Thursday, September 8: John Jodzio at The Booksmith, SF
Grief and a desire for redemption lie underneath the first story in Knockout (Soft Skull; 2016), the latest collection from Minneapolis-based writer John Jodzio. “Great Alcoholic-Owned Bed and Breakfasts of the Eastern Seaboard” is narrated by a Jim Beam-swilling bed-and-breakfast owner with a dead wife and a stepson left over from the foiled marriage. He begrudgingly loves the boy, despite the fact that they don’t share the same blood. When a guest, supposedly a travel writer, with her own secrets comes to stay at the crumbling B&B, all hell (quietly) breaks loose. Jodzio’s concise stories of losers, bruisers, and outcasts have also appeared on This American Life and in McSweeney’s and One Story. He’ll e reading on Sept. 8 with a superstar cast of local writers: Kate Folk, Dave Madden, and Kara Vernor, whose debut short story collection Because I Wanted to Write You a Pop Song came out this summer on Split Lip Press. Details here
*Jodzio also reads at Babylon Salon on Sept. 10 along with Ramona Ausebel, J Ryan Stradel (Kitchens of the Great Midwest), Frances Stroh, and poet Tess Taylor.
Tuesday, September 13: Mauro Javier Cardenas at Green Apple Books on the Park, SF
Mauro Javier Cardenas’ debut novel The Revolutionaries Try Again (Coffee House Press; 2016) has evoked comparisons to great Latin American novels like Roberto Bolaños The Savage Detectives and Julio Cortázar’s Hopscotch. Of course, you don’t have to have read those books to enjoy this exciting, experimental book by one of San Francisco’s most daring novelists (look for a full review in next week’s column). It tells the story of three childhood friends — an expat, a bureaucrat, and a playwright — who are grappling with a dictatorship in Ecuador, and fear of closer betrayals, of the kind that happens between friends. Cardenas will be in conversation with Zyzzyva Magazine editor Oscar Villalon. Details here