Literature

Shelf life

BOOKS ISSUE: Ourshelves turns over a new leaf for broke bookworms

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caitlin@sfbg.com

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 »

Cruel revolution

BOOKS ISSUE: A Thousand Lives' harrowing, heartfelt Jonestown journey

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cheryl@sfbg.com

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 »

Occupy hip-hop

BOOKS ISSUE: Three new lit releases by hip-hop greats put forth visions of change

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Get read!

BOOKS ISSUE: 25 books from 2011 to check out

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ROCK AND ROLL ALWAYS FORGETS

By Chuck Eddy

Duke University Press

352 pp., paper, $24.95Read more »

The message of 1968

Author Dave Zirin talks about a sports moment that changed the world

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By J.H. TompkinsRead more »

GOLDIES 2011 Lifetime Achievement: David Meltzer

"Of course, when I got here, the first place I went to was City Lights."

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GOLDIES "This isn't a conflict of interest, I hope?" David Meltzer asks. We're smoking on the back porch of his Piedmont apartment with his wife, poet Julie Rogers, about two bottles of wine into our interview, wondering whether he's the first former Guardian contributor to get a Goldie. A decade or so ago, he was writing CD reviews and the odd feature on anything from pedal steel guitar to new age music. Read more »

Strive to fail

What new books by Chicken John and Reverend Billy have to say to the young occupiers in our streets

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steve@sfbg.com

LIT As I watched Occupy Wall Street grow and spread to other cities in recent weeks, I've been alternating between reading two books by familiar figures — a pair of fearless entities that have helped pry open public spaces using the simple weapon of creative expression — and I'm struck by the lessons they offer at this strangely hopeful moment in our history.Read more »

Shakin' spines

From Rowdy Roddy Piper to metaphor jugglers: some irreverent picks for Litquake 2011
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marke@sfbg.com

LIT Once again, the raucous, two-week Litquake festival is set to liquidate our shores with the mighty crack and crash of living language. Dazed authors and reeling poets will grace our lesser known alleyways; literary agents and bookstore owners will awaken satisfied on the curbs of our better sex clubs. Kindles will be hijacked, asses will be signed. Some actual writing may get done.Read more »

Addicted to print

Pop-up store Scanners celebrates the thrill of used-book salvage

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Write what you know

Will Viharo lives, breathes, and bleeds pulp fiction

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