Books & Lit

Celebrating the Written Word

One positive pandemic side effect has been the resurgence of interest in and appreciation for literature, whether it’s the enthusiasm surrounding Amanda Gorman’s poetry at the presidential inauguration, Zoom sessions and book club events with authors, or GoFundMe campaigns to help independent bookstores. Here’s a rundown of some of what’s going on this month, starting with a deconstruction of the man and the myth surrounding Ernest Hemingway.

Apr 5

On PBS (runs through April 7, check local listings for hours), Papa Hemingway is getting the full treatment in a three-part, six-hour documentary from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Edna O’Brien, Mario Vargas Llosa and Tobias Wolff are among the interviewees. Should be fascinating for fans and skeptics alike. Here’s the trailer:

Apr 6

City Lights, which raised over $500,000 from friends and fans of this San Francisco institution, is sponsoring regular virtual events. Hoa Nguyen reads from her new poetry collection, A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure (Wave Books), a meditation on personal and political pressures before and after the fall of Saigon, and a verse biography on her mother, a stunt motorcyclist in an all-women Vietnamese circus troupe. 6 p.m. Free; registration required.

Apr 7

Rachel Kushner reads from her incandescent new essay collection, The Hard Crowd, which deals in part with her experiences as a teenager in San Francisco (see interview). She will be interviewed by novelist Dana Spiotta. 6 p.m.

Apr 14

Melissa Febos discusses her new book, Girlhood, with novelist R.O. Kwon at a Zoom event sponsored by Green Apple Books. 6 p.m.

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