On Saturday, January 26 at 7 P.M. Bird and Beckett Books and Records will feature two eminent authors, Herbert Gold and Lucille Lang Day. Both will read from their latest works, each a memoir of their lives.
Herbert Gold began his writing career seventy-plus years ago, publishing poems in New York literary magazines at age 17. He wrote his first novel, “Birth of a Hero,” in Paris, France while on a Fulbright scholarship in 1951. A 1940s Columbia University contemporary of poet Allen Ginsberg, Gold, a Cleveland native, eventually wended his way to San Francisco where he seamlessly fit in with the burgeoning Beat culture that percolated around North Beach coffeehouses.
Along the way, Gold notes, “I’ve been considered a Cleveland writer, a Jewish writer, a New York writer, an expatriate writer, a San Francisco writer, a sometimes married writer and a contributor-to-quarterlies writer.” Herbert Gold hit his stride in 1967 with the publication of “Fathers: A Novel in the Form of a Memoir.” His novels, short stories and book reviews have graced bookshelves and bookstores from the beginning of his celebrated career.
Now the publication of “Not Dead Yet: A Feisty Bohemian Explores the Art of Growing Old” will only add to his legendary oeuvre. Gold will read from his new memoir, which sparkles with what bookseller Eric Whittington describes as “wit and feisty independent spirit.”
Lucille Lang Day’s literary resume is lengthy. The Hudson Review, the Willow Review and The Best American Essays series are not strangers to her writings. The author of a children’s book, “Chain Letter,” she has penned eight poetry collections, and her first poetry collection, “Self-Portrait with Hand Microscope,” received the Joseph Henry Jackson Award. A holder of degrees from San Francisco State University and the University of California, Berkeley, Day will read from her new memoir, “Married at Fourteen,” a coming of age story. Cyra McFadden, author of “The Serial: A Year in the Life of Marin County,” writes that Lucy’s tale takes her “from teenage wild child and biker chick to prize-winning poet and holder of four advanced degrees.”
Lucille Lang Day writes, “I started seriously looking for a husband when I was twelve. I had enough of being a child, enough of being told what to do. I was unhappy at school; I resented homework; I didn’t get along with my mother. Having seen movies like “South Pacific,” “Sayonara,” and “A Summer Place,” I believed in true love. More than anything, I wanted Rossano Brazzi, Marlon Brando or Troy Donahue to come rescue me from my childhood.”
Drop by Bird and Beckett on January 26, take a seat, then sit back and find out what happened next to Day, as she reads from her recently published memoir and learn how Herbert Gold assesses his storied literary career in American letters. Then remain for book signings, stay and enjoy the usual convivial bookstore conversation, and partake in a neighborly libation or two.