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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

How Dennis Lehane Went From Hardback to Hollywood

Posted By on Tue, Oct 13, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Dennis Lehane will be appearing as part of Liquake on Oct. 12. - PHOTO BY GABY GERSTER
  • Photo by Gaby Gerster
  • Dennis Lehane will be appearing as part of Liquake on Oct. 12.

The odds of getting your novel published are slim. The probability of reaching The New York Times Best Sellers List several times over is even slimmer. The odds of having not one, but multiple novels turned into critically acclaimed, high-grossing films are razor thin — unless you're Dennis Lehane. With novels-turned-films Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone and Shutter Island behind him and Since We Fell and Live by Night optioned by Dreamworks and Warner Bros. respectively, who better to discuss achieving an astounding book-to-film career at Litquake's From Hardback to Hollywood event on Oct. 12, as he did?

SF Weekly chatted with Lehane about why his books translate so well to the silver screen, how his professional goals have changed over the last decade and whether the hardcore Bostonian has finally gone Hollywood. 

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Punch Drunk Lust: Red Light Lit's Intoxication Issue Out Friday

Posted By on Thu, May 14, 2015 at 8:00 AM

  • Chris W. Parker

When Red Light Lit founders Veronica Christina and Jennifer Lewis chose the theme for their latest issue, “Everyone I Love is Drunk,” they had in mind a broad definition of intoxication — drunk on life, drunk on love, drunk on happiness. But after their first batch of submissions, they realized their contributors were taking the term much more literally.

“It made me realize how much drinking is involved in romance,” says Lewis. “It's not something that just happens in college. It's something that happens in San Francisco from age 20 to 50.”

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Litquake, Day 3: The Best American Nonrequired Reading and Barely Published Authors

Posted By on Sun, Oct 12, 2014 at 8:00 AM

This is part of our daily guide to the 15th annual Litquake festival, which you can read more about here. What follows is a guide to day three, Sunday, Oct.12:

We asked Daniel Handler what to expect at the launch for this year's edition of The Best American Nonrequired Reading, which brings the endlessly inventive author and alter ego of Lemony Snicket — or is it the other way around? — together with Pulitzer Prize-winner Adam Johnson and director of San José State University's Center for Literary Arts Andrew Foster Altschul (Deus Ex Machina and Lady Lazarus), but all Handler would divulge is "free snacks" (Z Space, 450 Florida St., 3 p.m., Free).

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

Litquake, Day 2: San Rafael and Drivel Book Launch Party

Posted By on Sat, Oct 11, 2014 at 8:00 AM

click image Gillian Flynn, Mary Roach, Dave Eggers, Rick Moody, Chuck Palahniuk, the list goes on: they all sucked once and they all have the guts to share some of their crappiest early work in this uplifting bit of voyeurism.
  • Gillian Flynn, Mary Roach, Dave Eggers, Rick Moody, Chuck Palahniuk, the list goes on: they all sucked once and they all have the guts to share some of their crappiest early work in this uplifting bit of voyeurism.
This is part of our daily guide to the 15th annual Litquake festival, which you can read more about here. What follows is a guide to day two, Saturday, Oct. 11:

Ever so sneakily, Litquake has essentially decided to not only end the festival with a Lit Crawl but to begin with one too! San Rafael hosts programs all day long, from free donuts and travel stories in the morning to lunchtime open mics at restaurants (Indian and Cuban), a bookfair, mystery writers, romance writers, sci-fi writers, Troy Jollimore and Melissa Stein, 30 men singing the songs of Leonard Cohen in The Belrose Theatre, and… what? An afterparty that includes a cold buffet! So Marin.

In particular, whoever had the idea to put Charlie Getter, Bucky Sinister, and Zarina Zabrisky a) together b) at San Rafael City Plaza in the middle of a Saturday afternoon should be granted a genius award and fed grapes. Bravo.

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Top 10 Bay Area Literary Events of 2012

Posted By on Fri, Dec 28, 2012 at 11:25 AM

  • Ian Tuttle

I attended at least 134 literary events in 2012. Below are my 10 favorites. I've considered mainly two factors in compiling this list: the quality of work, and how interesting or memorable the experience was. The latter category intentionally allows for many considerations, which I enjoyed keeping in mind while looking back over the year.

I have not included many outstanding solo readings (D.A. Powell, Lyn Hejinian, and Adam Johnson come immediately to mind). Also, memorable readings as part of a show that didn't quite make the top 10: Ali Liebegott and Gypsee Yo, specifically, will always stay with me. While re-watching shows to make decisions, I came across Donald Dunbar (visiting from Portland): "This poem only works if you're touching somebody you don't already know." In that spirit, these were some of my favorite literary experiences this year. 

See also:

The Write Stuff: Zack Haber on Wiggling and the Fun in the Difficult

The Write Stuff: Tim (Toaster) Henderson on Running Toward the Disturbing

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Michael Jackson's Costume Designer Releases New Book, The King of Style

Posted By on Mon, Dec 10, 2012 at 1:00 PM

  • courtesy of Michael Bush

Growing up among the cornfields of Ohio, Michael Bush never dreamed of becoming a fashion designer. He learned to sew from his mother and grandmother, but it was a chore then, not a passion. "It was getting the Butterick pattern and following the instruction sheet," he says. Yet Bush went on to create some of the most iconic clothing in the world -- pearl-frosted military jackets, glittering armbands, and rhinestone-encrusted socks.

See also:

Art Beat: Dita Von Teese's Corset Maker on Sculpting the Body and Ethical Underwear

Jean Paul Gaultier Talks Couture, Tattoos, Vintage Shopping in S.F.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Dramatic Reading Series' New Show Involves Smartphone Exhibitionism

Posted By on Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Joe Christiano, creator of First Person Singular - KITTI HOMME
  • Kitti Homme
  • Joe Christiano, creator of First Person Singular

Working at Berkeley's Pegasus Books, writer Joe Christiano has seen his share of readings. And sometimes, they weren't all he hoped for.

"No matter how dynamic the prose is, the authors were not always great performers," he said. "Sometimes there was all this dead air around the words. Some writers know how to deliver it on the page, but not the stage."

See also:

"You Need to Read Poetry!": Theater in the Rhyme

Read Local: An Air Guitar User's Guide and Desmond Tutu Crowdsources Humanity

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Author Dorothy Allison: "I'ma Fuck You Up"

Posted By on Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Karen Joy Fowler - BRETT HALL
  • Brett Hall
  • Karen Joy Fowler

At a reading not long ago, award-winning author Dorothy Allison (Bastard out of Carolina, Trash, The Women Who Hate Me) smiled in that knowing Southern way and told the audience, "I'ma fuck you up."

The crowd laughed, but underneath the breezy sentiment lay the startling truth: She does fuck you up -- brutally, irrevocably, magnificently -- and sometimes all those ways at once.

See also:

Michelle Tea on Sister Spit, Dorothy Allison, and Valencia: The Movie

Femmepire Records: Celeste Chan on Unapologetic, Riotous Femmedom

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Video of the Day: Is the "Crazy Artist" Stereotype True?

Posted By on Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 8:30 AM


An ear here, a life there: Vincent van Gogh, Virginia Woolf, and Sylvia Plath each had their own way of dealing with mood disorders. In her new graphic novel, cartoonist and storyteller Ellen Forney asks an important question: For artists, are mental disorders a gift or a curse? Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me: A Graphic Memoir, explores the aftermath of the bipolar diagnosis that arrived just before her 30th birthday, prompting Forney to fear that the requisite medications would decimate her creativity, and eventually, her entire career.

See also:

Crafting with Cat Hair: Not Just for Crazy Cat Ladies

MAD Magazine Taught Us How to Laugh at Fame and Power

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Video of the Day: Help The Rumpus Make a Movie

Posted By on Mon, Nov 12, 2012 at 8:30 AM


The Rumpus, brainchild of local author Stephen Elliott, has always been a literary darling, publishing top-notch essays and interviews, incubating the Dear Sugar phenomenon, and single-handedly bringing written correspondences back en vogue with Letters in the Mail, where authors like Dave Eggers, Margaret Cho, and Jonathan Ames pen intimate notes to subscribers. Now The Rumpus is hopping into even bigger britches with the making of its first feature film, Happy Baby, based on Elliott's grim and affecting novel about growing up in the child welfare system.

See also: Co-Stars with James Franco in About Cherry

Author Cheryl Strayed: on Dear Sugar, Keeping the Faith, and Palling around with Oprah

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