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Thursday, May 30th – 7:30pm
Author Event
Summer Brenner presents her book
Dust: A Memoir

“In this Boomer memoir, Driving Miss Daisy meets One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. With lilting eloquence, Summer Brenner captures the tumultuous fifties and sixties of a genteel Jewish family in Atlanta, with the South’s oppressive segregation and anti-Semitism. The family drama is fraught: the brother is a schizophrenic, the mother a Gucci-clad Medusa, and the father a suicide. After extensive travels, Brenner frees herself in the Bay Area to become ‘more beatnik than debutante.'” –James Nolan.

Dust  (Spuyten Duyvil, 2024) is the latest of the many books published by Summer Brenner since her 1990 short story collection The Dancers and the Dance (Coffee House Press). Along the way, she has brought out a book of novellas, The Missing Lover, (Spuyten Duyvil, 2022) with collages by Lewis Warsh; a pair of noir crime novels and four youth social justice novels; as well as a half dozen volumes of poetry. Her novel Nearly Nowhere (PM Press, 2012) was first published in France in 1999 as Presque nulle part through Gallimard’s Série noire.

Her youth novel Richmond Tales, Lost Secrets of the Iron Triangle is taught in the West Contra Costa School District, and sparked the “Richmond Tales Health and Literacy Festival” from 2011 to 2014; that novel and Oakland Tales, Lost Secrets of The Town have been produced in theatrical adaptations at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts and Skyline High School and by the Word for Word Performing Arts Company.

She has also contributed essays and other writings to numerous anthologies, and has collaborated and performed with Arundo/Smooth Toad (G.P. Skratz, Andy Dinsmore, Bob Ernst and Hal Hughes) for the album Because the Spirit Moved.

Brenner was raised in Georgia and migrated east first to New England and Europe, and then west to New Mexico and eventually Berkeley where she has been a long-time resident. Dust “is partly a story of my Southern Jewish family; it’s mostly an homage to my schizophrenic brother who left Atlanta to spend his last year living with me in Berkeley. It was close to a miracle that it happened at all.” 


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The Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project

Our events are put on under the umbrella of the nonprofit Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project (the "BBCLP"). That's how we fund our ambitious schedule of 300 or so concerts and literary events every year.

The BBCLP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit...
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The Independent Musicians Alliance

Gigging musicians! You have nothing to lose but your lack of a collective voice to achieve fair wages for your work!
The IMA can be a conduit for you, if you join in to make it work.


Read more here - Andy Gilbert's Feb 25 article about the IMA from KQED's site

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