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The Beautiful Island: Taiwan in the Literary Imagination

An island nation, Taiwan has famous night markets, adventurous terrain, hot spring resorts, a bamboo skyscraper—and one of the world's most beautiful bookstores. These four authors, of Taiwanese descent or writing about Taiwan, include two…
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Is Fiction "Truer than Truth"? The Historical Novel

Historical novels take us inside the minds and hearts of characters from the past—some real, some made-up, but all coming to life in our imaginations. How do real events inspire fictional ones? These extraordinary writers bring us through…
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A Very Special Evening with the Remarkable Judy Blume

Judy Blume is one of America’s most beloved authors. Her twenty-eight titles include Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret; Forever; and Summer Sisters. It's a huge pleasure to welcome her to Berkeley, for a wide-ranging and spirited conversation,…
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Paolo Bacigalupi in the Spotlight | The Water Knife

The Water Knife Water is power. In the near future, a severe drought in the southwest has demolished Texas, and Phoenix is ravaged and desolate, on the verge of total breakdown. While the wealthy stay wet, the poor get the dust, buying water…
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Talking About Writing & All the What-Not: Daniel Handler and Rabih Alameddine Carry On

They both live in San Francisco. One is a native San Franciscan, the other a Lebanese American born in Jordan. What could they possibly have in common? Come and see! From The Basic Eight to Lemony Snicket and the new We Are Pirates, Daniel Handler's…
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Writing a New World Into Existence: Lessons from Literary Futurism

It's been demonstrated that reading fiction increases empathy. Can it also unlock a blueprint for our future, at a moment when we need new ways of defining what's possible? Four of Berkeley's most visionary novelists, known for their ability…
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Coming Together When Things Fall Apart: Giving Voice to Emotional Truth in Our Times

When this compelling all-star event aired live as a ticketed fundraiser in May 2020, the response was powerfully moving. “Incredible,” “fascinating,” and “you’re helping me to feel less isolated” were just a few of the comments…

A Cursed Blessing: The Hidden Gifts in Times of Trial: A Conversation with David Talbot and Sir Michael Moritz

Bestselling journalist and author David Talbot (Season of the Witch), founder and former editor-in-chief of Salon, is known for his out-of-the-box, headline-making insights on everything from current events to popular culture to hidden history,…
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2020 Bay Area Book Festival Writing Contest Showcase

The Bay Area Book Festival’s Writing Contest aims to encourage people to engage with the craft of writing. This year’s prompt was centered around the theme of expectations, and submissions were judged in three categories: Adult (18+), High…
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Strange Hotel: Irish Literary Sensation Eimear McBride

The trajectory of Eimear McBride’s career is an underdog’s dream: she spent six months writing her debut novel, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing, and nine years trying to sell it, only to take the literary scene by storm when it was finally…