Biography, Memoir, & Belles-Lettres

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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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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Malcolm X
A Life of Reinvention
Manning Marable
Years in the making-the definitive biography of the legendary black activist. Of the great figures in twentieth-century American history perhaps none is more complex and controversial than Malcolm X. Constantly rewriting his own story, he became a...
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How to Live
Or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer
Sarah Bakewell
How to get along with people, how to deal with violence, how to adjust to losing someone you love—such questions arise in most people’s lives. They are all versions of a bigger question: How do you live? This question obsessed Renaissance writers...
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Not Dead Yet
A Feisty Bohemian Explores the Art of Growing Old
Herb Gold
An NPR Book of the Year, “worth, oh well, its weight in gold. . . . vivid and eloquent.”—The New York Times Book ReviewAn upbeat memoir to savor and admire, Still Alive! proves that in your later years you can still be going strong . . . and having...
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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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Reading Women
How the Great Books of Feminism Changed My Life
Stephanie Staal
When Stephanie Staal first read The Feminine Mystique in college, she found it “a mildly interesting relic from another era." But more than a decade later, as a married stay-at-home mom in the suburbs, Staal rediscovered Betty Friedan's classic...
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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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Sad Stories of the Death of Kings
Barry Gifford
A vivid and unflinching portrait of a fatherless adolescent boy coming of age within the violent humanity of 1960s Chicago...
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Just Kids
Patti Smith
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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Changing My Mind
Occasional Essays
Zadie Smith
"[These essays] reflect a lively, unselfconscious, rigorous, erudite, and earnestly open mind that's busy refining its view of life, literature, and a great deal in between." -Los Angeles Times Split into five sections-Reading, Being, Seeing...
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In Danger
A Pasolini Anthology
Pier Paolo Pasolini, Jack Hirschman
In Danger reveals the literary life of internationally renowned filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini
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The Bomb
Howard Zinn
Howard Zinn's personal, historical, and political views on the significance of the U.S. bombings of Royan and Hiroshima

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