HOLIDAY HOURS

November 27 - CLOSED

December 24 - OPEN 10AM - 9PM

December 25 - CLOSED

December 31 - OPEN 10AM - 9PM

January 1 - OPEN regular hours

 

*NEW ON THE CITY LIGHTS PODCAST*:

Man Alive Book Release Party

Thomas Page McBee reads from the book and answers audience questions

Thomas Page McBee: the City Lights Interview

 

Welcome to City Lights Books of San Francisco

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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Radio Benjamin
Walter Benjamin
Walter Benjamin was fascinated by the impact of new technology on culture, an interest that extended beyond his renowned critical essays. From 1927 to '33, he wrote and presented something in the region of eighty broadcasts using the new medium of radio. Radio Benjamin gathers the surviving transcripts...

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Walter Benjamin
A Critical Life
Howard Eiland, Michael W. Jennings
Walter Benjamin is one of the twentieth century's most important intellectuals, and also one of its most elusive. His writings--mosaics incorporating philosophy, literary criticism, Marxist analysis, and a syncretistic theology--defy simple categorization. And his mobile, often improvised existence has proven irresistible to mythologizers.

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Who We Be
The Colorization of America
Jeff Chang
Race. A four-letter word. The greatest social divide in American life, a half-century ago and today. During that time, the U.S. has seen the most dramatic demographic and cultural shifts in its history, what can be called the colorization of America. But the same nation that elected its first Black president on a wave of hope...

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Dear White People
A Guide to Inter-Racial Harmony in "Post-Racial" America
Justin Simien
In the satirical tradition of the New York Times bestseller Stuff White People Like comes this witty companion book to the "incredibly entertaining" (Indiewire) film of the same name, which “heralds a fresh and funny new voice” (Variety). Right out of college, Justin Simien wrote a screenplay about the nuanced experiences of four black students.

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History and Obstinacy
Alexander Kluge, Oskar Negt, Devin Fore
If Marx's opus Capital provided the foundational account of the forces of production in all of their objective, machine formats, what happens when the concepts of political economy are applied not to dead labor, but to its living counterpart, the human subject? The result is Alexander Kluge and Oskar Negt's History and Obstinacy.

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Would You Kill the Fat Man?
The Trolley Problem and What Your Answer Tells Us about Right and Wrong
David Edmonds
A runaway train is racing toward five men who are tied to the track. Unless the train is stopped, it will inevitably kill all five men. You are standing on a footbridge looking down on the unfolding disaster. However, a fat man, a stranger, is standing next to you: if you push him off the bridge, he will topple onto the line and, although...

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Algerian Chronicles
Albert Camus, Alice Kaplan
More than fifty years after Algerian independence, Albert Camus' Algerian Chronicles appears here in English for the first time. Published in France in 1958, the same year the Algerian War brought about the collapse of the Fourth French Republic, it is one of Camus’ most political works—an exploration of his commitments to Algeria.

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The Sense of Style
The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century
Steven Pinker
Why is so much writing so bad, and how can we make it better? Is the English language being corrupted by texting and social media? Do the kids today even care about good writing? Why should any of us care? In The Sense of Style, the bestselling linguist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker answers these questions and more.

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Collected Poems
Mark Strand
Longlisted for the 2014 National Book Award Gathered here is a half century's magnificent work by the former poet laureate of the United States and Pulitzer Prize winner whose haunting and exemplary style has influenced an entire generation of American poets.

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On Highway 61
Music, Race and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom
Dennis McNally
On Highway 61 explores the historical context of the significant social dissent that was central to the cultural genesis of the sixties. The book is going to search for the deeper roots of American cultural and musical evolution for the past 150 years by studying what the Western European culture learned from African American culture...

   

New and Forthcoming from City Lights Publishers

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Lit Up Inside
Selected Lyrics
Van Morrison
It's here!! Van Morrison selects his best and most iconic lyrics, spanning 50 years of writing and representing his entire creative journey. Gorgeous hardcover edition now available.

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Lunch Poems
50th Anniversary Edition
Frank O'Hara
Now available! Exquisite 50th anniversary hardcover gift edition of the groundbreaking poetry collection by the leader of the "New York School" of poetry.

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Man Alive
A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man
Thomas Page McBee
Out now from City Lights/Sister Spit: Far from a transgender transition tell-all, here is a personal yet universal story of charting one's course to ultimate self-recognition. Thomas Page McBee's writings on gender have appeared in the New York Times, Vice, and Salon, and he writes the "Self-Made Man" column for The Rumpus

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The Poetry Deal
San Francisco Poet Laureate Series No. 5
Diane di Prima
San Francisco Poet Laureate Series No. 5: The Poetry Deal is the first full-length collection of poems in decades from legendary feminist Beat poet, Diane di Prima. "A prolific writer generally associated with the Beat Generation, di Prima deserves wider recognition."—Library Journal

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Deep Code
City Lights Spotlight No. 12
John Coletti
City Lights Spotlight Series No. 12: Deep Code explores "side language," as a subset of other languages, whether slang or metaphor, to both communicate and obfuscate.

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A Corner of the World
Mylene Fernández-Pintado
Hot off the press! In contemporary Havana, "Do I stay or do I go?" is always the question, and love doesn't necessarily conquer all.

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Thousand Times Broken
Three Books
Henri Michaux
Hot off the press! Three never-before-translated-into-English works from the great visionary French artist & writer Henri Michaux during the period of his mescaline experimentation, with drawings by the author and surrealist painter Roberto Matta. Translated from the French by noted poet Gillian Conoley.

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The Violence of Organized Forgetting
Thinking Beyond America's Disimagination Machine
Henry A. Giroux
"Giroux refuses to give in or give up. The Violence of Organized Forgetting is a clarion call to imagine a different America—just, fair, and caring—and then to struggle for it."—Bill Moyers

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Border Patrol Nation
Dispatches from the Front Lines of Homeland Security
Todd Miller
Now Available! Fast-paced frontline reporting and analysis on the militaristic spread of the U.S. Border Patrol. "What Jeremy Scahill was to Blackwater, Todd Miller is to the U.S. Border Patrol!"--Tom Miller, author, On the Border

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Woman with Guitar
Memphis Minnie's Blues
Paul Garon, Beth Garon
A revised, expanded edition of the quintessential portrait of one of the blues' greatest artists and the popular poetry of her lyrics.