Fridays @ Enrico's: A Tribute to Don Carpenter
Tuesday, May 6, 2014, 7:00 P.M. -RESERVATIONS ARE FULL-, The Book Club of California, 312 Sutter Street, Suite 500 (cross street Grant) San Francisco, CA 94108

City Lights Booksellers & Publishers in conjunction with The Book Club of California and Counterpoint Press present

an evening of readings and discussion about the life and work of Don Carpenter


with Peter Coyote, Curt Gentry, Louis B. Jones, Anne Lamott, and Jane Vandenburgh

Hosted by Peter Maravelis/City Lights

Admission Free. RSVP required. You may sign up a the front counter at City Lights, by phone, or e-mail: with your name and number in attendance. Attendance limited and on a first come, first serve basis.

Don Carpenter was a close friend of many San Francisco writers, but his closest friendship was with Richard Brautigan, and when Brautigan killed himself, Carpenter tried for some time to write a biography of his remarkable, deeply troubled friend. He finally abandoned that in favor of writing a novel. Fridays at Enrico's is the story of four writers living in Northern California and Portland during the early, heady days of the Beat scene, a time of youth and opportunity. This story mixes the excitement of beginning with the melancholy of ambition, often  thwarted and never satisfied. Loss of innocence is only the first price you pay. These are people, men and women, tender with expectation, at risk and in love.  Carpenter also carefully draws a portrait of these two remarkable places, San Francisco and Portland, in the '50s and early '60s, when writers and bohemians were busy creating the groundwork for what came to be the counterculture.

Don Carpenter was born in Berkeley in 1932. Raised in Portland, he enlisted in the air force and returned to the Bay Area at the end of his service. Carpenter was closely involved in the Bay area literary scene, and could often be found in the bars and coffee shops of North Beach with fellow writers like Evan S. Connell Jr., Curt Gentry and Richard Brautigan.

He published 10 novels during his lifetime, including A Hard Rain Falling, which George Pelecanos called "a masterpiece," and A Couple of Comedians, which is thought by some the best novel about Hollywood ever written. Don also had a successful career as a screenwriter, living for long periods in Hollywood where he wrote the movie "Pay Day" (1972).

After years of deteriorating health, Don Carpenter committed suicide in Mill Valley in 1995. At the time of his death he was at work on the novel Fridays at Enrico's. Nearly twenty years later Counterpoint Press is publishing this long awaited work.

About the panelists:

Peter Coyote is an ordained practitioner of Zen Buddhism, activist, and actor. He began his work in street theater and political organizing in San Francisco. In addition to acting in 120 films, Coyote has won an Emmy for narrating the award-winning documentary Pacific Century, and he has cowritten, directed, and performed in the play Olive Pits, which won The Mime Troupe an Obie Award. He is also the author of the memoir Sleeping Where I Fall. Coyote lives in Mill Valley, California.

Anne Lamott is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Grace (Eventually), Plan B, Traveling Mercies, and Operating Instructions, as well as seven novels, including Hard Laughter and Joe Jones. She is a past recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Jane Vandenburgh is the award-winning author of two novels, Failure to Zigzag and The Physics of Sunset, as well as Architecture of the Novel, A Writer's Handbook, The Wrong Dog Dream, and The Pocket History of Sex in the Twentieth Century, A Memoir. She has taught writing and literature at U. C. Davis, the George Washington University, and, most recently, at Saint Mary's College in Moraga, California.

Louis B. Jones is the author of the novels Radiance and Innocence, both published by Counterpoint Press. His novels Ordinary MoneyParticles and Luck, and California's Over, are all New York Times Notable Books,

Curt Gentry is an American writer best known for his work co-writing Helter Skelter with Vincent Bugliosi, which detailed the Charles Manson murders and won the 1975 Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Best Fact Crime book.