13 Days / 23 Events / 20 Venues

From November 1 to 13, join us in celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the emergence of Dada, an art and literary movement that defied description in its day and had a lasting influence on the world of art, pop culture, and beyond.

Take a look at the exciting mix of lectures, roundtables, performances, film screenings, and art installations we've cooked up in collaboration with a host of local, national and international partners. And, for a sampling of the literary offerings fueling the events, check out our Dada/Surrealism section.


Beautiful Chaos Is the 2016 One City One Book


The City Lights Foundation is thrilled to announce that Carey Perloff's Beautiful Chaos: A Life in the Theater has been selected as San Francisco's One City One Book!

City Lights is proud to join forces with the San Francisco Public Library and A.C.T. to bring this book to the readers 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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Rise of the Machines
A Cybernetic History
Thomas Rid
As lives offline and online merge even more, it's easy to forget how we got here. Rise of the Machines reclaims the spectacular story of cybernetics, a control theory of man and machine. In a history that unpacks one of the twentieth century's pivotal ideas, Thomas Rid delivers a thought-provoking portrait of our technology-enraptured era.

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Karl Marx
Greatness and Illusion
Gareth Stedman Jones
As much a portrait of his time as a biography of the man, Karl Marx: Greatness and Illusion returns the author of Das Kapital to his nineteenth-century world, before twentieth-century inventions transformed him into Communism's patriarch and fierce lawgiver. Gareth Stedman Jones depicts an era dominated by extraordinary challenges and...

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Blood at the Root
A Racial Cleansing in America
Patrick Phillips
A gripping tale of racial cleansing in Forsyth County, Georgia, and a harrowing testament to the deep roots of racial violence in America. Forsyth County, Georgia, at the turn of the twentieth century was home to a large African American community that included ministers and teachers, farmers and field hands, tradesmen, servants, and children.

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White Trash
The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America
Nancy Isenberg
In her groundbreaking bestselling history of the class system in America, Nancy Isenberg takes on our comforting myths about equality, uncovering the crucial legacy of the ever-present, always embarrassing—if occasionally entertaining—poor white trash.

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Blood in the Water
The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy
Heather Ann Thompson
The first definitive account of the infamous 1971 Attica prison uprising, the state's violent response, and the victims' decades-long quest for justice—including information never released to the public—published to coincide with the forty-fifth anniversary of this historic event.

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The Underground Railroad
A Novel
Colson Whitehead
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk...

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Eye of the Sixties
Richard Bellamy and the Transformation of Modern Art
Judith E. Stein
A man with a preternatural ability to find emerging artists, Richard Bellamy was one of the first advocates of pop art, minimalism, and conceptual art. The founder and director of the fabled Green Gallery on Fifty-Seventh Street, the witty, poetry-loving art lover became a legend of the avant-garde, showing the work of artists...

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An American Genocide
The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe, 1846-1873
Benjamin Madley
Between 1846 and 1873, California's Indian population plunged from perhaps 150,000 to 30,000. Benjamin Madley is the first historian to uncover the full extent of the slaughter, the involvement of state and federal officials, the taxpayer dollars that supported the violence, indigenous resistance, who did the killing, and why the killings ended.

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Eternity Street
Violence and Justice in Frontier Los Angeles
John Mack Faragher
"John Mack Faragher is one fine writer, bringing early L.A. to life as the setting for all manner of horrific killings and gruesome justice. Eternity Street will keep you up at night ruminating on the roots of American violence."―Richard Wightman Fox, University of Southern California, author of Lincoln's Body: A Cultural History

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The Way to the Spring
Life and Death in Palestine
Ben Ehrenreich
If you are looking for an unvarnished portrayal of life in the West Bank, Ben Ehrenreich's fascinating journey in The Way to the Spring is it. With this book, he joins the ranks of our great "war" journalists, exposing the heartbreaking realities for Palestinian families. —Recommended by Stacey, City Lights Publishers


New and Forthcoming from City Lights Publishers

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Breaking Through Power
It's Easier Than We Think
Ralph Nader
Now Available! A Thomas Paine-style indictment of how wealthy corporations control politics and how average Americans, through democracy, can fight back and win. October tour stops in D.C., Santa Cruz, the Bay Area, Portland, Seattle!

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Dated Emcees
Chinaka Hodge
"These are poems to read every day. To make mantras from. They are the best poems you've ever read."––Daveed Diggs, star of Hamilton

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Save Twilight: Selected Poems
Pocket Poets Number 53
Julio Cortázar
Newly expanded edition of a classic: the first and only collection of Cortázar's poetry to appear in English.

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Lost Profiles
Memoirs of Cubism, Dada, and Surrealism
Philippe Soupault
A literary retrospective of a crucial period in modernism—the transition from Dada to Surrealism––via portraits and encounters with its literary lions, including Joyce, Proust, Reverdy, Apollinaire, Crevel and more by the co-founder of the Paris surrealist group.

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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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Notes on the Assemblage
Juan Felipe Herrera
Newest collection from the U.S. Poet Laureate: Exuberant and socially engaged, reflective and healing, a multi-genre collection of new work from the nation's first Latino Poet Laureate!

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Old Angel Midnight
Jack Kerouac
"The only book I've ever written in which I've allowed myself to say absolutely anything I want."—Jack Kerouac

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America at War with Itself
Henry A. Giroux
An eye-opening critique of how America's drift toward authoritarian intolerance is dividing the nation and intensifying social and political conflicts.

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The Lost Civilization of Suolucidir
Susan Daitch
Indiana Jones meets Italo Calvino in a masterful, absurdist blend of biting social satire, rollicking adventure, invented history and mythology.

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and then we became
devorah major
Reaching from the kitchen table to the stars, ruminations on who we are, and how we became who we are.

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Pictures of the Gone World
60th Anniversary Edition
Lawrence Ferlinghetti
The volume that launched City Lights' iconic Pocket Poets Series, Lawrence Ferlinghetti's first collection of poems, in an anniversary edition.

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The Earth Wants YOU
Reverend Billy Talen
A motivational handbook for earth activists, filled with inspired visions of a wild, creative, Earth-led cultural revolution. Stop shopping and sign up now for the struggle of our lives! Earthalujah!