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The cyber-pioneer wrestles with the technologies of tomorrow in his new non-fiction book, Who Owns the Future?.
Celebrating the release of his short story collection Mundo Cruel in conversation with Zyzzyva managing editor and former Chronicle books editor Os...
Leave it to Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore to have us all excited about the end of San Francisco. The queer activist and radical prose stylist moved to Seattle a few years ago but returns to celebrate her new book (out on City Lights). Her writing... More »
In 1974, the band Television had a weekly "residency" at a skuzzy biker bar called CBGBs, and Patti Smith wrote one of their first reviews. After rhapsodizing about Tom Verlaine's swanlike neck, she turned to Richard Hell — his look, his moves,... More »
At the turn of the 20th century, Alfred Jarry produced the most compelling plan for a time machine yet published. This, and Jarry’s habit of speaking in a clipped, mechanized voice fashioned after his own character in Ubu Roi, probably led his... More »
Michelle Tea is the literary purveyor of fucking bring-it. She's co-founder of the hilarious, moving, queer roadshow Sister Spit, which is also the title of the first book released under the City Ligh... More »
In 1969, during the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the Transcontinental Railroad, guest speaker/historian Philip P. Choy made quite an impression. Regrettably, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation had been asked to speak first, speciously... More »
San Francisco's status as one of America's best book cities was somewhat threatened by closures over the last decade (RIP Stacey's and A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books). But City Lights is still going strong, and remains a linchpin of the city's robust literary life. Atmospheric and well-stocked, the store's three stories offer a broad and idiosyncratic selection that is conducive to making new discoveries -- especially for those who prefer to do so on their own (i.e., sans the paid... More »
Although it's a required stop on the Columbus Avenue tourist crawl, bordering Jack Kerouac Alley and Vesuvio Cafe, City Lights, founded by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, retains its pioneer spirit. The floors creak, which is nice, and the bookshelves look like they were built over time, on site, by Ferlinghetti himself. The bathroom is for staff only; the coffee bars are up the street. The history -- well, you probably know the history: the first paperback bookstore, Beat magnet, Howl... More »
Where else? The publishers of Howl still maintain that healthy authority-questioning outlook that made the beats so reviled and celebrated during the somnolent '50s, offering up three floors of mostly paperbacked volumes on an array of subjects eclectic enough for the thirstiest intellectual. There's a Little Press Alcove with a couple of hundred magazines, pamphlets, and booklets (Dead in Memphis and The Last Cannoli among them), postcards of James Joyce, Richard Wright, and other icons, a... More »
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