- September 18, 2014
ZYZZYVA Fall Issue East Bay Celebration
Location: 7 p.m., Diesel, College Avenue, Oakland
Description: Featuring readings from Issue No. 101 contributors Troy Jollimore, Jill Logan, Joseph Di Prisco, Kelly Cressio-Moeller, and Paul Madonna (Issue No. 100). Hosted by editors Laura Cogan and Oscar Villalon. Free. For more info: http://bit.ly/1wem0Kb
- September 26, 2014
ZYZZYVA at Book'toberfest
Location: 5-8 p.m., Mechanics' Institute Library, 57 Post St., San Francisco
Description: A craft beer tasting and book trade show in one. Meet the staff from local book publishers, literary journals, and indie-publishers. Participants include San Francisco Writers’ Grotto, LitQuake, Fourteen Hills, Squaw Valley Writers’ Conference, Poetry Flash, San Francisco Public Press, and more. Tickets and more info at http://bit.ly/1w9DoQ5
- October 13, 2014
The Heyday of Malcolm: A Tribute to Malcolm Margolin
Location: 6:30 p.m., 312 Sutter St., Book Club of California, San Francisco
Description: Margolin, the publisher of Heyday Books, is celebrated by Rebecca Solnit, Paul Yamazaki, ZYZZYVA managing editor Oscar Villalon, Andrew Lam, Kim Bancroft, L. Frank, and Charlie Winton. Free. For more info: http://bit.ly/1ty1CQW
- October 18, 2014
ZYZZYVA at Lit Crawl
Location: 6 p.m., Casanova, 527 Valencia St., San Francisco
Description: Readings and revelry with ZYZZYVA contributors Vauhini Vara, Earle McCartney, Elena Mauli Shapiro, Soma Mei Sheng Frazier, and perhaps a couple of surprise guests. Free.
- October 21, 2014
Monkey Business & ZYZZYVA East Bay Literary Evening
Location: 7 p.m., Diesel Books, Oakland
Description: ZYZZYVA managing editor Oscar Villalon and contributor Peter Orner help celebrate the Japanese literary journal Monkey Business, with its editors Ted Goosen and Roland Kelts and contributors Tomoka Shibasaki and Hiromi Itoh. Conversation and readings. Free. For more info: http://bit.ly/1mlBBnd
- October 22, 2014
Monkey Business & ZYZZYVA SF Literary Evening
Location: 5 p.m., University of San Francisco, Xavier Auditorium, S.F.
Description: ZYZZYVA contributor Dean Rader joins Ted Goosen and Roland Kelts, editors of Japanese literary journal Monkey Business, and contributors Tomoka Shibasaki and Hiromi Itoh for readings and conversation. Free. For more info: http://bit.ly/YYKEQq
- November 4, 2014
Will Boast in Conversation with Oscar Villalon
Location: 7 p.m., Green Apple Books on the Park, 1231 9th Ave., San Francisco
Description: Boast, ZYZZYVA contributor and author of the story collection "Power Ballads," discusses his memoir, "Epilogue," with ZYZZYVA Managing Editor Oscar Villalon. Free. For more info, visit http://bit.ly/1unPP75
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Monthly Archives: September 2012
The main triumph of Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story (Viking; 368 pages), D.T. Max’s biography of the late writer David Foster Wallace, is that it’s not really a triumph at all – at least not in the ways fans of Wallace’s jittery, hyper-articulate prose might expect. By examining the author’s life in sterile and often painful detail, Max teases out the sort of truths that Wallace, for all his rhetorical and conceptual acrobatics, could only ever seem to orbit. The book’s resultant paradox (its most immediate one, anyway) is almost Wallace-like in its complex reflectiveness: it’s through decidedly …Continue reading
Between Heaven and Here (McSweeney’s, 232 pages), the capstone of novelist Susan Straight’s Rio Seco trilogy, is set in Sarrat, a Southern California community as economically bone-dry as the creek separating it from Rio Seco. It is in Sarrat where a band of Louisianan refugees, their banter laced with Creole and their memories peppered with sugarcane, sharecropping, and floods, has taken root. And it is in Sarrat, with its fruit pickers and prostitutes, where one of that Creole community’s most beautiful members, Glorette Picard, is murdered. Straight has created a portrait of a city immediately familiar to anyone versed in …Continue reading
Tatjana Soli is the author of two novels: The Lotus Eaters, a New York Times-bestseller and winner of the James Tait Black Prize, and her newest book, The Forgetting Tree (St. Martin’s Press), which publishes this month.
“Pinkville,” her story in ZYZZYVA’s Fall 2012 issue, “is one of two stories I wrote about the [Vietnam] war since coming back from Vietnam last year.” While her first novel, The Lotus Eaters, details the experiences of an American female combat photographer during the Vietnam War, “Pinkville” jumps around in time and deals “more with the [war's] aftereffects.”
“When I came across the story of Hugh Thompson“—the U.S. Army helicopter pilot who, along with his crew, intervened between U.S. soldiers and Vietnamese civilians in the My Lai massacre—”I knew there was one more part of the war that I had to write about.”
The following is an excerpt from “Pinkville.”
Jesse Nathan is an editor at McSweeney’s and a doctoral student in English literature at Stanford University. He is also the author of a poetry chapbook, Dinner (Or, a Deranged Event Staged in a Theoretical Mansion in Which Time and History Have Been Grossly Dismembered and What We Know as the Laws of Physics Wildly Subverted, Conducted as an Inquiry into the Genius of Madness and the Art of the Faux Pas, and Having as a First Course to be Served to a Cast of Sixteen Eccentrics A Dish of Carrot Cabbage Salad Meant to Tickle Every Palate).
“Eye” is one of two poems by Nathan in the Fall 2012 issue of ZYZZYVA. An ode of sorts, it begins “Voice low, father, you are/ hurting aloud from the book of your life on this earth.” The images and ideas flowing from there prove arresting and surprising.
Jesse Nathan will be one of the readers at ZYZZYVA’s Fall Issue event at City Lights Bookstore at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 30.
Those of us who have not experienced the pains of war can never claim to understand them, but Kevin Powers’s first novel, The Yellow Birds (Little, Brown; 240 pages), gives its readers a poignant glimpse. Powers, a poet and a veteran, takes us in medias res to Al Tafar, Iraq, and into the life of then-twenty-one-year-old Private John Bartle. Matching the novel’s form with its chaotic content, Powers takes us in and out of scenes from Bartle’s life between 2004 and 2009, spanning the before, during, and after of this one soldier’s war experience. Powers’s weaving of these moments masterfully …Continue reading
In his latest book, With Blood in Their Eyes (University of Arizona Press, 210 pages), novelist Thomas Cobb’s roster of main characters is small: brothers John and Tom Power, hired man Tom Sisson, and the two festering eyeballs of the title. Framing a real-life 1918 Arizona standoff between the Powers and the law within a much larger exploration of Southwestern societal change, Cobb (whose novel Crazy Heart was turned into a critically acclaimed movie starring Jeff Bridges) crafts a breathless escape story and stops just short of the historical record’s unhappy ending. Years before the shootout that would leave them …Continue reading
Along Hanapepe Road in Hanapepe, Kaua’i—a town as wet as it is green—the storefronts this August morning are still shaded; it’s too early for anyone but tourists. Besides the rare interruption of a passing car, movement is confined to two locations: a cafe selling wraps named after punk bands (and also where someone has scrawled in Sharpie on a bathroom wall “LEVON RIP 4/19/12,” a reference to the late drummer of The Band) and the local bookstore. Talk Story, which derives its name from the Hawaiian slang for casual conversation, establishes its noteworthiness immediately: “THE WESTERN-MOST INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE OF THE …Continue reading
Published annually, the nascent literary journal Monkey Business connects an English-reading public—whose familiarity with modern Japanese literature may be limited to Haruki Murakami, Yukio Mishima, and Keiji Nakazawa—to a wide range of contemporary if not as well known Japanese writers. The journal, supported by the Nippon Foundation and A Public Space, is the international offshoot of the same-name publication started in Tokyo in 2008. The second issue was published earlier this year, and just like the first volume, it is a delight. Translations of major authors and rising talents share space with work from established U.S. writers (Stuart Dybek, Rebecca Brown, …Continue reading
Both sentimental and side-splittingly funny, Sister Spit: Writings, Rants & Reminiscence from the Road (Sister Spit/City Lights), is a collection of stories coming out this month from Michelle Tea’s legendary feminist performance art collective, which performs around the country with a featured group of talented feminist writers, beat-boxers and trapeze artists alike. Told through a series of essays, drawings and diaries from various caravan contributors, Sister Spit is a sharp, sassy take on the tour experience. Reading it feels like taking a road trip with your best friends at their brightest, sans the backseat bickering and rest stop bathroom breaks. …Continue reading