Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Jane Ciabattari on LitHub

Once again, Jane Ciabattari brings her three-dot expertise to her coverage of the Bay Area Book Festival coverage for LitHub. I'm especially grateful for the shout-out:

Down Allston Street, Miriam Pawel, author of The Browns of California, a joint biography of governors Pat Brown and his son Jerry, shared stories with the eldest Pat Brown granddaughter, Kathleen Kelly, a Superior Court judge, and her father Joe Kelly, who was married to Jerry’s sister Cynthia. Moderator Peter Richardson coaxed out memories of the deep divide between the austere, Jesuit-trained Jerry and his gregarious father Pat. Jerry once took his father on a silent religious retreat, the story goes, but Pat couldn’t keep his mouth shut.

Many thanks, Jane, for your continuing support.

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Sunday, May 05, 2019

Bay Area Book Festival 2019

Another beautiful day in Berkeley for the Bay Area Book Festival. The session I moderated on the Brown family (Jerry, Pat, etc.) went swimmingly, thanks to Miriam Pawel, Joe Kelly, and Kathleen Kelly. Joe was married to Jerry's sister Cynthia; Kathleen is their oldest child and a Superior Court judge. Their insights and stories went over very well, and Miriam was on point and delightful as usual. The estimated attendance was 300, including some of my students from San Francisco State University.

Afterwards, I strolled the exhibits and was interviewed by a camera crew--not sure what that was about. I also chatted in the green room, met some cool authors, heard about some interesting new books, and bought one called Foucault in California by Simeon Wade, published by Heyday. It's about Foucault's 1975 acid trip in Death Valley. I read the foreword and will return to that as soon as I finish Eve Babitz's Slow Days, Fast Company.

In short, my favorite kind of day.

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Wednesday, May 01, 2019

More C-Mac Love

Today I learned that The Nation podcast, "Start Making Sense," will post their interview with me about Carey McWilliams. I really like the way it came out. You can find it here. Many thanks to host Jon Wiener and his team for the good work.

I also had a chance to speak about Carey McWilliams at the California Historical Society last night. It was a quick spin through his many accomplishments, but more and more, I'm also addressing why his work doesn't command more attention--especially given the tributes he has received from Kevin Starr, Mike Davis, Patricia Limerick, and many other experts. Truly, he's the most important American author that most people have never heard of.

Afterwards I went to Slim's to watch the rough cut of a documentary film about KSAN, the San Francisco counterculture's signature radio station. Many familiar faces there, including Bonnie Simmons, Ben Fong-Torres, Terry McGovern, and Scoop Nisker.

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