Limited-edition signed copies of Van Morrison's LIT UP INSIDE available by phone orders only. 
Each copy is $100. 2 book limit per person.  Shipping: $15.00 for one.  $18.00 for two. USPS Insured.
Call 415 362 8193, 10am to midnight PST.  No emails, please, thanks!



"Nothing is harder / on the soul / than the smell of dreams / while they are evaporating."––Mahmoud Darwish. Stop the Deportations!

––City Lights storefront, Fall 2017


City Lights is a landmark independent bookstore and publisher that specializes in world literature, the arts, and progressive politics.

Founded in 1953 by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Peter D. Martin, City Lights is one of the truly great independent bookstores in the United States, a place where booklovers from across the country and around the world come to browse, read, and just soak in the ambiance of alternative culture's only "Literary Landmark."... Read more>>





New at City Lights Bookstore


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Homesick for Another World
Ottessa Moshfegh
There's not a single character in this collection that I liked, but I was addicted to these stories, and found myself identifying with those characters—cursing myself for it. —Recommended by Jared

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The Underground Railroad
Colson Whitehead
The Underground Railroad is both the gripping tale of one woman's will to escape the horrors of bondage—and a powerful meditation on the history we all share. —Recommended by Scott & Paul

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Ransoming Pagan Babies
The Selected Writings of Warren Hinckle
Warren Hinckle
From his galvanizing exposés in Ramparts magazine to his hand in inventing gonzo, Warren Hinckle upended twentieth-century investigative reporting and gave it new provocation and zest. In the first career-spanning collection of writings by this key figure of American journalism, Ransoming Pagan Babies contains an astonishing thematic sweep.

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Draft No. 4
On the Writing Process
John McPhee
Draft No. 4 is a master class on the writer's craft. In a series of playful, expertly wrought essays, John McPhee shares insights he has gathered over his career and has refined while teaching at Princeton University, where he has nurtured some of the most esteemed writers of recent decades.

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Houses of Ravicka
Renee Gladman
From a foremost literary imagination; the reader (re)enters the strange city-state of Ravicka—follows the city's only comptroller as they examine the strange topography and architecture of the city. Truly something else.—Recommended by Jared

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As Lie is to Grin
Simeon Marsalis
David, the narrator of Simeon Marsalis's singular first novel, is a freshman at the University of Vermont who is struggling to define himself against the white backdrop of his school. He is also mourning the loss of his New York girlfriend, whose grandfather’s alma mater he has chosen to attend. —Recommended by Paul

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The Nakano Thrift Shop
Hiromi Kawakami
This Japanese novel features three of my favorite things: loveable eccentrics, thrift shopping, and copious descriptions of food. Full of wry humor and unexpected details. —Recommended by Erin

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The Red Atlas
How the Soviet Union Secretly Mapped the World
John Davies, Alexander J. Kent
Fascinating and full of detail. A wonderful rabbit hole to fall down, especially when Russian involvement in foreign politics has again made the news... —Recommended by Vanessa

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Writing to Save a Life
The Louis Till File
John Edgar Wideman
A major literary figure tells "a searching tale of loss, recovery, and deja vu that is part memoir and what-if speculation, part polemic and exposé" (The Washington Post) about two generations of one family—civil rights martyr Emmett Till and his father, Louis. —Recommended by Scott

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Mortal Trash
Kim Addonizio
Chew with your mouth closed and read this book.  —Recommended by Ryan

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Eye of the Sixties
Richard Bellamy and the Transformation of Modern Art
Judith E. Stein
Based on decades of research and hundreds of interviews with artists, friends, dealers, and lovers, Judith Stein's Eye of the Sixties recovers the elusive Bellamy and tells the story of a counterculture that became the mainstream.—Recommended by Paul

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The Responsibility of Intellectuals
Noam Chomsky
Originally published in the New York Review of Books, Chomsky's essay eviscerated the "hypocritical moralism of the past" (such as when Woodrow Wilson set out to teach Latin Americans "the art of good government") and exposed the shameful policies in Vietnam and the role of intellectuals in justifying it.

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We Were Eight Years in Power
An American Tragedy
Ta-Nehisi Coates
In this sweeping collection of new and selected essays, Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the tragic echoes of that history in our own time: the unprecedented election of a black president followed by a vicious backlash that fueled the election of the man Coates argues is America's "first white president."

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The Written World
The Power of Stories to Shape People, History, Civilization
Martin Puchner
The story of how literature shaped world history, in sixteen acts—from Alexander the Great and the Iliad to Don Quixote and Harry Potter. —Recommended by Paul

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The Unwomanly Face of War
An Oral History of Women in World War II
Svetlana Alexievich
A brutal map of suffering, courage, and the human cost of war. I would recommend this book based on Alexievich's introduction alone; her righteous anger rattles like a cold wind through bone-dry branches. —Recommended by Ivy

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Mother of All Pigs
a novel
Malu Halasa
DAMN! This here—a dynamic book about supporting each other, & reclaiming the essences of ones's self, set in a Jordanian town, filled with nuance & characters that I LOVE—is exactly what I needed. —Recommended by Jared

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(a dog memoir)
Eileen Myles
Reentering the sacred Dog waters of time, Eileen Myles cooks up their most excellent conjuring of a four-legged allegiance. Stir until Foaming. Errroooo —Recommended by Ryan

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A Novel
Matthew McIntosh
The headache gets worse & worse & never stops, not even for a second. There are lots of other subplots too. —Recommended by Jared & Paul

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Patti Smith
In this groundbreaking book, one of our culture's beloved artists offers a detailed account of her own creative process, inspirations, and unexpected connections.


New and Forthcoming from City Lights Publishers

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A Disarming History of the Second Amendment
Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
"If . . . anyone at all really wants to 'get to the root causes of gun violence in America,' they will need to start by coming to terms with even a fraction of what Loaded proposes."—Los Angeles Review of Books

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Impeaching the President
Past, Present, and Future
Alan Hirsch
FORTHCOMING FALL 2018: An historical look at the practice of impeachment, how it impacted the terms of Presidents Johnson, Nixon, and Clinton, and how it may affect Donald Trump.

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I Couldn't Even Imagine That They Would Kill Us
An Oral History of the Attacks Against the Students of Ayotzinapa
John Gibler
Chosen as a Best Book of 2017 by Publishers Weekly!

Harrowing personal narratives describing how Mexican authorities disappeared, killed, and injured scores of students and others in a still-unsolved crime.

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Documentado/Undocumented Ars Shamánica Performática
Felicia Rice
MacArthur Genius Guillermo Gómez-Peña and award-winning book artist Felicia Rice create a multi-media, border-crossing hybrid: the book as performance art.

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A Good Day for Seppuku
Short Stories
Kate Braverman
Haunting new stories about girls on the brink of adulthood, women on the verge of breakdowns, and families undone by past deceptions.

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Rad American Women A-Z
Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries Who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future!
Kate Schatz, Miriam Klein Stahl
New York Times Bestseller! A book for children—and their parents, teachers, and cool grown-up friends—documenting America's famous and unsung heroines.

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The Stone Building and Other Places
Aslı Erdoğan
Vivid stories from one of Turkey's most admired contemporary female authors, whose political activism has made her the target of state persecution.

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venture of the infinite man
Pablo Neruda
Neruda's long-overlooked third book of poetry, critical in his poetic evolution, now translated into English for the very first time!

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Storming the Wall
Climate Change, Migration, and Homeland Security
Todd Miller
Fast-paced frontline reportage chronicling how climate change is accelerating migration, border build-up, and militarization in the U.S. and beyond.

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Cruel Futures
City Lights Spotlight Series No. 17
Carmen Giménez Smith
A Latina feminist State of the Union address at the intersection of pop culture and interiority.

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Heaven Is All Goodbyes
Pocket Poets Series No. 61
Tongo Eisen-Martin
"This is resistance as sound."—Claudia Rankine

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Like a Dog
Tara Jepsen
"[Like a Dog] announces a singular new voice in American fiction—one which is deeply alive, hard-hitting, and tender."––Maggie Nelson

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The Novel of the Tupinamba Indian
E.F. Granell
Picaresque novel of the Spanish Civil War written by one of the most important post-WWII members of the Surrealist Movement.

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Behind the Moon
Madison Smartt Bell
"A kind of primal storytelling that crackles with dread and desire."—O Magazine

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Breaking Through Power
It's Easier Than We Think
Ralph Nader
"Anybody who says that they don't know what to do and that they're horrified by what's going on in Washington—this is the book for you to start with."—Ralph Nader discussing his new book Breaking Through Power: It’s Easier Than We Think

"For those interested in resisting, I highly recommend Breaking Through Power."—Tavis Smiley

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Whistleblower at the CIA
An Insider's Account of the Politics of Intelligence
Melvin A. Goodman
Russia expert and former CIA analyst Mel Goodman tells the inside story of political corruption at the organization, and what he did to try to stop it.

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Have Black Lives Ever Mattered?
Mumia Abu-Jamal
"A must-read for anyone interested in social justice and inequalities, social movements, the criminal justice system, and African American history. An excellent companion to Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow and Ava DuVernay's documentary '13th'."—Library Journal, Starred Review

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Invocation to Daughters
City Lights Spotlight Series No. 16
Barbara Jane Reyes
Volume 16 in the City Lights Spotlight Series: Feminist experimental poetry in the tradition of Audre Lorde and Theresa Kyung Cha from a prominent Filipina American poet.

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On to the Next Dream
Paul Madonna
The tech gentrification of San Francisco, forcing out everyone from artists to middle-income families, captured in a first-person illustrated story.