Literature

Divided world

Tamim Ansary's Destiny Disrupted exposes western blind sides in relation to Islam
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Tamim Ansary is a gifted writer whose 2002 memoir West of Kabul, East of New York: An Afghan American Story is a must-read for anyone wanting to know more about Afghanistan. Read more »

Once every two weeks

Tired of the same old writing at the same old sites? Try Try
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johnny@sfbg.com

LIT I have a stack of Try magazines on my lap as I write this. The pages are white, marked by the black of letters and photocopied pen marks and the gray shades of color photos or aged pages filtered through Xerox. Some of the pieces in issues are printouts of e-mails, or maps of sites in Oakland going into foreclosure. Others are copied from typewritten pages — or bank receipts. There are numbered lists, unnumbered lists, exquisite corpses, poetic critiques of programs, hidden sonnets for the public, and mash notes from poet to poet. Read more »

Dark mirrors

The black dandy beams from past into future -- sharply attired, of course
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arts@sfbg.com

LIT Recently I was at a meeting with an unnamed arts organization, planning for an AfroSurreal art exhibit. As we were hashing out the details of display, the concept of the black dandy become a bone of contention among my learned colleagues. What was, and is, a black dandy? How does the black dandy differ from the white dandy? What's the difference between a dandy and fop? Aren't those terms interchangeable? Why bother looking at or for a black dandy at all? Read more »

Foxy lady

Victor Pelevin serves up a sexual odyssey starring russian super werewolves
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A Hu-Li appears to be your run-of-the-mill lascivious 15-year-old prostitute in modern Russia. She does all the things professionals who cater to the discerning international pedophile do. What are those things? Well, she posts ads on the Internet that read:

"A FAIRY TALE CUM TRUE: Small breasts for big money. A little ginger kitten is waiting for a call from a well-to-do stranger. Read more »

Rockers-turned-authors

Rock stars who write books, too -- smarter than rock stars who Twitter?
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arts@sfbg.com

The Romantic notion of the specialized, single-pursuit genius is outdated. In this century, nothing is all-or-nothing, and postmodernism allows for and even encourages multitaskers, plate-spinners, and well-rounded individuals.

Anyway, once you become a megastar, what else is there to do? Read more »

The Monster

WRITERS ISSUE: An excerpt from El Monstruo
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El Monstruo: Dread & Redemption In Mexico City is a perverse love letter to the most contaminated, crime-ridden, corrupt and conflictive urban stain on the western side of the planet, where I have been touched to live for the past quarter of a century. My life is now hopelessly entangled with the life of this monster of a megalopolis.

El Monstruo was indeed a monstrous book to write. Read more »

Word alive

WRITERS ISSUE: Selections from fresh young voices
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WRITERS The Eighth Annual Living Word Festival focuses on fresh young voices and includes readings, musical performances, art and fashion workshops, a youth town hall on healthcare reform, and live graffiti and B-boy battles. Below are two selections from the festival, which takes place Oct. 8-18 in San Francisco and Oakland.

UNTITLED

By Dennis Kim

... and I saw a shorty swimming in a white shirt baked brown by degrees and the air before him was bent by the lashes of the sun on the ground and there was no water to speak of. Read more »

Fine quintet

WRITERS ISSUE: Four provocative haiku and a tanka
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WRITERS Four provocative haiku and a tanka from the Haiku Poets of Northern California, who'll be reading at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 17, at Anthony's Cookies (1417 Valencia, SF) as part of LitQuake's massive citywide Litcrawl. Read more »

Bon Voyage!

WRITERS ISSUE: An excerpt from Joshua Mohr's upcoming novel Termite Parade
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arts@sfbg.com

WRITERS Mired and I were off to a Bon Voyage! party for our friend, Shawna, who was moving to Cleveland. It might not be totally true to say that Shawna was our friend. Shawna was my friend. We'd worked together, years ago, at an auto parts store and had dated for a few months. Mired was a jealous person in the first place, and she was of the opinion that Shawna still had a crush on me, though I kept trying to tell her that there was nothing going on between us.

Once we arrived, Mired started drinking vodka tonics. Really drinking. Read more »

Bay writes

WRITERS ISSUE: The winners of our first LIT123 contest
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culture@sfbg.com

WRITERS We asked Guardian readers to contribute stories or poems that reflected their Bay Area experiences. The catch? Each entry had to be exactly 123 words. So many excellent submissions poured in. Unfortunately, we could only pick 10 winners, which are printed below. Read more »