The east coast may have the biggest publishing houses, but San Francisco is not lacking in top tier writers. There are so many, in fact, that selecting only a few seems unfair to the vast literary talent in the City by the Bay. They are for the most part a personable bunch of people who donate their presence to noteworthy charitable events as well as to Litquake (www.Litquake.org), the Bay Area’s annual literary festival.
Chilean born Allende, a cousin to the slain Salvador Allende, has been a Bay Area resident for more than 20 years. Her first novel, House of the Spirits, based loosely on her grandparents story, was first published in Spain in 1982. As a Bay Area author, Allende has been generous with her time, contributing to literary events with beauty and dash, despite the personal tragedy of losing her only daughter. Other works by Allende include Eva Luna, Paula, The Infinite Plan and Zorro.
Po Bronson has taken on Silicon Valley, childrearing, careers and other social commentary in his novels and nonfiction. Among his published works are Bombardiers, Why Do I Love These People, What Shall I Do With My Life and The Nudist on the Late Shift. A founding member of the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto, Bronson teaches others to write and is known for spending days in a closet cranking out his latest work.
Eggers is the co-founder of 826 Valencia, a coalition of non-profits located in San Francisco’s Mission District dedicated to tutoring and teaching writing skills to children and teens and supporting teachers. He also is the founder of McSweeney’s, an independent literary publisher especially noted for the beautiful packaging of its books. Among his works are the award-winning A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, What is the What, You Shall Know Our Velocity, and Zeitoun, a non-fiction work which is featured as this year’s San Francisco Reads: One City One Book selection.
A San Francisco resident, Roach is known for her ability to take on seemingly impossible subjects with both humor and a scientific mind. In her latest book, Packing For Mars, she examines the ramifications of weightlessness. Among her topics are cadavers (Stiff), sex (Bonk) and the afterlife (Spook).
Author of The Joy Luck Club, The Bonesetter’s Daughter, The Kitchen God’s Wife and many other works, Tan is a Bay Area treasure. Tan is usually accompanied at her readings and other appearances by her two Yorkshire terriers, both of whom who have been known to steal the show, though with Tan’s unique flair and incomparable sense of humor, this is hard to do. Don’t miss her memoir, The Opposite of Fate: Memoirs of a Writing Life.