Nov. 13: “Pelican Dreams,” Australian blues and more

Who's in town

Harvard professor Jill Lepore speaks about her new book, “The Secret History of Wonder Woman,” which examines the complicated back story of the iconic superheroine. [7:30 p.m., Nourse Theater, 275 Hayes St., S.F.]


Feel the vibe: Good Vibrations founder and sex educator Joani Blank speaks about the creation of the pioneering, women-friendly sex shop, and its conversion to a worker cooperative. [6:30 p.m., Women's Building, 3543 18th St., S.F.]

Thinking about religion: Best-selling author and former nun Karen Armstrong explores why religion can inspire violence in its followers, as well as resistance to it. [7 p.m., Jewish Community Center, 3200 California St., S.F.]

Literary events

Historical fiction: Author and longtime activist Martha Shelley reads from and signs “The Stars in Their Courses,” a novel about the ancient Middle East seen through a feminist, class-conscious lens. [7 p.m., Modern Times Bookstore, 2919 24th St., S.F.]

Historical texting: Mallory Ortberg's “Texts From Jane Eyre” imagines text conversations from literary figures such as Scarlett O'Hara from “Gone With the Wind” and Jessica Wakefield from “Sweet Valley High.” [7:30 p.m., Booksmith, 1644 Haight St., S.F.] Biblical inspiration: Mary F. Burns' “Isaac and Ishmael” is a new take on biblical stories, starting with the births of the sons of Abraham. [7 p.m., BookShop West Portal, 80 West Portal Ave., S.F.]

At the public library

Family activity: Educator Lisa Mejia-Sandoval leads an introduction to the Spanish language for kids and families. [10:30 a.m., Western Addition Branch, 1550 Scott St., S.F.]

Bay Bridge art: Filmmaker Jeremy Ambers discusses “Impossible Light,” which details the sparkling Bay Lights that have transformed the Bay Bridge. [6 p.m., Koret Auditorium, Main Library, 100 Larkin St., S.F.]

At the colleges

Hospital benefit: Cirque du Soiree presents trapeze performances, dancing and drinks in a benefit for Partners in Care, a nonprofit that provides assistance to patients at UC San Francisco Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital. [6 p.m., Bently Reserve, 301 Battery St., S.F.]

Local activities

Rock show: The tongue-twisting Connecticut emo-indie band The World Is A Beautiful Place And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die is known for high-energy live performances. [7 p.m., Bottom of the Hill, 1233 17th St., S.F.]

Dance debut: The FACT/SF dance troupe is unveiling two world premieres: “Stepset Shift” by Charles Slender-White and “Open Source” by Liz Tenuto. [8 p.m., ODC Theater, 3153 17th St., S.F.]

Fresh sounds: Oakland garage-punk trio Shannon and the Clams play music from their album “Dreams in the Rat House” and more. [8 p.m., SF Eagle, 398 12th St., S.F.]

Get cracking on that novel: A South San Francisco library invites writers to take part in National Novel Writing Month with plenty of writing space, electric outlets, reference help and refreshments. [6-7 p.m., South San Francisco Main Library, 840 W. Orange Ave., South S.F.]

NightLife: The elements of creativity are the theme of this week's NightLife at the Academy. A partnership with California College of the Arts presents interactive student exhibits, a wood-carving station, planetarium shows and music by DJ Omar. [6 p.m., California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, S.F.]

Stand-up comedy: Rachel Feinstein, who has appeared on “Last Comic Standing” and her own Comedy Central special, headlines a show that also includes Kelly Pryce and Jesse Hett. [8 p.m., Rooster T. Feathers Comedy Club, 157 W. El Camino Real, Sunnyvale]

Antipodal sounds: Australian singer-songwriter Mia Dyson has won multiple awards in her home country for her bluesy sound. Her new album is “Idyllwild.” [9 p.m., Hotel Utah, 500 Fourth St., S.F.]

Director Judy Irving (“The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill”) follows a wayward pelican's journey from the Golden Gate Bridge to a rehab facility and beyond in “Pelican Dreams.” [1 and 5 p.m., Balboa Theatre, 3630 Balboa St., S.F.]

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