Arts & Events

Around the East Bay: 'West of the West' — Essays on California

Thursday May 07, 2009 - 06:31:00 PM

If you missed Mark Arax’s appearance at Black Oak Books Wednesday, you have a few more chances to catch him at other venues around the Bay Area. Arax has traveled up and down California, and his recent work, West of the West: Dreamers, Believers, Builders and Killers in the Golden State, portrays the personalities and communities he discovers. His essays cover the inner-city strife in the south, to the immigrant families living on the edge in central California, to the hidden marijuana fields in the north—even an essay on Berkeley. 

“These swift, penetrating essays from former Los Angeles Times writer Arax take the measure of contemporary California with a sure and supple hand,” says Publisher’s Weekly. Kirkus compared Arax’s work to Joan Didion’s essays on the Golden State. 

Arax, a contributing writer at Los Angeles magazine and nonfiction writing teacher at Claremont McKenna College, will speak and read from his work at 7 p.m., Friday, May 8, at Book Passage in Corte Madera; at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 13, at Kepler’s Bookstore in Menlo Park; at 7:30 p.m., Friday, May 15, at Book Inc.’s Opera Plaza store in San Francisco; at 3 p.m., Saturday, May 16, at Orinda Bookstore in Orinda; and at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 19, at the San Francisco Public Library.