San Francisco Events

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

Elena Schwolsky - Waking in Havana (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - 6:00pm

Compelled by her anti-war work with returning Vietnam veterans and her passion for social justice, Elena Schwolsky traveled to the then-forbidden island of Cuba in 1972 with a brigade of youthful volunteers to help build houses for workers and support the still young Cuban Revolution; a decision that would shape her life and ultimately lead her back to Cuba twenty years later—as she shares in her beautifully narrated new book Waking in Havana: A Memoir of AIDS and Healing in Cuba.

Elena returns to the island––a pediatric AIDS nurse weary from the constant loss and sorrow surrounding her work, a grieving widow dealing with the death of her husband—himself a victim of the disease, and a lifelong activist hoping to reconnect with the resilient spirit she felt as a young ‘brigadista’. The author takes readers along through her humorous attempts to navigate this very different culture—into Havana’s controversial AIDS sanatorium and the lives of the generous, opinionated and passionate Cubans who become her family and help her to heal.

Elena Schwolsky, RN, MPH, is a nurse, community health educator, activist, and writer who spent a decade as a pediatric nurse at the height of the AIDS epidemic. She has trained AIDS educators in Cuba and Tanzania and currently teaches community health workers in diverse urban neighborhoods in New York City. Her essays have appeared in The American Journal of Nursing and The Veteran, and her work has been included in the anthologies Storied Dishes: What Our Family Recipes Tell Us About Who We Are and Where We’ve Been and Reflections on Nursing: 80 inspiring stories on the art and science of nursing. A chapter she co-wrote appears in the textbook Children, Families and AIDS: Psychosocial and Therapeutic Issues. Schwolsky is the recipient of a writing award from the Barbara Deming Money for Women Fund and is proud to be recognized as the madrina (godmother) of Proyecto Memorias, the Cuban AIDS Quilt project.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Craig Fehrman - Author in Chief (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 6:00pm

In the tradition of The Gatekeepers and The Presidents Club, historian Craig Fehrman offers a surprising new look into both the public and private lives of America’s presidents.

Most Americans are familiar with Lincoln’s famous words in the Gettysburg Address and the Emancipation Proclamation. Yet few can name the work that helped win him the presidency: his published collection of speeches entitled Political Debates Between Hon. Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephen A. Douglas. Lincoln labored in secret to get his book ready for the 1860 election, tracking down newspaper transcripts, editing them carefully for fairness, and hunting for a printer who would meet his specifications. Political Debates sold fifty thousand copies—the rough equivalent of half a million books in today’s market—and it reveals something about Lincoln’s presidential ambitions. But it also reveals something about his heart and mind. When voters asked about his beliefs, Lincoln liked to point them to his book.

In Craig Fehrman’s groundbreaking work of history, Author in Chief, the story of America’s presidents and their books opens a rich new window into presidential biography. Beginning with Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia, the first presidential book to influence a campaign, and John Adams’s Autobiography, the first score-settling presidential memoir, Author in Chief draws on newly uncovered information—including never-before-published letters from Andrew Jackson, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan—to offer insights into the aspirations and inner lives of our nation’s presidents. We see Teddy Roosevelt, known today for his rugged adventures and bulletproof self-confidence, as a vulnerable first-time author, struggling to write the book that would become a classic of American history. We see Ronald Reagan painstakingly revising Where’s the Rest of Me?, a forgotten memoir in which he sharpened his sunny political image. We see Donald Trump negotiating the deal for Art of the Deal, the volume that made him synonymous with business savvy—and decades later boosted him again on his way to the White House.

Combining the narrative skill of a journalist with the rigorous scholarship of a historian, Fehrman presents hundreds of new stories, scenes, quotations, and telling details to create an entirely fresh take on our highest leaders. Author in Chief is a feast for history lovers, book lovers, and everybody curious about a behind-the-scenes look at our presidents.

Craig Fehrman is a journalist and historian who’s written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The New Republic, and Slate, among others. He has appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. He lives in Indiana with his wife and children.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Bryant Terry - Vegetable Kingdom (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Saturday, February 22, 2020 - 1:00pm

Meet & Greet Following CUESA Demo!

In Vegetable Kingdom, food justice activist and author Bryant Terry breaks down the fundamentals of plant-based cooking, showing you how to make delicious meals from popular vegetables, grains, and legumes. Recipes like Dirty Cauliflower, Barbecued Carrots with Slow-Cooked White Beans, Millet Roux Mushroom Gumbo, and Citrus & Garlic-Herb-Braised Fennel are enticing enough without meat substitutes, instead relying on fresh ingredients, vibrant spices, and clever techniques to build flavor and texture. The book is organized by ingredient, making it easy to create simple dishes or showstopping meals based on what’s fresh at the market. Bryant also covers the basics of vegan cooking, explaining the fundamentals of assembling flavorful salads, cooking filling soups and stews, and making tasty grains and legumes. With beautiful imagery and classic design, Vegetable Kingdom is an invaluable tool for plant-based cooking today.

Bryant Terry is a James Beard Award-winning chef and educator and the author of Afro-Vegan. He is renowned for his activism and efforts to create a healthy, equitable, and sustainable food system. He is currently in his fifth year as chef-in-residence at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, where he creates programming that celebrates the intersection of food, farming, health, activism, art, culture, and the African Diaspora. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, and San Francisco Chronicle, and on NPR's All Things Considered. San Francisco magazine included Bryant among the 11 Smartest People in the Bay Area Food Scene and Fast Company named him one of 9 People Who Are Changing the Future of Food.

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We are pleased to share our Saturday mornings at the Ferry Building with our friends at CUESA, as they host well-known chefs at their demonstration kitchen. The food-portion of the events usually start at the market about an hour or so earlier than the times listed above. We invite the chefs and their fans to take a short walk over to our store where they can meet their readers and sign their books.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Karen Sherman - Brick By Brick (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Thursday, February 27, 2020 - 6:00pm

Karen Sherman, author of Brick By Brick: Building Hope and Opportunity for Women Survivors Everywhere moved her family from Bethesda, Maryland to Kigali for a year in 2012 after a 25-year career working on women’s issues in developing countries and embattled parts of the world. More than a memoir of that year, the book is a tribute to the women she met, and how their stories profoundly impacted her own life. “In many ways, our time in Rwanda surprised me.” says Sherman, “It deepened my sense of perspective for what it takes to be a woman almost anywhere in the world today, even when that womanhood is threatened or diminished by one’s family, culture or society. There is much that women in the developed and developing worlds can learn from each other, especially in this era of mass shootings and #MeToo.” Sherman and her three sons arrived in Rwanda after a tumultuous year in which her bid to become CEO of Women for Women International, an organization that helps women survivors of war rebuild their lives, had failed. She had worked there for close to a decade.

“Like so many people in our modern, success-driven society, the job defined me,” she writes. “But this work was much more than a job. Helping women who had survived war move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency resonated powerfully with me, given my background and experiences. It felt right, like what I was supposed to be doing. This failure felt personal. It was devastating.” So, she took a one-year posting to Rwanda, hoping it would distance her from the crises in her career and marriage and put her back in touch with the work on the ground. Throughout her career, she had heard hundreds of personal stories from women who had endured war. The common thread was that all had managed to survive. "Now that we were living in Rwanda,” she writes, “I thought maybe, if I could sit and talk with some of these women, learn more about their perspectives and choices, it might help to bring me back to myself." For the rest of 2012 and into 2013, Sherman oversaw the completion of a new Women’s Opportunity Center in Kayonza and the transitions of leadership in three of the four African countries where Women for Women worked. Each of the five hundred thousand bricks used to construct the Center were hand made by Rwandan women. “The architects of the Center would often talk about the process of building as ‘brick by brick.’ But I always thought of it as woman by woman,” Sherman writes in the book’s prologue. “These women, and so many of the survivors I worked with, each in their own way, had been able to build or rebuild their lives one step, one small change, in some cases, one brick at a time,” she realizes. “They’d held onto their dreams, forged their own paths, taken risks, and led change in their families, communities, and countries. They had fully embraced their choices. In that moment I vowed to fully embrace mine.”

Karen Sherman brings more than 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur, strategist, and executive level manager to her role as President of the Akilah Institute. Throughout her career, Sherman has combined her expertise, passion, and transformative leadership skills to affect lasting change for women in conflict-affected countries and those in transition. She has global and sectoral experience in: Women and girls’ education around the world, Women's economic empowerment and entrepreneurship, Women in conflict-affected countries. Across her different roles, Sherman has worked with stakeholders at all levels, from community groups to corporate leaders and heads of state, to take programs from concept to scale. Most importantly, her work has resulted in measurable impacts on women’s income, health, decision-making, and social networks. Sherman serves as a thought leader and spokesperson on global women’s issues through the media, public appearances, and diverse social media platforms. She has been featured in multiple publications and was Executive Producer of The Other Side of War: Women’s Stories of Survival and Hope, published by National Geographic.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Erica Etelson - Beyond Contempt (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - 6:00pm

Liberal and progressive frustration, grief, and alarm over Trump's destructive political agenda and behavior have prompted mounting disdain for Trump supporters and other conservatives. This reaction is contributing to political polarization and unwittingly serving to strengthen Trump's hand as he sows divisiveness and hatred. In Beyond Contempt, Erica Etelson shows us how to communicate respectfully, passionately, and effectively across the political divide without soft-pedaling our beliefs. Using Powerful Non-Defensive Communication skill sets, we can express ourselves in ways that inspire open-minded consideration instead of triggering defensive reaction. Providing detailed instruction and dozens of examples of how to discuss hot button topics, Beyond Contempt is a must-have guide to productive dialogue that can defuse hostility, build trust, and open hearts and minds in unexpected ways.

Erica Etelson is a writer, community activist, and certified Powerful Non-Defensive Communication facilitator. A former human rights attorney, she has advocated in support of welfare recipients, prisoners, indigenous peoples, immigrants, and environmental activists. She has also organized for clean, community-owned energy as part of a just transition to a local, low-carbon economy. Following the 2016 election, Etelson became active in the resistance movement and in left-right dialogue initiatives. Her articles have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Progressive Populist, Truthout, and Alternet . She lives with her husband and son in Berkeley, California.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Celia Stahr - Frida in America (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 6:00pm

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo adored adventure. In November, 1930, she was thrilled to realize her dream of traveling to the United States to live in San Francisco, Detroit, and New York. Still, leaving her family and her country for the first time was monumental.

Only twenty-three and newly married to the already world-famous forty-three-year-old Diego Rivera, she was at a crossroads in her life and this new place, one filled with magnificent beauty, horrific poverty, racial tension, anti-Semitism, ethnic diversity, bland Midwestern food, and a thriving music scene, pushed Frida in unexpected directions. Shifts in her style of painting began to appear, cracks in her marriage widened, and tragedy struck, twice while she was living in Detroit.

Frida in America is the first in-depth biography of these formative years spent in Gringolandia, a place Frida couldn’t always understand. But it’s precisely her feelings of being a stranger in a strange land that fueled her creative passions and an even stronger sense of Mexican identity. With vivid detail, Frida in America recreates the pivotal journey that made Senora Rivera the world famous Frida Kahlo.

Celia Stahr is a professor at the University of San Francisco, where she specializes in modern American and contemporary art with an emphasis on feminist art and gender studies, as well as African and multicultural art. She holds a Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Iowa and lives in the Bay Area.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Sarah Kozloff - A Queen in Hiding (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 6:00pm

Debut author Sarah Kozloff offers a breathtaking and cinematic epic fantasy of a ruler coming of age in A Queen in Hiding, first in the quartet of The Nine Realms series.

Exiled and hunted, Cerúlia, Princess of Weirandale, knows she has one destiny. Her enemies failed to kill her, and no one harboring her is safe. Raised in obscurity, she has no resources, no army, nothing that can help her against her enemies. Except their gods.

Sarah Kozloff holds an endowed chair as a professor of film history at Vassar College. She worked in the film industry in both television and film before becoming a professor. A Queen in Hiding is her debut fantasy novel.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Alex Soojung-Kim Pang - Shorter: Work Better, Smarter, and Less—Here's How (San Francisco Ferry Building Store/Shack 15)

Wednesday, March 18, 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.

The idea of success embraced by the global economy means being always-on, never missing an opportunity, and outworking your peers. But working ever-longer hours isn't sustainable for companies or individuals. Fatigue-induced mistakes, whether in the operating room or factory line, cost companies billions, and overwork alienates and burns out valuable employees.

But what if there is another way? Shorter tells the story of entrepreneurs and leaders all over the world who have discovered how to shrink the workweek without cutting salaries or sacrificing productivity or revenues. They show that by reducing distractions, eliminating inefficiencies, and creating time for high-quality focus and collaboration, 4-day workweeks can boost recruitment and retention, make leaders more thoughtful and companies more sustainable, and improve work-life balance. Using design thinking, a business and product development process pioneered in Silicon Valley, futurist and consultant Alex Pang creates a step-by-step guide for readers to redesign their workdays.

Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D. has spent two decades studying people, technology, and the worlds they make. A Silicon Valley-based futurist and consultant, he has worked with governments and Fortune 500 companies; given talks on five continents, at venues ranging from CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, to Disney World; and held academic positions at Stanford, UC Berkeley, and Oxford universities. Pang's last book, Rest: Why You Get More Done When You Work Less is available in a dozen languages.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

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