LIT Over a five-year period in Oakland, California, archivist Pat Thomas befriended key leaders of the Black Power movement, dug through Huey Newton's archives at Stanford University, spent countless hours and thousands of dollars on eBay, and talked to rank and file Black Panther Party members. He uncovered dozens of obscure albums, singles, and stray tapes. Along the way, he began to piece together a time period (1967-1974) when revolutionaries were seen as pop culture icons.Read more »
IRISH Yesterday she and her husband received notice that it would soon be converted into a condo. But for the moment, it is still hers. We are sitting in Irish author Renee Gibbons' rent-controlled North Beach apartment of 31 years and she is telling me about the time she saw Van Morrison walking down Columbus Street in the 1970s.Read more »
LIT "When you've lived so far like I have," Christine Beatty's wry voice came crackling through the phone as she drove to Las Vegas to play the slots, "you sometimes just have to catch your eye in the rearview mirror and laugh. I've led such a charmed life, really."Read more »
LIT For the winter holidays many years back, I received a long-arm stapler. It wasn't a surprise, I'd expressly asked for it. And no, I was not a teenage office supply fetishist.
I wanted the stapler because I wrote, cut-and-pasted, and hand-assembled my own zine, and that process was about to get a lot more efficient, thanks to my new long-arm. Those who've crafted their own DIY booklets know the thrill of the further-stretching stapler that meets the paper crease.Read more »
LIT If you're shopping for that special thriller fan on your list, you might want to pop an I.O.U. into his or her stocking: the best thriller of the year doesn't hit bookstores until Dec. 27.Read more »
LIT On a Wednesday night in a Mission basement, a group of new friends has gathered to celebrate a library. Onstage, a man and a woman struggle to maintain their solemnity while reading a passage from David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest on the fallacy of video phone calls. In the dimness, the rest of the members of Ourshelves sit in chairs and on benches, everyone doubtless reflecting on the power of the written word.Read more »
LIT "As one survivor told me," author Julia Scheeres writes in her introduction to A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown (Free Press, 320 pp., $26), "nobody joins a cult."Read more »