Literature

Holy terror

Alaskan author Tom Kizzia talks 'Pilgrim's Wilderness'

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LIT A tale of horrors so unbelievable it could only be plucked from real life, Tom Kizzia's Pilgrim's Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier (Crown Publishers, 336 pp., $25) details the saga of self-styled religious fanatic "Papa Pilgrim," aka Robert Hale, who in 2002 moved his wife and 15 children to McCarthy, a remote Alaska community.Read more »

Hey, baby

New book adds alternative families to the facts of life

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culture@sfbg.com

LIT A new children's book with a social justice, all-inclusive approach to reproduction? To anyone who might question the need for such a thing, look no further than Toronto-based sexual health educator and writer Cory Silverberg's enormously successful crowdfunding campaign to get it published: $65,000 in one month. Not too bad to kickstart a picture book, eh?Read more »

Father's day

Alysia Abbott pays tribute to the gay, single-parent dad who raised her in bohemian SF

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arts@sfbg.com

LIT In late-1980s San Francisco, Steve Abbott hosted a gay writer's workshop at his small apartment at the fabled corner of Haight and Ashbury. One fleeting but reliable occurrence was an appearance by Alysia, the daughter he'd raised since his wife died in a car accident years earlier.Read more »

Who saves the world?

All signs point to pigeons and 13-year-old girls in Michelle Tea's latest YA fantasy trilogy starter

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caitlin@sfbg.com

LIT Even humankind's saviors need a little help from their friends to max out on destiny. In local writerperson Michelle Tea's world, that support has been culled from the closely-knit community of queers, feminists, and outspoken loud mouths that make up the extended family of the Sister Spit and Radar reading series that she assembled in the open mic wilderness of early 1990s and 2000s San Francisco.Read more »

Joyful noise

'Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society' takes readers to the brink

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arts@sfbg.com

LIT If the intrinsic value of an ephemeral experience is its very impermanence, then attempting to capture it for posterity is an exercise fraught with peril. No sanitized textbook description of such chaos-driven movements as Dada, Situationism, and Fluxus could ever hope to capture the raw vibrancy of being a part of the action, and the true value of such movements has really never been in spectating, but from the transformation experienced by the participants while pushing their personal boundaries.Read more »

'Maximus' through Flarf

Updated Norton Anthology of Postmodern American Poetry updates updates updates

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marke@sfbg.com

LIT Mm-hmm

Yeah, mm-hmm, it's true

Big birds make

Big doo! I got fire inside

My "huppa"-chimpTM

Gonna be agreesive, greasy aw yeah god ...Read more »

Laid bare

Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore's new memoir The End of San Francisco captures tumultuous times

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marke@sfbg.com

LIT "I met Johanna at a party in New York in 1998 — actually I was talking to her boyfriend first, barrettes in his dyed black hair and painted nails, I was trying to figure out if he was a fag or from Olympia."Read more »

Free the free

San Francisco icon Xara Thustra looks back at 15 years of underground art

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VISUAL ART It starts with the streets. Walls, the texture of walls, rough and colored in swirls of graffiti letters. Walls you feel you could reach out and touch their cold and grit. Establishing shots — the streets of San Francisco in the dot-com era. The photos are of their times: an unattended shopping cart in the streets appears as early as page three. Soon follows the spray-painted legend, "Don't let the good times fool you."Read more »

A sizzling tale

'Zodiac' author Robert Graysmith talks San Francisco history and his new book, 'Black Fire'

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cheryl@sfbg.com

LIT Every San Franciscan has at least some knowledge of the city's pre-1906 earthquake days (Gold Rush!), with the more curious able to rattle off a few more random tidbits (Emperor Norton!)Read more »

West Memphis free

Damien Echols' powerful new memoir 'Life After Death'

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