TODAY IN PREVIEW: everything, on steroids!

Litquake resumes with another excellent schedule for its Off the Richter Scale series. Check out Writing In California Prisons and Rhyming or Not from yesterday and you’ll probably want to hang out for this:

NoonGolden Gate and Beyond: A medley of Bay Area writers whose work reveals the impact of living at the continent’s edge: Howard Junker [watch this], Andrew Lam [watch this], Fred Setterberg, and James Warner [watch this]

1pm: Golden Gate and Beyond, part 2: Mystery, murder, martinis, manual labor, Muni bonds, and machine guns. Everything you could desire from an hour of fiction. Frank BergonBarnaby Conrad IIISeth Harwood [watch this], Thaisa Frank [watch this], Karen Tei Yamashita [watch this], Merla Zellerbach

2pmVoices from UC Berkeley Extension: Faculty members from the Post-Baccalaureate Certificate Program in Writing will read excerpts of their work: Daniel CoshnearLaurie Ann Doyle [watch this], Cody Gates

2pmThinking, Believing, Living: The Human as Being: A potpourri of nonfiction books on what it means to be human. Are we different from machines? Is DNA the software of life? Can aging be spiritual? Is laughter really the best medicine? Is there any hope for a successful relationship or a life beyond pain? Readings by Brian ChristianPatricia V. Davis [watch this], Allen KleinPamela LairdLewis RichmondMarcus Wohlsen

2:30pmNarratives from Women’s PrisonsAyelet Waldman [watch this] and Justice Now’s Human Rights director Robin Levi will read from and discuss their new book, Women Inside: Narratives from America’s Incarcerated Women. This collection of stories of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women across the U.S. is the newest book from McSweeney’s Voice of Witness, a nonprofit oral history book series.

3pmWriting the Wild: From the icelands of Antarctica to the underwater worlds of the Sea of Cortez, these novelists and essayists have journeyed into the world’s wildest spaces—natural, urban, mythic, and otherwise—and have returned to tell the tale. Come hear as they share their stories and discuss the trials and wonders of writing from extreme circumstances. Anita Amirrezvani,  Natalie BaszileLucy Jane BledsoeCarolyn CookeMichael David LukasJason Magabo Perez

4pmThat’s My Fucking Stool! (4pm): These writers at Vesuvio’s: Alan Black [watch this], Jack Boulware [watch this], Beth Lisick [watch this], Joshua Mohr [watch this], Missy RobackDavid Henry Sterry [watch this], Frances Stroh

4pm“The Great Night” in Buena Vista Park: Don’t miss this if you can help it. Chris Adrian’s novel The Great Night, with fairies, maypoles, and twinkle lights. Pack a basket, bring a blanket, and join us for magic and revelry at the summit overlooking the city below. Featured readings and performance by Great Night author Chris Adrian, author Andrew Sean Greer, and emcee Daniel Handler, with fairy-inspired merriment provided by Booksmith’s Literary Clown Foolery troupe, and a dreamy string quartet to set the mood.

4pmThe Secret Life of Metaphor: Also, this should be fascinating: We utter about one metaphor for every ten to 25 words, or about six metaphors a minute. In this lively and informative talk (which includes live juggling of balls as well as words) James Geary shows how metaphor influences our attitudes, beliefs, and actions in surprising, hidden, and often oddball ways. See Geary speak at TED and peruse his blog.

4:30pmVoices of North Beach: A Literary Tour: This is usually $20, so if you haven’t been and you’re interested, this is a good, free opportunity. I went two years ago and imagine much hasn’t changed!

5pmPitchapalooza: For those of you currently trying to get a book deal, or even thinking about it, this is a must-do. Like American Idol for books, only without Steven Tyler, 20 to 25 writers get one minute to pitch their book ideas to an all-star publishing panel, including David Henry SterrySam Barry, and Kathi Kamen Goldmark. The winner receives an introduction to an agent or publisher. Anyone who buys The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published gets a free consultation worth $100. Last year’s Litquake winner Chris Cole got a publishing deal for his book! Footage from last year.

6pmReality and Fiction Collide: When distinguished authors whose work has been made into movies get together in North Beach’s iconic saloon—with the son of a former Chicago crime family boss and America’s foremost political satirist—something special is bound to happen that gives new meaning to “it hurts when I laugh.” Hosted by Jody Weiner. Frank Calabrese, Jr.,  David Corbett [watch this], Will Durst [watch this], Michelle GagnonBarry GiffordCharlie Haas [watch this], Jody Weiner (host), Keith and Kent Zimmerman

7pmJane Smiley in conversation with Karen Joy Fowler: Jane Smiley is amazingSo is Karen Joy Fowler. Together… they will discuss the nature of historical fiction! How important are facts? How much research is required to create a believable fictional universe?

7pmAdam Mansbach in conversation with Lyrics BornGo the F**k to Sleep is a bedtime book that perfectly captures the familiar (and unspoken) tribulations of putting the little angel down for the night. Mansbach joins Lyrics Born and a host of young fathers in considering how best to get their little provocateurs tucked in—without actually uttering the title of the book.

7pmBeing Human: Brian Christian in conversation with Thomas Goetz: Can a machine be more human than a human? What, exactly, makes us “human” and how does language factor into this? Author and poet Brian Christian tackles this very contemporary philosophical question in his book The Most Human Human: What Talking With Computers Teaches Us What It Means to Be Alive. Litquake brings Christian to San Francisco for a conversation with Wired editor Thomas Goetz.

7pm: (Not a Litquake event) If you’re in Berkeley you should most definitely head to Mythos Fine Art & Artifacts to see Jack and Adelle Foley [watch this]

7:30pm: (Not a Litquake event) The San Francisco Film Festival presents an evening with Susan Orlean and Rin Tin Tin with a screening of Noel Smith’s Clash of the Wolves

8pmJames Ellroy in conversation with Janis Cooke Newman: Notorious Los Angeles author James Ellroy, the self-described “demon dog of American crime fiction, the foul owl with the death growl,” returns to Litquake for an exclusive one-on-one conversation with author Janis Cooke Newman. Topics will range from Ellroy’s relentless and densely plotted writing style, to his adventures with women, adventures with Hollywood, and adventures within the recesses of his mind.


We’re covering both parts of Golden Gate and Beyond, “The Great Night” in Buena Vista Park, That’s My Fucking Stool!, Reality and Fiction Collide, Being Human: Brian Christian in conversation with Thomas Goetz, and James Ellroy in conversation with Janis Cooke Newman (wow! Are we really? Yes). So check back for videos and some thoughts on these events. If you’re headed to something else and take pictures or videos and/or have anything to say about it, let us know! Simply comment below.

Have a great day 2, everyone!