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Culture, Books Chatting With Drew Barrymore

Chatting With Drew Barrymore

Drew Barrymore is 40. That fact alone will surprise anyone who remembers watching her charm Johnny Carson as a 7-year-old, or who followed her highs and lows through her precocious (and lengthy) wild years. She's now written a memoir of…
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Culture, Books Interviews: Salman Rushdie

Interviews: Salman Rushdie

After the two children's books he wrote for his sons generated such pleasure in young readers, Salman Rushdie was inspiredto attempt something similar for adults. "I just wanted to write a book that people would respond to with deep pleasure,…
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Culture, Books Bookends: The Year's Best Reads

Bookends: The Year's Best Reads

Surely the critics at a publication like The New York Times have a method for whittling down the thousands of books published each year into a top ten. But how do the booksellers at Green Apple Books on the Park…
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Culture, Books Seeing Things: Cyberpunk's Most Famous Prophet Returns to Speculative Fiction with His New Novel, <i>The Peripheral</i>

Seeing Things: Cyberpunk's Most Famous Prophet Returns to Speculative Fiction with His New Novel, The Peripheral

William Gibson, celebrated author of the cyberpunk classic Neuromancer and coiner of the term "cyberspace," seems surprised by the notion that his new novel, The Peripheral, marks a return to science fiction after a 15-year hiatus. "I didn't think of…
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Culture, Books Science Friction: In the Close-Knit World of Sci-Fi, Author John Scalzi Goes His Own Way

Science Friction: In the Close-Knit World of Sci-Fi, Author John Scalzi Goes His Own Way

If you're looking for a barometer of the state of science fiction in the U.S., consider the career of John Scalzi. A California native now living in Ohio, Scalzi is the author of 10 novels, including Redshirts, last year's Hugo-award-winning…
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Culture, Books Lonely City: A New Field Guide to San Francisco

Lonely City: A New Field Guide to San Francisco

Every once in awhile, there comes a beautiful work of art that gives rightful tribute to the place we call home. Whether it comes in the form of song, literature, or art, these tributes depict more than the Golden Gate…
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Culture, Books Whodunit: SFSU Professor Joseph McBride Finds a New Angle on the JFK Assassination

Whodunit: SFSU Professor Joseph McBride Finds a New Angle on the JFK Assassination

Noted film historian, critic, and journalist Joseph McBride has quietly maintained a parallel career for decades. While he was writing acclaimed biographies of Orson Welles, Steven Spielberg, John Ford, and Frank Capra, while he worked as a columnist and critic…
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Culture, Books Exotic Foreign Lands: Author Adam Johnson Went a Long Way to Research a Nation That Wouldn't Talk to Him

Exotic Foreign Lands: Author Adam Johnson Went a Long Way to Research a Nation That Wouldn't Talk to Him

Last year, no Pulitzer Prize for Fiction was awarded, but that was 2012. This is 2013, "The Year of Adam Johnson," and the Pulitzer is just the most recent, prestigious accolade the Stanford professor's New York Times bestselling novel, The…
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Culture, Books The Real Fantastic: Of Dungeons and Day Jobs

The Real Fantastic: Of Dungeons and Day Jobs

In an age when the price of a movie ticket can get you three hours of hang-time in Middle Earth, fantasy worlds aren’t exactly at a premium. But stories that brush up against the truly fantastic, that capture anew some…
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Culture, Books Travel Channeling: December Books Search for the Self

Travel Channeling: December Books Search for the Self

It's not an insult to the work of Swiss novelist/memoirist/archaeologist Annemarie Schwarzenbach that readers, in the decades since her death in 1942, have found her writing not quite as interesting as her life. After growing up in Zurich dominated by…
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Culture, Books Found in Translation: Great Sci-Fi From AmazonCrossings

Found in Translation: Great Sci-Fi From AmazonCrossings

A laugh-out-loud apocalypse, a daft two-against-the-world love story, and a science-fiction satire of the godawful way advertising can cram everything but itself right out of our brains, Andri Snær Magnason's LoveStar (SevenStories Press, $16.95, 320 pages) is the rare novel…
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Culture, Books Virtual Worlds: A Few of This Season's Instant Classics

Virtual Worlds: A Few of This Season's Instant Classics

One of the few happy developments here at the end of all book culture has been the vigorous republication of out-of-print marvels by the New York Review of Books crowd under the imprint NYRB Classics. Among the mid-century delights they've…
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Culture, Books "A Hologram for the King": Dave Eggers Shows His Kind Heart

"A Hologram for the King": Dave Eggers Shows His Kind Heart

Perhaps what's most remarkable about Dave Eggers' big-spiritedness is that the same humane, world-minded impulses that animate his work with 826 Valencia et al. also have become the hallmark of his fiction and reportage. Who could have guessed that, after…
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Culture, Books "The Chaperone": A Starlet Starts Her Century

"The Chaperone": A Starlet Starts Her Century

A year after the first Nickelodeons opened in 1900, the wiseasses at the Edison Company filmed and unleashed The Kansas Saloon Smashers, a raucous low comedy in which an Irishman drinks, a cop falls on his butt, and that old…
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Culture, Books "Season of the Witch": The Turbulent Growth of S.F. Values

"Season of the Witch": The Turbulent Growth of S.F. Values

"I blame Mick Jagger for fucking with black magic," Peter Coyote says a good chunk of the way into Season of the Witch, Salon founder David Talbot's sprawling, lurid, dishy, and electric history of how the San Francisco of good…
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Culture, Books "The Vanishers": This Season's High-Art Nerve-Wracked Lit Mystery

"The Vanishers": This Season's High-Art Nerve-Wracked Lit Mystery

A mystery novel whose chief mystery is just what kind of novel it actually is, Heidi Julavits' The Vanishers opens with the most naturally talented student at the magic school enjoying the plum assignment of transcribing the dream-talk of that…
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Culture, Books

"Riding Fury Home": Memoir Gives Big Life Cultural Context

Tuesday, April 10 Not long before leaving school to light out for San Francisco, a young Chana Wilson experienced the kind of epiphany that the older Chana Wilson can only convey with a bang! and words like thunderstruck. Reading a…
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Culture, Books

"The Anatomy of Harpo Marx": Singular Actor Singularly Celebrated

Wednesday, April 11 Harpo Marx — that industrious nonsense-maker, that weirdly peripheral cynosure, that genius of the rambunctious nonsequitur — at last has the celebrant he deserves. In The Anatomy of Harpo Marx, Wayne Koestenbaum — that industrious poet, critic,…
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Culture, Books "Revelations": Elaine Pagels Decodes the Rapture

"Revelations": Elaine Pagels Decodes the Rapture

For some 2,000 years, the end of the world has been to preachers what a Canadian girlfriend is to lonely adolescent boys: They keep talking about it, but it never shows up. As Elaine Pagels demonstrates in her aptly titled…
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Culture, Books

March Literary Events

March 5 Some 30 pages into When the Killing's Done, an eco-novel as rewarding as it is frustrating, T.C. Boyle describes the arms of a shipwrecked woman as being like "dead things." Some 130 pages later we get "dead things"…
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