Local Lit | December’s top literary happenings

Travel Stories of Wonder and Change with Laura Deutsch, April Orcutt, and Anne Sigmon | Dec. 3

A new anthology from the Bay Area Travel Writers, Travel Stories of Wonder and Change, launches with perfect timing during 2020’s long, stay-at-home season.

Laura Deutsch, April Orcutt, and Anne Sigmon

Listen to three winners of the Georgia Hesse Prize for travel writing read excerpts of their latest adventures in Turkey, Italy, Tibet, Yosemite, Oahu and—arguably, most fascinating of all—in the elephant-seal rookery near Hearst Castle in San Simeon. Laura Deutsch (The Rhythms of Arezzo), April Orcutt (Tibetan Bargain with a Twist), and Anne Sigmon (Sierra Point) present armchair escapes in essays filled with adventure, humor, amazement in the physical world and a deep sense of human connection to nature, place and each other. Above all, there is hope found by people with wanderlust in the authors’ essays that touch on our shared humanity as it stretches across a vast global terrain.

Dec. 3: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Free, Virtual | www.bookpassage.com/event/travel-stories-wonder-and-change-laura-deutsch-april-orcutt-and-anne-sigmon-virtual-event | Organizer: www.bookpassage.com/sausalito-events


National Kidney Foundation – 32nd Annual Author Luncheon | Dec. 5

Author and Piedmont resident Kelly Corrigan hosts along with NPR’s Michael Krasny

The largest literary bash in the Bay Area will be held online this year, with the dynamic 32nd National Kidney Foundation’s Authors Luncheon featuring bestselling authors and celebrity guests. Featured are local and national writers (see above) among the presenters in an event hosted by Kelly Corrigan (Piedmont resident, author and Host of Kelly Corrigan Wonders Podcast and PBS’s Tell Me More) and Michael Krasny (author and recently retired host of KQED-FM’s Forum with Michael Krasny). In a nutshell, there’s lots of local Bay Area love in the occasion. The NKF transforms and improves the lives of millions of people with kidney disease through education, advocacy, and research. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the online format ensures a safe, celebratory event that guests worldwide can enjoy from the comfort of their homes.

Dec. 5: 11:00 am – 1:00 pm | Virtual | Tickets: $25-1,000; donations welcome | www.bookpassage.com/kidney | For more information about this event, contact Amy Hewitt at amy.hewitt@kidney.org or 415.543.3303.


The 31st Annual PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Literary Awards | Dec. 5

The 31st Annual PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Literary Awards are a mid-afternoon affair, so you won’t have to choose between the NKF’s Luncheon (see above) and the Josephine Miles awards party. (Join both!) Named for the late poet and professor at the University of California at Berkeley, the honorary recognition showcases outstanding literary achievement and America’s diverse literary community. The 2020 PEN Oakland Award winners and recipients of the Adelle Foley and Gary Webb Anti-Censorship awards can be found listed on the library website. The writers will be formally announced and feted in a three-hour, free broadcast held live on Facebook on the Oakland Public Library Facebook page.

Dec. 5: 2:00 pm-5:00 pm | Online Program @ Oakland Public Library Facebook page | For questions about the broadcast, please contact engagement@oaklandlibrary.org or call 510-238-3134.


Conversations with Authors: Jane Smiley | Dec. 12

Jane Smiley’s latest novel, Perestroika in Paris, unfolds the lives of three extraordinary animals and a young boy whose lives intersect in Paris. Join an intimate author talk with Smiley, a Northern California resident and author of the Pulitzer Prize-Winning novel, A Thousand Acres, and the New York Times best-selling Last Hundred Years trilogy: Some Luck, Early Warning, and Golden Age. Smiley is a much-admired member of the American Academy of Arts and a recipient of the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature.

Dec. 12: 4:00 – 6:00 pm | Virtual, Free | www.bookpassage.com/event/conversations-authors-jane-smiley-virtual-event or http://www.bookpassage.com/sausalito-events


Order books from local independent bookstores throughout December

The best way to acknowledge and thank local independent booksellers for helping readers survive the past nine months is to order holiday books and literary products. Write up a gift list and get shopping! Receive the intrinsic gift of giving to support these essential local business by placing orders via links below:

Be sure to visit individual bookstore websites to learn the latest news about special online events, and sales, hours, pickup and delivery options, and other features during the holiday season.

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