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Friday, October 31, 2008

City Lights

Greetings from San Francisco! In the latest of an irregular series on amazing bookshops, this post comes from (or rather, after a visit to) City Lights, the famous "Beat" bookstore opened in 1953 by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Two years later, Ferlinghetti launched the "Pocket Poets" series and the City Lights imprint was born. Still radical after all these years, recent titles from City Lights include essays by Howard Zinn and Subcomandante Marcos, and also an impressive list of writing from the Middle East and North Africa. This month they're hosting a launch for Iraqi-American professor and artist Wafaa Bilal's memoir/manifesto Shoot an Iraqi. Browsing through the shelves, I also discovered I'jaam, the first novel by Iraqi poet and scholar Sinan Antoon and (in the poetry section, which takes up the entire top floor!) The World's Embrace, the first English translation of essential Moroccan radical poet Abdellatif Laâbi. If you can't make it to San Francisco, they have an excellent online store.

1 comment:

Lee Henshaw said...

"If you can't make it to San Francisco..."

That'll be most of us.

I am very jealous that you're out there. You've reminded me how good City Lights is - I'm going to check out that website.


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