Al Bendich (1929-2015)

"Al Bendich, the young ACLU lawyer who won our case in the 'Howl' trial in 1956, has just died at the age of 85. We were indicted for publishing and selling obscene poetry, and Al was able to establish the Constitutional grounds upon which Judge Clayton Horn made his decision of "Not Guilty" in our favor. Al also defended us successfully in a Zap Comics case in the 1960s. He will be sorely missed by all of us."––Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Tributes to Al can be found at the New York Times, SFGate, and the Los Angeles Times.

 

 

 

 

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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Gateway to Freedom
The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad
Eric Foner
The dramatic story of fugitive slaves and the antislavery activists who defied the law to help them reach freedom. More than any other scholar, Eric Foner has influenced our understanding of America's history. Now, making brilliant use of extraordinary evidence, the Pulitzer Prize–winning historian once again reconfigures the national saga...

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Fields of Blood
Religion and the History of Violence
Karen Armstrong
From the renowned and best-selling author of A History of God, a sweeping exploration of religion and the history of human violence. For the first time, religious self-identification is on the decline in American. Some analysts have cited as cause a post-9/11 perception: that faith in general is a source of aggression, intolerance, and...

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All the Light We Cannot See
A Novel
Anthony Doerr
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, a stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

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Euphoria
A Novel
Lily King
From New England Book Award winner Lily King comes a breathtaking novel about three young anthropologists of the '30's caught in a passionate love triangle that threatens their bonds, their careers, and, ultimately, their lives. English anthropologist Andrew Bankson has been alone in the field for several years, studying the Kiona river tribe...

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The Secret History of Wonder Woman
Jill Lepore
A riveting work of historical detection revealing that the origin of one of the world's most iconic superheroes hides within it a fascinating family story—and a crucial history of twentieth-century feminism Wonder Woman, created in 1941, is the most popular female superhero of all time. Aside from Superman and Batman, no superhero has lasted...

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This Changes Everything
Naomi Klein
The most important book yet from the author of the international bestseller The Shock Doctrine, a brilliant explanation of why the climate crisis challenges us to abandon the core "free market" ideology of our time, restructure the global economy, and remake our political systems.

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Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy
The Many Faces of Anonymous
Gabriella Coleman
Here is the ultimate book on the worldwide movement of hackers, pranksters, and activists that operates under the non-name Anonymous, by the writer the Huffington Post says "knows all of Anonymous' deepest, darkest secrets." Half a dozen years ago, anthropologist Gabriella Coleman set out to study the rise of this global phenomenon.

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Here
Richard McGuire
A beautiful exploration of a single place through time, from void to form to void again. Go ahead, open to a page, any page... —Recommended by Vanessa, City Lights Books Also recommended by Paul, City Lights Books

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Area X
The Southern Reach Trilogy
Jeff VanderMeer
A near-future trilogy, here handsomely packaged in one volume, which has been my single most unexpected "find" of the year. The first book, Annihilation, found me intrigued, yet cautious. Imagine the unspeakable horror of John Carpenter's 1982 remake of The Thing. Authority, the second volume, was an absolute revelation...

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Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness
Rebecca Solnit
The incomparable Rebecca Solnit, author of more than a dozen acclaimed books of nonfiction, brings the same dazzling writing to the twenty-nine essays in The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness. As the title suggests, the territory of Solnit's concerns is vast...

   

New and Forthcoming from City Lights Publishers

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Beautiful Chaos
A Life in the Theater
Carey Perloff
NOW Available: Carey Perloff, Artistic Director of San Francisco's ACT, pens a memoir of her career in the theater offering a provocative, passionate, and deeply personal view of theater's role today.

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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
Forthcoming in March! A book for children—and their parents, teachers, and cool grown-up friends—documenting America's famous and unsung heroines.

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City Lights Pocket Poets Anthology
60th Anniversary Edition
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
Forthcoming! A comprehensive selection from Ferlinghetti's famed City Lights Pocket Poets Series, published on the 60th anniversary of its founding.

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I Greet You at the Beginning of a Great Career
The Selected Correspondence of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Allen Ginsberg, 1955-1997
Bill Morgan
Forthcoming: Marking the 60th anniversary of City Lights Publishers, we present the intimate correspondence of Ginsberg & Ferlinghetti, documenting one of the longest relationships between a publisher and a writer.

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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 Penguin's Song
Hassan Daoud
A family in exile from their home in old Beirut contends with claustrophobic conditions, recriminations, and unrealizable dreams of return. Daoud is one of the Arabic world's premier novelists. Translated from the Arabic by Marilyn Booth.

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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.