Literature

Bret Harte’s Gold Rush: “Outcasts of Poker Flat,” “The Luck of Roaring Camp,” “Tennessee’s Partner,” and Other Favorites

These fifteen stories bring the California Gold Rush to life with their boisterous assemblage of rough-clad miners, pistol-packing preachers, iron-willed women, and philosophical gamblers. Theirs was an unpredictable world, filled with gold strikes and freak tragedies, when the wisdom of the gambler sometimes counted for more than that of the preacher. A master storyteller, Harte […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-0-930588-88-5
Price: $13.95

Brother and the Dancer: A Novel

Winner of the 2012 James D. Houston Award, Keenan Norris’s first novel is a beautiful, gritty, coming-of-age tale about two young African Americans in the San Bernardino Valley—a story of exceptional power, lyricism, and depth. Erycha and Touissant live only a few miles apart in the city of Highland, but their worlds are starkly separated […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-59714-245-8
Price: $15.00

Califlora: A Literary Field Guide

California plants range from microscopic mosses to giant sequoias, from desert cacti to rain forest ferns, from humble native grasses to flamboyant cultivated blossoms. With over six thousand species of astonishing variety, what grist for the literary mill! Novelists, poets, farmers, naturalists, foragers, botanists, and mythmakers have long exulted in the Golden State’s variety and […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-59714-161-1
Price: $18.95

Ecotopia (40th Anniversary Epistle Edition)

Twenty years have passed since Northern California, Oregon, and Washington seceded from the United States to create a new nation, Ecotopia. Rumors abound of barbaric war games, tree worship, revolutionary politics, sexual extravagance. Now, this mysterious country admits its first American visitor: investigative reporter Will Weston, whose dispatches alternate between shock and admiration. But Ecotopia […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-59714-293-9
Price: $14.00

Essential Muir

Preservationist. Inventor. Lobbyist. John Muir was many things at once, and he is California’s best-known icon-so much so that his image was chosen to appear on the new state quarter. But the best way to know the man who founded the Sierra Club and helped create Yosemite National Park is to read his own words. […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-59714-027-0
Price: $13.00

Fightin’ Words: 25 Years of Provocative Poetry and Prose from “The Blue-Collar” PEN

Energy crackles through PEN Oakland’s new collection of poetry and prose, in which 125 works distill radical politics and the need for social justice into passionate literature. Pieces span the spectrum of human emotion: from rage, as in Floyd Salas’s declamation against torture, to grief in CB Follett’s “Words to the Mother Whose Son Shot My Son,” to joy and […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-0-615-96797-4
Price: $18.00

Fup

Start with Granddaddy Jake Santee, a cantankerous, ninety-nine-year-old coot with a taste for gambling and whiskey; add in Tiny, his gentle giant of an adopted grandson, whose passion for building well-crafted fences on land with no livestock borders on obsessive; then add Fup, a twenty-pound mallard with an iron will and a fondness for hooch […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-59714-158-1
Price: $9.95

Heirlooms: Letters from a Peach Farmer

As suburbs swallow more and more rich farmland and reforms change the farming industry, the voices of farmers have never been more important. In his latest collection of essays, David Mas Masumoto reminds us that food remains the cornerstone of our society, even in the twenty-first century. Pervading his essays is a rooted, proud sense […]

Hardcover, ISBN: 978-1-59714-064-5
Price: $21.95

The Journey of the Flame

On the night of his 104th birthday, Don Juan Obrigón—tall and straight, with hair still flaming red—prepares to tell his life story to assembled relatives and guests. The story he will tell describes his travels as a boy of twelve in 1810, when he accompanied the Spanish viceroy of Baja California from the southern tip […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-890771-58-4
Price: $14.95

Mark Twain’s San Francisco

Jumping frogs, high society, beloved San Francisco characters Emperor Norton and the stray dogs Bummer and Lazarus who followed on his heels—nothing escaped Mark Twain’s scrutiny or his acerbic wit. Editor Bernard Taper has gathered together a heady selection of newspaper articles, correspondence, poetry, and short stories that are humorous—sometimes exasperating and controversial—but always engaging. […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-890771-69-0
Price: $14.95

No Place for a Puritan: The Literature of California’s Deserts

Feared and romanticized throughout the ages, the desert has a hold on our imagination that is never more evident than in the literature it has inspired. From Mary Austin’s meditations in The Land of Little Rain to Joan Didion’s acerbic cast of characters in Play It As It Lays, the desert’s seemingly barren landscapes have […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-59714-098-0
Price: $21.95

No Rooms of Their Own: Women Writers of Early California, 1849-1869

In the wild, isolated Western frontier, where laws, traditions, and living conditions were like nowhere else in America, it was a bold act for a woman to write and to seek publication. Dame Shirley, Ina Coolbrith, and Mary Hallock Foote never achieved the fame and success of Mark Twain or Bret Harte, but they were […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-890771-01-0
Price: $18.00

Orange County: A Literary Field Guide

Even by California’s standards, the County of Orange teems with abundance: in sweeping topography along the azure Pacific, in sprawling suburbs, in promises of prosperity, and in its self-perpetuated reputation as a citrus-lined paradise. But the acclaimed fertility of this corner of California is not just agricultural or economic, as this new anthology shows. In […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-59714-387-5
Price: $22.00

A Queen’s Journey

There are few more intriguing and captivating characters in the history of Hawaii than its last queen, Liliuokalani—the island monarch who could just as easily read Shakespeare as “sit barefooted on a woven mat.” Told with mesmerizing detail by master storyteller James D. Houston, A Queen’s Journey captures the deep ambiguities of Liliuokalani’s magnetic personality and […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-59714-163-5
Price: $14.95

Spring Salmon, Hurry to Me!: The Seasons of Native California

Spring Salmon, Hurry to Me! offers a literary calendar at once ancient and yet in some ways more relevant than the markers of time we are accustomed to. Combining old-time stories and sacred myths with contemporary poems and short stories, this collection articulates the cyclical changes in the natural world that occur each year. Originally […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-59714-079-9
Price: $16.95

Trail Posts: A Literary Exploration of California’s State Parks

Two college students leap among the branches of a coastal redwood canopy, with no safety equipment other than their sense of balance. A woman gives her testimonio of the day in 1846 when boisterous men in coyote skins raised a hand-painted bear flag above her home. A beginning surfer—derogatorily termed a “kook”—ponders the grassroots activism […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-59714-272-4
Price: $18.00