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Kazuo Ishiguro

Tue., March 31, 7:30 p.m.
Kazuo Ishiguro
Fans of acclaimed British writer Kazuo Ishiguro, of Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day, have been waiting ten years for the author’s next novel to be released. Finally, it’s here, in the form of The Buried Giant. The book follows an elderly married couple living on the outskirts of their village in a King Arthur-like medieval setting. They’ve lost their memory to a thick fog, but have a sense that they have an estranged son whom they need to find. They embark on a journey across a Tolkien-esque landscape and are met with absurd occurrences that for a long while never quite seem to come together into a cohesive tale. In Ishiguro’s signature style, the story is shrouded in mystery and packed with unanswered questions. In the end, enough becomes clear to reveal haunting insights about memory, companionship, and revenge. Ishiguro will do a rare stateside appearance on Tuesday at the First Congregational Church of Berkeley (2345 Channing Way), presented by Berkeley Arts and Letters. He will be joined in conversation by author Michael David Lukas. After the talk, he will sign books. $12-$25
First Congregational Church of Berkeley 2345 Channing Way, Berkeley (map)

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Lyrics and Dirges

Third Wednesday of every month, 7:30 p.m.
510-649-1320
Lyrics and Dirges
has been bringing a hand-picked selection of prominent and emerging writers to Pegasus Books Downtown (2349 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley) on the third Wednesday of every month. Hosted and curated by Rad Dad zine editor Tomas Moniz and Berkeley Poetry Festival organizers Sharon Coleman and MK Chavez, the series aims to provide a picture of the diverse Bay Area literary landscape by gathering different types of writers on the same stage. “We’ve paired slam poets with writers of erotic memoir; we’ve highlighted writers published by mainstream presses, hard core zinesters who still staple each issue, comics artists, and playwrights,” Moniz wrote in an email. For its fourth anniversary edition, the series is hosting authors Virgie Tovar, Daniel Riddle Rodriguez, Matthew Zapruder, and Aimee Suzara. Though Lyrics and Dirges’ lineup is always eclectic, Tovar promises an especially memorable performance. Author of Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love and Fashion, Virgie Tovar travels the country preaching the motto “Lose Hate Not Weight,” and serving up refreshingly raw lectures and readings concerning body politics, sex, and identity. She fits the bill for Lyrics and Dirges nicely, which also aims to represent socially engaged writers who share perspectives that are relevant to their communities. free
Pegasus Books Downtown 2349 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley & Oakland (map)

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