Notable San Francisco: 10/17–10/23


Wednesday 10/17: The Litquake festival continues! It began on October 11 and will culminate with the Lit Crawl on October 20. Notable SF will only feature one Litquake event per day, but the full schedule can be found here.

Litquake: Join authors from celebrated East Bay publisher Counterpoint Press for a lively discussion. In conversation will be Sylvia Brownrigg (Pages for Her), Cristina García (Dreaming in Cuban, a National Book Award finalist), and Margaret Wilkerson Sexton (A Kind of Freedom), longlisted for the National Book Award). The evening will be moderated by Counterpoint editor Jack Shoemaker. San Francisco Center for the Book in San Francisco at 7 p.m. (free, $10 suggested donation).

The Center for Literary Arts in San Jose will be celebrating California writers and the literary history of the Bay Area throughout the fall. Join former San Francisco Magazine editor and Salon columnist Gary Kamiya as he reads and discusses Cool Gray City of Love, his lyrical prose love letter to San Francisco. Kamiya will be in conversation with Michael Johns. The Center for Literary Arts of San Jose (SJSU, Hammer Theatre Center, “Hammer 4” room) in San Jose at 7 p.m. ($11–$21, tickets required).

Join Erin Gibson, author of Feminasty: The Complicated Woman’s Guide to Surviving the Patriarchy Without Drinking Herself to Death, for a night of humor, feminist rage, and harmless witchcraft. The Booksmith in San Francisco at 7:30 p.m.

Thursday 10/18: Litquake: Rachel Kushner, author of The Mars Room, will be in conversation with San Francisco Chronicle culture columnist Caille Milner. The evening will feature stories from the Voice of Witness collection Six by Ten: Stories from Solitary. Make-Out Room in San Francisco at 7:30 p.m. ($5–$10, tickets required).

Come learn about the adorably sad lives of baby animals with New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Brooke Barker. She’ll be discussing her newest book, Sad Animal Babies. You’ll even be able to take home an autographed drawing of your favorite animal! Pegasus Books Downtown in Berkeley at 7:30 p.m.

Friday 10/19: Why read Montainge’s Essays? Because you should! For a better answer, join professors Antónia Szabari (USC), Carla Freccero (UC Santa Cruz), Diego Pirillo (UC Berkeley), and Jane Newman (UC Irvine) for a lively roundtable and discussion. UC Berkeley (370 Dwinelle) in Berkeley at 12 p.m.

It looks like another great City Arts & Lectures! Join Roxane Gay, Michelle Goldberg, and Jennine Capó Crucet for an evening featuring a live version of Roxane Gay’s “Ask Roxane” advice column. Nourse Theater in San Francisco at 7:30 p.m. ($29, tickets required).

Litquake: Lambda Literary will be hosting an evening on nurturing and advocating for a space for LGBTQ writers. The evening will feature two of San Francisco’s Lambda Literary Award winners: Annalee Newitz (Autonomous) and Juliana Delgado Lopera (¡Cuéntamelo!). The evening will be moderated by Lisa Galloway from Foglifter Press. Strut in San Francisco at 8 p.m.

Litquake: Join our friends at Fiction Advocate for an invigorating discussion with …AFTERWORDS authors Stephanie Reents (on Blood Meridian), Irena Yamboliev (on Middlesex), Adam Colman (on 10:04), and Alden Jones (on Wild). Classic Cars West in Oakland at 7 p.m.

Saturday 10/20: The Litquake festival culminates with the Lit Crawl! The Lit Crawl features over 100 events. Notable SF will only feature one Lit Crawl event per session, but the full schedule can be found here.

Lit Crawl: Being part of the resistance can be hard when everyone is depressed by the state of the union. Join KQED and queer writers Luna Merbruja, Anand Vedawala, Baruch Porras-Hernandez, Luna Malbroux, and Marcus Williams for the Survival of the Queerest! The Public Works SF in San Francisco at 5 p.m.

Lit Crawl: The Cliterary Salon comes to Lit Crawl with Clitquake, a show of “ribald and rowdy stories about the clitoris.” Good Vibrations in San Francisco at 6:30 p.m.

Lit Crawl: No Lit Crawl would be complete without The Rumpus! Join Lizz Huerta, R. O. Kwon, Christine No, Matthew Siegel, Nato Green, and Christine H. Lee for an evening of readings and Rumpus revelry. The Chapel in San Francisco at 8 p.m.

Sunday 10/21: Join author Anselm Jappe and translator Donald Nicholson-Smith as they discuss Guy Debord, the first intellectual biography of the theorist and founder of the Situationalist International. If you believe we’re living in the Society of the Spectacle, this event is for you. University Press Books in Berkeley at 3 p.m.

Are you interested in children’s literature? Join Chronicle Books children’s group editor Ariel Richardson and art director Amelia Mack for a discussion on how they discover, track, and collaborate with artists and illustrators. Mrs. Dalloway’s Bookstore in Berkeley at 6:30 p.m. ($10–$15, tickets required).

Monday 10/22: Stand-up comedian, actress, writer, and co-creator of the WNYC Studios podcast 2 Dope Queens Phoebe Robinson will be doing a stand-up style exploration of her book, Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay. The Booksmith in San Francisco at 7 p.m. ($35, tickets required).

The assassination of JFK looms large in Lou Berney’s latest book. Join him for a reading from November Road. Book Passage in Corte Madera at 7 p.m.

Tuesday 10/23: It’s this week’s Local Book Pick event! Argentinian author María Sonia Cristoff will be in town to launch her breakout work of nonfiction, False Calm, about the ghost towns of Patagonia. Cristoff will be joined in conversation with her translator, Katherine Silver. The American Bookbinders Museum in San Francisco at 7:30 p.m.

Don’t miss this reading! Chaya Bhuvaneswar will be discussing her Dzanc prizewinning debut story collection, White Dancing Elephants. In a recent review, NPR said that White Dancing Elephants “is a necessary book—and one that introduces a gifted voice to contemporary literature.” Bhuvaneswar will be in conversation with Lydia Kiesling. Green Apple Books on the Park in San Francisco at 7:30 p.m.


LOCAL BOOK PICK: Have you heard of Transit Books? This nonprofit publisher of international literature is based in Oakland and was founded in 2015.

The Local Book Pick seeks to support local publishers in addition to local writers. In that spirit, this week’s Local Book Pick is María Sonia Cristoff’s False Calm: A Journey Through the Ghost Towns of Patagonia (Transit Books, October 2, 2018)! Don’t miss the launch at the American Bookbinders Museum on 10/23!


If you have a Bay Area event listing you’d like us to consider for Notable SF, please contact [email protected] as far in advance as possible, and include the date of the event in the subject line.


Logo art by Max Winter.

Nishant Batsha's fiction and essays have been published in TriQuarterly, The Offing, and The Caribbean Review of Books, among other publications. He is currently revising his debut novel trilogy: Washed Ashore, All That Floats, and The Tideline. He can be found at or on Twitter @nishbatsha. More from this author →