Epicenter of Girlhood: Carol Edgarian and Vendela Vida on Coming of Age in San FranciscoTuesday, May 4 | 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
From the Barbary Coast to the Summer of Love to the tech takeover, San Francisco has always been a city in flux, a writer’s dream, and a favorite setting for literature. Its boom-and-bust drama and breathtaking beauty also make it a perfect backdrop for coming-of-age stories: especially ones about girls who can’t be pigeonholed.
Who better to chronicle the city’s growing pains—and those of two unforgettable teenage women—than two leading ladies of the Bay Area literary scene? Carol Edgarian, publisher of Narrative Magazine, has delivered “that rare novel you’ll want to buy for loved ones” (Andre Dubus III) with Vera, a pulse-pounding, often hilarious saga of a fierce 15-year-old, the daughter of a bordello owner, amidst the 1906 earthquake and fires. (Nob Hill, Pacific Heights, Market Street, the longed-for “fire escape” ferry to Oakland—they’re all here.)
We wonder what Vera would have to say to Eulabee, the protagonist of Vendela Vida’s funny, poignant We Run the Tides, who comes of age during the pre-tech-boom days of the 1990s (Eulabee haunts “Sea Cliff,” China Beach, the Haight). Vida, co-founder of The Believer magazine, 826 Valencia, and other Bay Area literary institutions, puts Eulabee squarely in the middle of a web of lies instigated by her fabulously-named friend Maria Fabiola, a social climber (also very San Francisco).
Whether you know San Francisco or not, whether you long for its “good old days” or still find it magical, these stories and this conversation, part of the Festival’s “Writer to Writer” series, will hit home for anyone who has undergone the harrowing journey of growing up.
Watch the full episode
This event is also part of the Festival’s Women Lit series