Welcome to City Lights Bookstore!

A literary meeting place since 1953, City Lights is a landmark general bookstore, internationally known for its expert selection of books and for its commitment to free intellectual inquiry. Here you can check out our events calendar, browse a selection of featured books, new releases and recommended titles from the City Lights staff, sign up to receive City Lights newsletters, and learn a bit of the history of City Lights.

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Featured and Recommended Titles at the City Lights Bookstore

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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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Every Eye
Isobel English
Every Eye is a stunning discovery. Isobel English combines Woolf's observation of the hollows of English life, Austen's astute measuring of the game between the sexes, and an eye for detail that expands into a surreal poetry that is all her own.
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A Muse and a Maze
Writing as Puzzle, Mystery, and Magic
Peter Turchi
With his characteristic talent for finding connections between writing and the stuff of our lives, Peter Turchi ventures into new and even more surprising territory. In A Muse and a Maze, Turchi draws out the similarities between writing and puzzle-making and its flip-side, puzzle-solving. As he teases out how mystery lies at the heart of all...
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Hip Hop Family Tree 1975-1983
Gift Box Set
Ed Piskor
A special slipcover and a special comic are included in the smash hit's gift set. To celebrate the resounding critical and commercial success of the first two volumes of Ed Piskor's unprecedented history of Hip Hop, we are offering the two books in a mind-blowingly colorful slipcase, drawn and designed by the artist.
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Black Sparrow New Year's Greeting Bundle
Charles Bukowski
A special three-pack of rare chapbooks made by Black Sparrow Press featuring poetry from Charles Bukowski.
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At the End of the Road
Jack Kerouac in Mexico
Jorge Garcia-Robles
"We had finally found the magic land at the end of the road and we never dreamed the extent of the magic." Mexico, an escape route, inspiration, and ecstatic terminus of the celebrated novel On the Road, was crucial to Jack Kerouac's creative development.
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Air Raid
The Air Raid on Halberstadt on 8 April 1945
Alexander Kluge
Translated by Martin Chalmers, Kluge's Air Raid is a touchstone event in German literature of the postwar era. Incorporating photographs, diagrams, and drawings, Kluge captures the overwhelming rapidity and totality of the organized destruction of his town from numerous perspectives, bringing to life both the strategy from above and the futility..
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The Feel Trio
Fred Moten
Fred Moten is the real deal of contemporary poetry. And this book, The Feel Trio, is one of his best numbers to date. Reprinting at least one of his hard-to-find chapbooks, this book is made up of three sections of poems that flail the margins of the pedestrian and the philosophically sublime. A finalist for the 2014 National Book Award in poetry
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She of the Mountains
A Novel
Vivek Shraya
She of the Mountains is a beautifully rendered illustrated novel by Vivek Shraya, the author of the Lambda Literary Award finalist God Loves Hair. Shraya weaves a passionate, contemporary love story between a man and his body, with a re-imagining of Hindu mythology.
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Retrievals
Garrett Caples
Retrievals is a collection of criticism about underrecognized poets, unfairly discredited critics, artists obscured by more famous relations—basically, writers and artists that have fallen off the cultural map or never quite made it there in the first place. These essays, collected for the first time, span 10 years of Garrett Caples' writing...
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Redeployment
Phil Klay
Phil Klay's Redeployment takes readers to the frontlines of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, asking us to understand what happened there, and what happened to the soldiers who returned. Interwoven with themes of brutality and faith, guilt and fear, helplessness and survival...
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No Place to Hide
Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State
Glenn Greenwald
In May 2013, Glenn Greenwald set out for Hong Kong to meet an anonymous source who claimed to have astonishing evidence of pervasive government spying and insisted on communicating only through heavily encrypted channels. That source turned out to be the 29-year-old NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
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Breathturn Into Timestead
The Collected Later Poetry
Paul Celan
"No twentieth-century poet pierces the heart of language with such an exquisite blade as Paul Celan. With Pierre Joris's stunning translations of Celans' late work, along with his exemplary commentaries, it is as if we are reading Celan for the last time, once again." —Charles Bernstein