Premier Events presented by Peninsula Arts & Letters


Credit: Michael Halsband


 

 

 

PREMIER EVENT: Barney Frank

Wednesday, April 1, 7:30pm

Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage

Fox Theatre, 2215 Broadway Street, Redwood City

Tickets are available at Kepler's and online at Fox Theatre Box Office

Join us for an unforgettable evening with America's smartest, feistiest, and funniest politician, Barney Frank. In Frank's candid and witty political memoir, Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same-Sex Marriage, we find out how a disheveled, intellectually combative gay Jew with a trademark New Jersey-Massachusetts accent, became one of the most powerful and effective members of Congress.

In Frank, he chronicles his lifelong struggle against inequality, which culminated in co-writing the most significant Wall Street regulations since the Great Depression. Barney Frank continues to be an important voice for economic fairness at a time when many of the regulations he authored are being challenged.

With his trademark directness and insight, Frank explores the emotional toll of living in the closet and how he became the first member of Congress to voluntarily disclose his homosexuality. He also details the favors, grudges, and fears that shape a legislator's career. 

We can't wait to hear Frank's legendary rhetorical skills in action and to spend an evening with the person who led the debate on some of the most significant issues of our time.

Barney Frank represented the Fourth Congressional District of Massachusetts for nearly five decades, and chaired the House Financial Services Committee from 2007 to 2013. He is the first member of congress to enter a same-sex marriage while serving in office.



Credit: Jeff Cottenden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PREMIER EVENT: Kazuo Ishiguro in conversation with Tom Barbash

Thursday, April 2, 7:30 p.m.

The Buried Giant

Menlo-Atherton High School Center for Performing Arts, 555 Middlefield Rd., Atherton  

Tickets are available at Kepler's and online at Brown Paper Tickets

Student tickets are available! 


Join us for a very special evening with Kazuo Ishiguro, one of the most celebrated contemporary fiction writers in the English-speaking world. We’ll be celebrating the release of The Buried Giant, Kazuo Ishiguro's first novel in nearly a decade, following international bestsellers Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day.

We were lucky enough to receive some Advanced Reader Copies of the novel, and we have to say that we love the book, and so much of our enjoyment of it stemmed from the less you know the better. Meaning, we don't want to give anything away here. Not yet. Not until you've had a chance to read it yourself. All the publisher will say about the book is that it is "sometimes savage, often intensely moving," and is about "lost memories, love, revenge and war."

We can tell you that this new novel is like nothing he has ever written. It is an adventure fable that integrates a familiar ancient British civilization tale with a fantastical element. And all of the familiar trademarks of Ishiguro are present: his expert prose, his characters' search for meaning, an exploration of the limitations of memory, and Ishiguro's incredibly vast imagination.

Called an original and remarkable genius by the New York Times, Kazuo Ishiguro is the author of Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day, both of which were adapted into highly acclaimed films. He has received four Man Booker Prize nominations, was ranked 32nd on the New York Times list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945," was awarded the Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa International Literary Prize, and received an OBE for Services to Literary and in 1998 the French decoration of Chevalier de L'Orde des Arts et des Lettres. Born in Nagasaki, Japan in 1954, Ishiguro moved to Britain at the age of 5.

Tom Barbash is the author of the award-winning novel The Last Good Chance and the non-fiction book On Top of the World: Cantor Fitzgerald, Howard Lutnick, and 9/11; A Story of Loss and Renewal, which was a New York Times bestseller. His stories and articles have been published in Tin House, McSweeney's, Virginia Quarterly Review, and other publications, and have been performed on National Public Radio's Selected Shorts series. He currently teaches in the MFA program at California College of the Arts.



Credit: Benjamin Benschneider


 

 

 

PREMIER EVENT: Erik Larson

Monday, April 13, 7:30pm

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania 

Tickets are available at Kepler's and online at Brown Paper Tickets


On the 100th anniversary of the Lusitania disaster, comes the enthralling story of the sinking ship from Erik Larson.

On May 1, 1915, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. The passengers were anxious. Germany had declared the seas around Britain to be a war zone, and for months, its U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era's great transatlantic "Greyhounds" and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. He knew, moreover, that his ship--the fastest then in service--could outrun any threat.

Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot-20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger's U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the Lusitania made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces both grand and achingly small--hubris, a chance fog, a closely guarded secret, and more--all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history. 

It is a story that many of us think we know but don't, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era. Full of glamour, mystery, and real-life suspense, Dead Wake brings to life a cast of evocative characters, from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope Riddle to President Wilson, a man lost to grief, dreading the widening war but also captivated by the prospect of new love. Gripping and important, Dead Wake captures the sheer drama and emotional power of a disaster that helped place America on the road to war.

Erik Larson is the author of four national bestsellers: In the Garden of Beasts, Thunderstruck, The Devil in the White City, and Isaac's Storm, which have collectively sold more than 5.5 million copies. His books have been published in fourteen countries.


 

 

 

 

PREMIER EVENT: Jacqueline Winspear

PLEASE NOTE NEW DATE:

Wednesday, April 29, 7:30pm

A Dangerous Place: A Maisie Dobbs Novel

Tickets are available at Kepler's and online at Brown Paper Tickets

 

When Jacqueline visited us in July of 2014, she announced the upcoming publication of the newest book in the Maisie Dobbs series. We are so pleased to announce that we will be celebrating the release of it with a reading by Jacqueline only two days after the publication date.

Spring 1937. In the four years since she left England, Maisie Dobbs has experienced love, contentment, stability and the deepest tragedy a woman can endure. Now, all she wants is the peace she believes she might find by returning to India. But her sojourn is cut short when her stepmother summons her home to England; her aging father Frankie Dobbs is not getting any younger.

But on a ship bound for England, Maisie realizes she isn't ready to return, so she disembarks in Gibraltar. Days after Maisie's arrival, a photographer and member of Gibraltar's Sephardic Jewish community, Sebastian Babayoff, is murdered, and Maisie becomes entangled in the case, drawing the attention of the British Secret Service. Under the suspicious eye of a British agent, Maisie is pulled deeper into political intrigue and renews an uneasy acquaintance in the process. At a crossroads between her past and her future, Maisie must choose a direction, knowing that England is, for her, an equally dangerous place, but in quite a different way.

Jacqueline has won numerous awards, including the Agatha Award for Best Novel, and since An Incomplete Revenge was published in 2008, each of her novels has been an instant New York Times and National Bestseller.



 

 

 

 

PREMIER EVENT: Andrew Keen

Wednesday, May 20, 7:30 p.m.

The Internet Is Not the Answer

Tickets are available at Kepler's and online at Brown Paper Tickets

 

Called the "Christopher Hitchens of the Internet," Andrew Keen describes the ways in which an expanding circle of wealthy "monopolistic" companies like Amazon, Uber, Airbnb, Spotify and others are disrupting in ways that are hardly as noble as they want us to believe.

Watch the provocative book trailer HERE and prepare for a deluge of intellectual debate and controversy. He has been called the "conscience of the internet" and "the voice of humanity amidst the digitization of our world," and The Internet is Not the Answer is "the best and most readable critique of Silicon Valley yet."

This book traces the technological and economic history of the Internet, from its founding in the 1960s to the creation of the World Wide Web in 1989, through the waves of startups and the rise of the big data companies to the increasing attempts to monetize almost every human activity. In this sharp, witty narrative, informed by the work of other writers, reporters, and academics as well as his own research and interviews, Keen shows us the tech world, warts and all - from hoodie-wearing misfit millionaires to the NSA's all-encompassing online surveillance to the impact of the Internet on unemployment and economic inequality.

Andrew Keen is an entrepreneur who founded Audiocafe.com in 1995 and built it into a popular first generation Internet company. He is the executive director of the Silicon Valley salon FutureCast, the host of the Techonomy web series "Keen On," a columnist for CNN and has been featured in the national media, including on CNN, NPR and "Colbert Report." He has spoken at LeWeb, DLD, Disrupt, Next Web and TEDx. His books include Digital Vertigo and the Cult of the Amateur, and he lives in San Francisco.






 

 

 

PREMIER EVENT: David McCullough

Tuesday, June 16, 7:30pm

The Wright Brothers

Fox Theatre, 2215 Broadway Street, Redwood City

Tickets are available at Kepler's and online at Fox Theatre Box Office

Join us for a very special evening with two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian, David McCullough. He is the author of numerous acclaimed books, including 1776, Brave Companions, The Johnstown Flood, The Great Bridge, and The Greater Journey.

We're so thrilled to celebrate McCullough's new book, The Wright Brothers, in which we'll learn the story-behind-the-story of Wilbur and Orville Wright, the brothers who inspired and taught the world to fly. We know all about their achievements and the history of flight, but who were the Wilbur brothers really?

McCullough, drawing on the immense collection of the Wright Papers - including private diaries, notebooks, scrapbooks, and more than a thousand letters from private family correspondence - shows us that Wilbur was unquestionably a genius, and Orville had rare mechanical ingenuity. Both brothers had an average public school education, very little money, and no contacts in high places to help them with their "mission" to take to the air. 

These two unknown men of exceptional courage and determination, of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity, much of which they attributed to their upbringing - a house full of books if without electricity and indoor plumbing - changed history in 1903 in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

This thrilling book tells the human side of the Wright Brothers' story, including the little-known contributions of their sister, Katharine, without whom things might have gone very differently for them.

David McCullough has twice received the Pulitzer Prize, for Truman and John Adams, and twice received the National Book Award, for The Path Between the Seas and Mornings on Horseback. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.