the University of San Francisco. Also trained in sociology and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), she is a highly practiced facilitator of trauma-sensitive, restorative MBSR interventions for lawyers and law students, and for minimizing the effects of social-identity-based bias. Magee has been a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Law and Society and a visiting professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Carolina De Robertis - Cantoras (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Thursday, January 23, 2020 - 6:00pm

In conversation with Nancy Au

In 1977 Uruguay, a military government crushed political dissent with ruthless force. In this environment, where the everyday rights of people are under attack, homosexuality is a dangerous transgression to be punished. And yet Romina, Flaca, Anita "La Venus," Paz, and Malena—five cantoras, women who "sing"—somehow, miraculously, find one another. Together, they discover an isolated, nearly uninhabited cape, Cabo Polonio, which they claim as their secret sanctuary. Over the next thirty-five years, their lives move back and forth between Cabo Polonio and Montevideo, the city they call home, as they return, sometimes together, sometimes in pairs, with lovers in tow, or alone. And throughout, again and again, the women will be tested—by their families, lovers, society, and one another—as they fight to live authentic lives.

A genre-defining novel and Carolina De Robertis's masterpiece, Cantoras is a breathtaking portrait of queer love, community, forgotten history, and the strength of the human spirit. At once timeless and groundbreaking, Cantoras is a tale about the fire in all our souls and those who make it burn.

Carolina De Robertis is a writer of Uruguayan origins and the author of The Gods of Tango, Perla, and the international bestseller The Invisible Mountain. Her novels have been translated into seventeen languages and have garnered a Stonewall Book Award, Italy's Rhegium Julii Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and numerous other honors. She is also a translator of Latin American and Spanish literature and editor of the anthology Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times. In 2017, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts named De Robertis on its 100 List of "people, organizations, and movements that are shaping the future of culture." She teaches at San Francisco State University and lives in Oakland, California, with her wife and two children.

Nancy Au’s essays and stories appear in many journals including Redivider, Gulf Coast, Foglifter, and Michigan Quarterly Review. She teaches creative writing (to biology majors!) at CSU Stanislaus. She is co-founder of The Escapery, a writing and art unschool. Her flash fiction is included in the Best Small Fictions 2018 anthology, in The Vestal Review as the winner of their 2018 VERA Flash Fiction Prize, and has won Redivider's 2018 Blurred Genre Contest. Her full-length collection, Spider Love Song & Other Stories, is longlisted for the 2020 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Short Story Collection.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Paul Yoon - Run Me to Earth (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Monday, January 27, 2020 - 6:00pm

Alisak, Prany, and Noi—three orphans united by devastating loss—must do what is necessary to survive the perilous landscape of 1960s Laos. When they take shelter in a bombed out field hospital, they meet Vang, a doctor dedicated to helping the wounded at all costs. Soon the teens are serving as motorcycle couriers, delicately navigating their bikes across the fields filled with unexploded bombs, beneath the indiscriminate barrage from the sky.

In a world where the landscape and the roads have turned into an ocean of bombs, we follow their grueling days of rescuing civilians and searching for medical supplies, until Vang secures their evacuation on the last helicopters leaving the country. It’s a move with irrevocable consequences—and sets them on disparate and treacherous paths across the world.

Spanning decades and magically weaving together storylines laced with beauty and cruelty, Run Me to Earth is a breathtaking historical feat and a fierce study of the powers of hope, perseverance, and grace.

Paul Yoon is the author of two story collections, Once the Shore, which was a New York Times Notable Book, and The Mountain, which was a NPR Best Book of the Year. His novel Snow Hunters won the Young Lions Fiction Award. A recipient of fellowships from the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars and the National Endowment for the Arts, he lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife, the fiction writer Laura van den Berg, and their dog, Oscar.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Ingrid Newkirk - Animalkind (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - 6:00pm

In the last few decades, a wealth of new information has emerged about who animals are—intelligent, aware, and empathetic. Studies show that animals are astounding beings with intelligence, emotions, intricate communications networks, and myriad abilities. In Animalkind, Ingrid Newkirk and Gene Stone present these findings in a concise and awe-inspiring way, detailing a range of surprising discoveries: that geese fall in love and stay with a partner for life, that fish “sing” underwater, and that elephants use their trunks to send subsonic signals, alerting other herds to danger miles away.

Newkirk and Stone pair their tour of the astounding lives of animals with a guide to the exciting new tools that allow humans to avoid using or abusing animals as we once did. They show readers what they can do in their everyday lives to ensure that the animal world is protected from needless harm. Whether it’s medicine, product testing, entertainment, clothing, or food, there are now better options to all the uses animals once served in human life. We can substitute warmer, lighter faux fleece for wool, choose vegan versions of everything from shrimp to sausage and milk to marshmallows, reap the benefits of medical research that no longer requires monkeys to be caged in laboratories, and scrap captive orca exhibits and elephant rides for virtual reality and animatronics.

Animalkind is a fascinating study of why our fellow living beings deserve our respect, and moreover, the steps every reader can take to put this new understanding into action.

Ingrid Newkirk founded PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), the largest animal rights organization in the world, with affiliates in eight countries, in 1980. She is the author of Save the Animals! 101 Things You Can Do, Kids Can Save the Animals, The Compassionate Cook, and several other books available in multiple languages.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Christa Reynolds - Will & Mysteria (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Thursday, January 30, 2020 - 6:00pm

So many of us today yearn to live an authentic life in alignment with our higher self. We enroll in meditation classes, practice yoga, engage in unique relationships to explore our feelings, while trying to truly understand ourselves and live in the present. We seek to know what fulfills and motivates us to be the best we can be. Will and Mysteria is the mythical journey of one young man–Oliver Humane. He’s an ambitious young professor who wants to make a difference in the world. He subconsciously desires to know who he really is and what he can aspire to be. Will and Mysteria are two influential yogis he comes to know through his travails; while bumping up against their rival, Edgar. Together, the three will help Oliver explore his innermost being and wake him up to the kind of divine existence we can all aspire to.

​Christa Reynolds is a seasoned Yoga and Meditation teacher, as well as an Intuitive, who currently teaches Chakra Clearing Meditation in the San Francisco area. Her meditation classes include clearing your energy field, releasing pent-up and/or restless energy through gentle breathing, while teaching you to understand how chakra management enhances your life. Christa’s classes also gently nudge practitioners towards sacred mantra which allows them to drop sweetly into both a peaceful and joyful place within. She lives in Sausalito, California and relishes her early morning walks with her dog “Noshi” down by the waters edge.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Robert Trebor - The Haircut Who Would Be King (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Monday, February 3, 2020 - 6:00pm

The Haircut Who Would Be King is a farcical sendup of Donald Trump's rise to power and volatile partnership with Vladimir Putin. As a young boy, Donald Rump was less than precocious—a miserable student, prone to implacable tantrums, whose emotional intelligence ceased maturing at the age of 9. But the region of the brain responsible for egomaniacal self-assessment was prodigiously large. After some success and plenty more failure in real estate, he turns his attentions to reality TV and hosts a show called "Paycheck," each episode of which concludes with Rump singing "Don't Cry for Me Argentina."

Meanwhile, Vladimir Poutine was raised by KGB agents during the early years of Khrushchev's reign. Poutine, a latent homosexual who immerses himself in the self-consciously manly world of "physical culture," reads magazines about bodybuilding. Crushed by the demise of the Soviet Union, he copes in the most peculiar way: "he would slip into a silver lam gown, pop on a curly wig and perform Marlene Dietrich classics at a local drag bar."

Rump decides he'd like to try his hand at politics and recruits shock jock Alex Clamz from the popular but frothing radio show, "Disinfowarz." He runs for president opposite Mallory Claxton, a sensible woman with a sterling career in public service. Despite a bizarre campaign and a trail of seedy scandals, Rump wins with clandestine help from Poutine.

And then, the fun really begins.

Robert Trebor is a character actor with more than 40 years experience on stage, film and television. Two of his noteworthy roles are The Son of Sam in the film Out Of The Darkness, and Salmoneus the merchant in the Hercules and Xena TV series. Playing both a psychopath and a salesman was enormously helpful in preparing this book.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Lawrence Ingrassia - Billion Dollar Brand Club (San Francisco Ferry Building Store/Shack 15)

Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - 7:00pm

This event is being held in partnership with Shack 15. Please visit Book Passage's Ferry Building store to receive a free pass for the event and directions to Shack 15's location on the second floor of the Ferry Building.

A leading business journalist takes us inside a business revolution: the upstart brands taking on the empires that long dominated the trillion-dollar consumer economy.

Dollar Shave Club and its hilarious marketing. Casper mattresses popping out of a box. Third Love’s lingerie designed specifically for each woman’s body. Warby Parker mailing you five pairs of glasses to choose from. You’ve seen their ads. You (or someone you know) use their products. Each may appear, in isolation, as a rare David with the bravado to confront a Goliath, but taken together they represent a seismic shift in a business model that has lasted more than a century.

As Lawrence Ingrassia--former business and economics editor and deputy managing editor at the New York Times--shows in this timely and eye-opening book, a growing number of digital entrepreneurs have found new and creative ways to crack the code on the bonanza of physical goods that move through our lives every day. They have discovered that manufacturing, marketing, logistics, and customer service have all been flattened—where there were once walls that protected big brands like Gillette, Sealy, Victoria’s Secret, or Lenscrafters, savvy and hungry innovators now can compete on price, value, quality, speed, convenience, and service.

Billion Dollar Brand Club reveals the world of the entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and corporate behemoths battling over this terrain. And what fun it is. It’s a massive, high-stakes business saga animated by the personalities, flashes of insight, and stories behind the stuff we use every day.

Lawrence Ingrassia is a former business and economics editor and deputy managing editor at the New York Times, having previously spent twenty-five years at the Wall Street Journal, as Boston bureau chief, London bureau chief, money and investing editor, and assistant managing editor. He also served as managing editor of the Los Angeles Times. The coverage he directed won five Pulitzer Prizes as well as Gerald Loeb Awards and George Polk Awards. He lives in Los Angeles.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

P. Carl - Becoming a Man (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Saturday, February 8, 2020 - 3:00pm

Renowned artist and activist P. Carl uncovers the intricacies of transitioning and finding himself anew in his memoir, Becoming A Man. Carl is an award-winning producer and dramaturg, and co-founder of Howlround, a free and open platform for theater-makers worldwide. When working with Claudia Rankine on her new play “The White Card,” Carl was transitioning, and this book came from that experience. “On March 16 of 2017 I become a man, a white man,” writes Carl, just months after Trump’s election, two months shy of Carl’s fifty-first birthday, and just a few more months away from the eruption of the #MeToo movement.

Against the backdrop of our pivotal political moment, Carl’s personal journey interweaves with a broader mission: Carl delivers a cutting, clear-eyed dissection of gender and identity in America. Carl has a unique vantage point—having moved through the world for decades as a woman before walking those same streets as a man. And he uses his first-hand experience to shine a light on the subtle double standards and injustices that run through daily the daily lives of millions in America. Even as Carl is finally able to celebrate his arrival in the world as the man he has always known himself to be, he must reimagine masculinity and challenge it. “To construct that man,” he writes, “knowing what I know as a woman, is my work now.”

Carl delivers a singular, heart-baring story—about what it’s like to transition at age fifty, to become oneself after waiting a lifetime, and how this transformation ripples through all the habits and relationships (including his roles as spouse and sibling) he has built over half a century.

P. Carl is a Distinguished Artist in Residence at Emerson College in Boston and was awarded a 2017 Art of Change Fellowship from the Ford Foundation, the Berlin Prize fellowship from the American Academy for the Fall of 2018, the Andrew W. Mellon Creative Research Residency at the University of Washington, and the Anschutz Fellowship at Princeton for spring of 2020. He made theater for twenty years and now writes and teaches. He resides in Boston and lives with his wife of twenty-one years, the writer Lynette D’Amico, and their dogs.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Left Coast Writers®: Antoinette Constable - Natalie in the Shadow of the Swastika (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Monday, February 10, 2020 - 6:00pm

Author Antoinette Constable, who was a young girl in WWII France, has written a compelling coming-of-age novel for young adult readers, Natalie in the Shadow of the Swastika. Set in 1940 occupied Paris, eight-year-old Natalie and her family—a Jewish mother, gentile father, and two sisters—cope with the harsh facts of war and Hitler’s occupying army. When her ailing father suddenly disappears, Natalie’s safe surroundings are forever changed. Her struggles with the painful family separation and the dangerous threats against her Jewish mother reveal a growing maturity in the face of confusing loss. Natalie’s fierce resolve to hold onto hope and her love of family leads her from innocence to understanding and resilience, despite the violence of war.

Born and raised in France, Antoinette Constable was a career nurse holding British and American degrees, and is also retired from her own catering business. She has lived in the United States for many years, where she raised her four children as a single mother. Her work has won the PEN First Prize for Poetry, as well as the Ann Stanford Award from the University of Southern California, and has appeared in Alaska Quarterly Review, Barnabe Mountain Review, Bay Area Poets Coalition, California Quarterly (CQ), Denver Metropolitan State Magazine, The Healing Muse, Louisville Review, and POEM. Her chapbook of war-related poems, The Lasting War, was published in December 2014.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Monique El-Faizy with Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis - All the President's Women (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 6:00pm

During his 2016 presidential run, the revelation of the Access Hollywood tape and subsequent allegations of sexual misconduct lodged against Donald Trump looked like they might doom his candidacy. Trump survived, and the first two years of the real estate scion's presidency were marked not by controversy over his behavior around women but by the Mueller investigation.

So far, Trump has dodged the #MeToo bullet that has taken down so many once-powerful men. But despite the decades of tabloid fascination with his personal life, the story of Trump's relationship with women has never been fully told. Considering his bully pulpit in the White House, the reckoning is overdue. All the President's Women offers the most detailed account yet of Trump's history with women, dating back to his childhood and high school days through his rise in real estate, reality TV, and politics. This book will show that Trump's behavior goes far beyond occasional "locker-room talk" and unwanted advances. Barry Levine and Monique El-Faizy detail more than a dozen new allegations against Trump, including a disturbing attack on a woman at Mar-a-Lago, an incident at a private Manhattan sex club involving a teenage girl, as well as Trump's behavior at fashion shows and beauty pageants—events that gave the future president a hunting ground to harass young women.

Veteran journalists Levine and El-Faizy tell the story of Trump from the point of view of the women in his orbit—wives, mistresses, playmates, and those whom the president has dated, kissed, groped, or lusted after.

Monique El-Faizy is a Paris-based journalist and the author of God and Country: How Evangelicals Have Become America's New Mainstream. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications, including The New York Times, the Guardian, the Washington Post, the Financial Times, Marie Claire, GQ, and Glamour.

Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis was sworn in as the 50th Lieutenant Governor of California by Governor Gavin Newsom on January 7th, 2019. She is the first woman elected Lt. Governor of California. From 2010 to 2013, Kounalakis served as President Barack Obama’s Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary. Kounalakis was the first Greek-American woman—and at age 43 one of America’s youngest—to serve as U.S. Ambassador. Her highly acclaimed memoir, Madam Ambassador, Three Years of Diplomacy, Dinner Parties and Democracy in Budapest chronicles the onset of Hungary’s democratic backsliding.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

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