Biography, Memoir, Essays
Books in this online selection represent only a sliver of what we offer in the store. If you've got a particular book in mind and want to check on its availability, call us at 415-362-8193.

   
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Blue Nights
Joan Didion
Richly textured with memories from her own childhood and married life with her husband and daughter, this new book by Joan Didion is an intensely personal and moving account of her thoughts, fears, and doubts regarding children, illness and growing old.
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Small Memories
A Memoir
José Saramago
Written with Saramago's characteristic wit and honesty, Small Memories traces the formation of an artist fascinated by words and stories from an early age who emerged, against all odds, as one of the world’s most respected writers.
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I Must Resist
Bayard Rustin's Life in Letters
Bayard Rustin, Julian Bond, Michael G Long
BAYARD RUSTIN POSTHUMOUSLY AWARDED THE 2013 PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM Bayard Rustin's life story told in his own words through his intimate correspondence, published on the centennial of his birth.
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House of Prayer No. 2
A Writer's Journey Home
Mark Richard
Based on its subject matter and jacket copy, this might have been an inspirational memoir. But in Mark Richard's hands, the story of his own life is weird and unsettling and haunting and very much like an ocean hiding outlandish fauna somewhere beneath...
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Roman Letters
Evan Calder Williams
As a whole, this book casts a pessimistic glare toward late capitalism, each letter finding a theme or subject through which we can visualize the absurdity of our own surroundings. Yet beneath this pessimism exists a poetic razor which cuts through...
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Blue Nights
Joan Didion
From one of our most powerful writers, a work of stunning frankness about losing a daughter. Richly textured with bits of her own childhood and married life with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, and daughter, Quintana Roo, this new book by Joan...
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Nothing
A Portrait of Insomnia
Blake Butler
One of the most acclaimed young voices of his generation, Blake Butler now offers his first work of nonfiction: a deeply candid and wildly original look at the phenomenon of insomnia. Invoking scientific data, historical anecdote, Internet...
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Charlie Chan
The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History
Yunte Huang
Shortlisted for the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award in Biography and the 2011 Edgar Award for Best Critical/Biographical Book: "An ingenious and absorbing book. . . . It will permanently change the way we tell this troubled yet gripping...
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Ten Years That Shook the City
San Francisco 1968-1978
Chris Carlsson
The alliances, programs, and goals of a historic decade that continues to shape SF and the world.
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Role Models
John Waters
Here, from the incomparable John Waters, is a paean to the power of subversive inspiration that will delight, amuse, enrich—and happily horrify—readers everywhere. Role Models is, in fact, a self-portrait told through intimate profiles of favorite...
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Confessions of a Young Novelist (The Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature)
Umberto Eco
Umberto Eco published his first novel, The Name of the Rose, in 1980, when he was nearly fifty. In these "confessions," the author, now in his late seventies, looks back on his long career as a theorist and his more recent work as a novelist...
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Like Shaking Hands with God
A Conversation about Writing
Kurt Vonnegut, Lee Stringer
In Like Shaking Hands with God, two distinguished writers—separated by age, race, upbringing, and education, but sharing common goals and aspirations—talk about the place where the lives they lead meet the art they practice. That these two writers...
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White Hand Society
The Psychedelic Partnership of Timothy Leary & Allen Ginsberg
Peter Conners
How Allen Ginsberg and Timothy Leary launched the psychedelic revolution together: the inside story.
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Just Kids
Patti Smith
Winner of the National Book Award. Just Kids illuminates the impressive lover of literature that Patti Smith is. Her memoir will be of particular interest to City Lights enthusiasts as she is our quintessential reader, a fan of the Surrealists...

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