Tuesday, April 19: Paolo Bacigalupi at Pegasus Books, Berkeley
Climate change brings about new, terrifying prospects nearly every day. Like the best writers of dystopia before him, Paolo Bacigalupi takes one possible future reality -- massive and severe drought -- and runs with it. The Water Knife, out in paperback this month, takes place in the American Southwest where a "Big Daddy drought" has turned Arizona into the new dust bowl. As to be expected, the climate apocalypse leads to mass migrations, major government corruption, and a widening gap between the rich and poor. Read the headlines in today's newspaper and you'll see that, without a doubt, Bacigalupi, a Nebula-winner and National Book Awards finalist, is toying with concepts that are only too possible. Details here
Saturday, April 23: The Write of Way Festival at the San Francisco Art Institute, SF
What's more fun than a rad book festival on a Saturday afternoon? Plus, it's always exciting to welcome a new one to the bunch. The first annual Write of Way Festival, hosted by the San Francisco Art Institute, promises to "offer more opportunities for the Bay Area literary community to assemble, network." The line-up of publishers and authors alone is enough to prove that. Participating literary organizations include 826 Valencia, Bay Area, Generations, Bazaar Writers Salon, BeastCrawl, ¿Donde Esta Mi Gente?, Eleven Eleven, The Escapery: Your Writing Unschool, Foglifter Press, Fourteen Hills, The God Particle, Liminal, Lit Camp, Lyrics & Dirges, Manic D Press, Milvia Street, Mixed Race Writers, Nomadic Press, Pandemonium Press, Passages on the Lake, Queer Rebels, Red Light Lit, San Francisco Creative Writing Institute, San Francisco Writers Grotto, Santa Clara Review, Studio 18: Spoken Word, Transit Books, Untitled Magazine and VelRo. Along with a bazaar, where publishers will sell their wares, scheduled readings will be held in multiple locations, along with collaborative writing workshops. Best of all, it's free! Details here
Sunday, April 24: Esme Weijun Wang and Ranbir Singh at Diesel Bookstore, Oakland
The Border of Paradise, the new novel from San Francisco-based journalist and essayist Esme Weijun Wang, is an ambitious multigenerational novel, the kind of book you can sink your teeth into. It's loaded with travel, affairs, family secrets, and a "beautiful, sharp-tongued madam," which is pretty much always a good thing. On a similar tip, Ranbir Sing Sidhu's debut novel Deep Singh Blue tells the story of an Indian family that's trying to gain a foothold in their adopted United States, a journey marked by tragedy and bad decisions. Both novels are ambitious stabs at a truly challenging art form. No shortcuts here, just good solid writing about flawed humans and the messes they get into. Details here.
Wednesday, April 27: Chita Banerjee Divakaruni at Books Inc., Mountain View
Chita Banerjee has already received a fair share of praise. Her most recent novel, Oleander Girl, was an Oprah's Book Club recommendation and received excellent reviews in the Wall Street Journal and Booklist. Oh, and she wrote 14 books before that one, including The Mistress of Spices, Sister of My Heart, and One Amazing Thing. Her latest novel, Before We Visit the Goddess, takes place in Bengal, India and Houston, Texas. It begins with the story of Sabitri, the daughter of a poor sweet-maker who wants to break out of her caste. After being taken under the wing of a woman of power, Sabitri makes a terrible mistake. Later, her daughter is still paying the psychic price for her mother's bad choices. Details here.