1946 --- Aldous Huxley --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Reading “Brave New World” in 2015

Our dystopias have gone back to the wilderness.


Echo of the Boom

If Echo of the Boom is representative of the hysterical-realist novel of today, the main quality that differentiates it from its forebears is its treatment of humor.

Profane Illumination, Street Surrealism, and Venice, California

Read an excerpt from John O’Kane’s new counterculture history of Venice, California.


In ‘Son Of A Gun’ a Bleak But Humane Look At The Modern West

A new memoir documents a young man’s reckoning with his mother’s murder in Tombstone, Arizona.


Tenderloin Poet: William Taylor Jr. [VIDEO]

A poet draws inspiration from the mean streets of the Tenderloin neighborhood he’s lived in for nearly a decade. Creosote Minidoc #1


Percival Everett by Percival Everett

In his most recent book, one of America’s most important novelists experiments again, and this time, loses the thread.

Writer and   professor Junot Diaz.

This is How You Lose Her

Junot Diaz’s latest collection of short stories,This is How You Lose Her, continues to mine the author’s experiences as a Dominican immigrant in New Jersey

The Dangers of Proximal Alphabets

Kathleen Alcott’s debut is a lyrical, heartfelt novel about the way people try to hold onto things that are transient by nature.

The Mutant Metropolis

Mexico City. What can you say about 20 million people? Not much in general, but an awful lot in particular.


Magic, Terror, and San Francisco

In “Season of the Witch,” founder David Talbot takes us through the turmoil, activism and passion of modern San Francisco’s violent birth in the 60s and 70s.


From the Barbary Coast to the 21st Century

Larry Rothe, author of a new history of the San Francisco Symphony, talks about the City, the orchestra, music, and writing.

Time Travel for Introverts

In contrast to much science fiction, in Yu’s book, time isn’t fragile, it’s we who are fragile—time is malleable, self-healing, a river that splits apart and converges.


Blood Connections

Though the characters that Woodrell has created are often strange, violent, even grotesque, they are always recognizably human.

Winter Lit Journals in San Francisco

The winter literary quarterlies are hitting bookshelves in San Francisco—Zyzzyva, 14 Hills, and McSweeney’s.

The Barbarian Nurseries

Héctor Tobar’s new novel takes a sprawling view of Los Angeles, from the gated communities to the back alleys and side streets where the marginalized and the forgotten create their own vibrant community.

Love and Shame and Love

Peter Orner’s new novel is an album of snapshots, capturing the dreams and disappointments of a middle-class Jewish family in Chicago.


Lyrically Criminal

Ozarks author Daniel Woodrell writes soaring, lyrical crime fiction that recalls Faulkner as much as Chandler. Our conversation with the author of Winter’s Bone and the new story collection, The Outlaw Album.


The Scanners Project

The Scanners Project is a temporary bookstore meets art installation, a showcase of the tactile pleasures of physicality of books.

A Memoir of Grief and Indelible Love

In Goldman’s hands, Aura becomes so indelible, so bristling with life, that when he writes of his life without her, our grief for his loss becomes as keening as his own.

A Salon for Neglected Classics

A new monthly salon at Dog Eared Books, led by SF author Peter Orner, digs deep into the neglected books re-published in the NYRB Classics collection.

Fante & Son

Dan Fante provides a refreshing and much-needed examination of his father, John Fante’s life, and the cloud of dirty glamor that surrounds it.

An Atlas the Size of San Francisco

“An atlas is a collection of versions of a place, a compendium of perspectives, a snatching out of the infinite ether of potential versions a few that will be made concrete and visible.”

Transgressions and Confessions

Stephen Elliott’s memoir, The Adderall Diaries, captures the mood of the Bay Area’s underbelly as he explores the false confessions of others—and his own compulsions.

Chasing the Sun

In this monumental work chronicling the history of the Great Migration, Isabel Wilkerson’s greatest achievement is presenting three indelible individuals.

Earthly Radiance

Louis B. Jones’ new novel finds illumination in uncertainty as a Berkeley physicist takes his daughter on a “celebrity fantasy vacation” in Los Angeles.

Alix Lambert’s World of Crime

Art and its representation of crime are a big part of Alix Lambert’s innovative book of interviews with actors, directors, writers, convicts, cops, and gangsters.

Voices From Venezuela

New book delivers ground-level perspectives on the Bolivarian Revolution—in candid, concise, and inspiring narratives.


Finding Chinatown

A conversation with Bonnie Tsui, author of American Chinatown, on the changing dynamics of the urban neighborhoods she explored.

A Novel With Too Many Rooms: I Hotel

Karen Tei Yamashita’s novel I Hotel is an experimental epic that spans ten years in the social and political activism of the San Francisco Asian community.

More Horror Than Glamour: Imperial Bedrooms

Bret Easton Ellis’s newest novel is another season in Hollywood Hell.

The Donald We Don’t Know

If there was biting satire at the heart of Donald: A Novel, then maybe a dignified Donald Rumsfeld would be a character worth putting up with.

Absent Lovers

Vendela Vida’s new novel, The Lovers, follows a Vermont widow’s trip to coastal Turkey, where she is haunted by her husband’s death, but also lifted into weightlessness by her new freedom to define herself.

Underground America: Voices of the Undocumented

From McSweeney’s Voice of Witness series, Underground America collects firsthand accounts from immigrants who have come in pursuit of a dream and found a complex, disturbing reality.

Junkie Noir: My Dreams Out In The Street

In My Dreams Out in the Street, people don’t just have one or two drinks. They have six or seven, and then they keep on going.

I Am Not Sidney Poitier

Percival Everett’s picaresque novel suggests that people only get a true sense of their character when they are thrown head-first into drama.

State of Restlessness: West of the West

Veteran reporter Mark Arax goes deep into California’s unknown worlds: a frontier between the past and future, one of perpetual restlessness.

Straddling the Line: Spiritual Envy

Michael Krasny’s Spiritual Envy: An Agnostic’s Quest adds a defense of doubt to the debate between religion and atheism.

Balancing the “Two Chinas”: Yiyun Li

Li’s fiction presents characters quietly struggling to develop themselves as human beings.


Paul Goodman Turns 100

The anarchist, queer, “Neolithic conservative” man of letters—Paul Goodman—would have turned 100 this year.



Australian blogger/archivist PK’s book, Bibliodyssey, is a glimpse into a world where science and art were not so distant from each other.


Mapping the Lost City: Daniel Alarcón

While writing Lost City Radio, Alarcón kept a map of Lima handy which he’d drawn over in marker, reinterpreting the city and renaming its districts.