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Noe Valley Authors Festival: Book Em, Dano!

Mar.21.2013

The Friends of Noe Valley has organized the first Noe Valley Authors Festival. It’s set for Saturday, March 23, 2013 from 2pm to 5pm at the St. Philip Parish Hall, located at 725 Diamond Street (between 24th and Elizabeth Streets) in Noe Valley. Admission is free and all are welcome.The Authors Festival intention is to focus spotlights on the considerable writing talent in Noe Valley and the contiguous neighborhoods of Glen Park, Bernal Heights, The Mission, The Castro, Twin Peaks and Diamond Heights. Our area is blessed with a multitude of published authors with a great number of books on all subjects, in all genres. The Authors Festival will give you the chance to meet these talented neighbors, peruse their books and take some home for happy reading.The Festival is a combination of authors at tables throughout a large hall, ready to say hello and sign their book for you, and traditional author readings. 29 authors have reserved table space in the hall. They’ll be seated with copies and stories about their books, pens in hand, ready to sign them for you. Their books range from children’s picture books to science fiction for adults, from serious and well researched discussions of policy and politics to a look at the dark side of design, all written from the imagination and experience of people right here in the hood.

Three local authors will be featured readers on the hour at 2pm, 3pm and 4pm. They’ll read for 15 minutes, take questions, and sign copies you’ve purchased from Bird & Beckett Books, the bookseller at the event.

At 2pm, take a seat to hear Alvin Orloff read from his latest novel, Why Aren’t You Smiling?, the story of a boy becoming a man in the 70′s. The boy, Leonard, opts for adventure: changing from dweeb to burnout but remaining himself. He hooks up with a Jesus freak hippie messiah and runs off to Oregon to Rick’s commune, which is far from communal. Years later, they meet up again. Orloff’s previous books were I Married an Earthling and Gutter Boys, both well worth reading. He is the manager of Dog Eared Books in the Mission and lives in that locale as well.

At 3pm, Jon Sindell of Glen Park is in the batter’s box with his book The Mighty Roman about life in the minor, minor, minor leagues. Teenage boys take a once in a lifetime chance to play in the big leagues (maybe), foregoing college but learning some facts of life one strange summer. They are led, badgered, and whipped into shape by Roman Meister, a failed ballplayer himself and now a failing baseball coach. Readers may have more sympathy for Roman when they meet his father. Sindell calls his book “a love song to baseball” and that it is.

At 4pm, Frances Payne of Noe Valley discusses the true stories of her life in Bolivia as a Dominican nun from 1964 to 1980. As Sister Ruth she had been a teacher in a Midwest parish school before she was asked to open a missionary house in La Paz. The radical change in her life is mirrored in the radical and revolutionary changes embroiling the country and its Catholic church. The country is being financially strangled by the World Bank and the IMF. Its military crushes dissent. Payne tells the story of a people’s struggle towards democracy thru these awful obstacles.

Sound good? Of course it does! Come stroll thru the hall to talk to your neighbors about their books, then take a seat to hear three of them read from theirs. Refreshments will be on sale and you can even pick up a Friends of Noe Valley t-shirt, which every stylish Noe Valleyan will be wearing this spring from 8 months to 80. Sales of both will help Friends pay for the Authors Festival.