Lit Picks: Feminist Fight Club, Ann Patchett, Juan Gabriel Vasquez and More

A still from the promo trailer for Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennett.

Tuesday, September 20: Jessica Bennett in conversation with Rachel Thomas at Kepler's Books, Menlo Park

161538The bombastic promo trailer for Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual (For a Sexist Workplace), is one of those things that will make you cringe as you cry-laugh. Like Bennett's new book, which spawned from an actual club where women would get together and share sexist job frustrations and trade tips for how to tackle them, the video captures women dealing with the worst of sexism at work. Exhibit A: The Manterrupter who talks over female colleagues at work. Exhibit B: The annoying coworker who implies that any sort of urgency or frustration is because the woman is having her moon time. Exhibit C: The man who asks the equally professional woman across from him to take notes like a secretary during a presentation. Bennett's book is an ode to throwing that Mad Men crap out the window and making like it's 2016 already. Details here

Wednesday, September 21: Ann Patchett at the Nourse Theater, SF

PhotoCreditHeidiRossjpgAnn Patchett has become quite the hero to book lovers. Not only is she an acclaimed novelist, with numerous bestsellers under her belt. She also went out on a limb and purchased an independent bookstore in Nashville during the worst of recession,  at time when so many bookstores were falling under the sword of Amazon. For that act, the New York Times called her the Joan of Arc of modern publishing. Parnassus, an oasis for those who love to write and read, continues to thrive. And Patchett continues to knock out killer novels. Commonwealth is  her latest. It tells the story Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how a chance encounter, and kiss, reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. (She's called it her first autobiographical novel.)

Details here

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Patchett will also be at Book Passage in Corte Madera on September 22 and at the Luther Burbank Center in Santa Rosa later that evening. More information here.  

Friday, September 23: Juan Gabriel Vasquez at Green Apple Books, San Francisco

reputations In 2013, Colombian novelist Juan Gabriel Vasquez's name became indelibly marked on the international literary map with the bestselling The Sounds of Things Falling. Even Franzen got in on the game (not on Twitter though, don't worry) calling him the new Colombian literary superstar. Watch out Gabriel Garcia Marquez! (Actually, Vasquez lists One Hundred Years of Solitude as his favorite Colombian novel of all time, a worthy choice). A slim new novel Reputations comes out this month on Riverhead Books. Translated from Spanish by Anne McClean, the novel focuses on Javier Mallarino, a famous and influential political cartoonist, a "man capable of repealing laws, overturning judges' decision, and destroying politicans' careers with his art." But he sees that power shaken with the visit of a young woman with a shocking story, one that forces Mallarino to reconsider his life, work and position in the world. Details here

Tuesday, September 27: Riad Sattouf at Diesel Books, Oakland

thearabofthefutureSpeaking of political cartoonists, Riad Sattouf is the real deal. Born to a Syrian father and a French mother, Sattouf spent his childhood in Libya and Syria, moving to France as a teenager. Known for his clever and somewhat autobiographical work, from 2004 to 2014 he published a weekly strip in Charlie Hebdo. His latest book, The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1984 - 1985 is the second volume in a series about the dismal, sometimes barbaric reality, of life in his father's hometown in Syria. A bestseller in France, the New York Times has called The Arab of the Future a disquieting yet essential read.  The New Yorker compared Sattouf's work, and crossover appeal, to Marjane Satrapi's brilliant graphic memoir Persepolis. Details here  

Wednesday, September 28: Jay McInerney at Hotel Healdsburg in an event sponsored by Copperfield's Books, Healdsburg

45508928.cachedJay McInerney invented tragic yuppie novel with Bright Lights, Big City in 1984. He also wrote the screenplay that led to Michael J. Fox's tour-de-force performance as drug and love-addled magazine fact checker in '80s Manhattan in the movie adaptation of the book. (Not to be confused with Robert Downey Jr.'s performance as a cocaine-addled rich kid in '80s Los Angeles). Decades later, McInerney's still at the novel-writing game. His latest novel, Bright and Precious Days, also takes Manhattan and people in the publishing industry at its core. Corrine and Russell Calloway are living the dream: Tribeca apartment, summers in the Hamptons, book parties, art openings, and high society soirees. But, cultural credentials can't pay the bills, a fact that will soon come to challenge the couple's carefully crafted world. Details here

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