“Heaven,” Emerson Whitney’s poetic memoir, is the topic of a City Lights Booksellers online talk on May 6. (Courtesy McSweeney’s)

“Heaven,” Emerson Whitney’s poetic memoir, is the topic of a City Lights Booksellers online talk on May 6. (Courtesy McSweeney’s)

City Lights virtual book talks continue in May

Authors, editors, translators discuss new titles

San Francisco’s beloved indie bookstore City Lights, after a great response to its crowdfunding campaign and initial online author talks, is continuing the popular free series in May.

Here’s a partial selection of some upcoming events:

On May 5 at 4 p.m., the How Have I Not Read This virtual book club hosts a discussion of Alfred Camus’ classic “The Plague” with Yale professor Alice Kaplan, French scholar Laura Marris, who’s working on a new translation of “The Plague,” and Emily St. John Mandel, National Book Award finalist and author of the best-selling novel “The Glass Hotel.”

At 6 p.m. May 6, University of Southern California gender studies scholar Emerson Whitney speaks about “Heaven,” their new McSweeney’s publication, a memoir described as “an expansive examination of what make us up [that] wonders what role our childhood plays in who we are.”

At 6 p.m. May 7, University of Texas, Austin history professor Peniel E. Joseph appears in conversation with University of California, Berkeley history professor and activist Waldo E. Martin Jr. to discuss “The Sword and the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.,” a book that sheds new light on some of the 20th century’s most iconic African American leaders.

At 6 p.m. May 12, Verso Books authors, scholars and activists Daniel Denvir and John Washington discuss their new releases. Denvir’s is “All-American Nativism: How the Bipartisan War on Immigrants Explains Politics as We Know It” and Washington’s is “The Dispossessed: A Story of Asylum at the US-Mexican Border and Beyond.”

At 6 p.m. May 19, the bill features two crime fiction masters. Cara Black, whose latest is “Three Hours in Paris,” speaks with Jacqueline Winspear, author of the Masie Dobb’s Series, following the exploits of the renowned psychologist and investigator, on the topic of writing fiction set in World War II-era Europe.

At 1 p.m. May 24, Hilary Moore and James Tracy discuss their new City Lights-published book “No Fascist USA! The John Brown Anti-Klan Committee and Lessons for Today’s Movements,” which describes how a national grassroots network fought a resurgence of the KKK and other fascist groups during the Reagan years, laying the groundwork for contemporary fascist/anti-racist movements.

Registration is requested for the talks, accessible via Zoom or Crowdcast. Visit www.citylights.com for links to joining the sessions and to purchase the titles.


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