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December Calendar: Celebrating the Written Word

by Paul Wilner

One of the surprises of the pandemic has been the resilience of the literary community, connecting through technology with authors who inspire, challenge and entertain us. This month, a new edition of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is on the pre-holiday menu, along with advice from Peter Coyote (you may know him from voice-overs on Ken Burns’ specials) on how to use masks as a tool of liberation. Onward.


December 4

A Christmas Carol

Former Vanity Fair contributing editor Jesse Kornbluth and Marin County-based artist Paige Peterson read and discuss their “gently abridged’’ edition of the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol. This live event is at Book Passage’s Corte Madera location.
4 p.m. | bookpassage.com

December 5

Light on Fire: The Art and Life of Sam Francis

Gabrielle Selz discusses her new biography, Light on Fire: The Art and Life of Sam Francis, at a book event and reception with Berkeleyside founder Frances Dinkelspiel at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.
2 p.m. | bampfa.org

December 7

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Meet Buddha: Masks, Meditation, and Improvised Play to Induce Liberated States

In conversation with Anne Lamott, actor, activist and Zen Buddhist monk Peter Coyote talks about his latest, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Meet Buddha: Masks, Meditation, and Improvised Play to Induce Liberated States. Free and online.
5:30 p.m. | bookpassage.com

December 8

Around The World in 80 Books

Harvard comparative literature professor David Damrosch speaks with his faculty colleague Martin Puchner about Around The World in 80 Books, in which Damrosch counters pandemic restrictions by exploring tomes from all over the world. Free online event.
6 p.m. | copperfieldsbooks.com

December 15

Blood on the Fog

San Francisco poet laureate Tongo Eisen-Martin will be in conversation with Jeff Chang. The topic: Eisen-Martin’s Blood on the Fog, his second book in City Lights’ Pocket Poet series, which focuses on issues of race and mass incarceration. In-person event; proof of vaccination required. $36. Sydney Goldstein Theater.
7:30 p.m. | cityarts.net

December 21

Freeman’s

City Lights hosts Freeman’s Love & Change Solstice Party, a “kind of end-of-the-year looking glass” celebrating two themed issues of Freeman’s. Editor John Freeman, along with contributors Lina Meruane and Sayaka Murata, will speak at this virtual event; registration required.
6 p.m. | citylights.com

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