Memoirs

Alice: Memoirs of a Barbary Coast Prostitute

In 1913 the San Francisco Bulletin published a serialized, ghostwritten memoir of a prostitute who went by the moniker Alice Smith. “A Voice from the Underworld” detailed Alice’s humble Midwestern upbringing and her struggle to find aboveboard work, and candidly related the harrowing events she endured after entering “the life.” While prostitute narratives had been […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-59714-361-5
Price: $20.00

The Autobiography of Lincoln Steffens

Final sale! Was $21.95, now $5.49. Here, in what The Nation publisher Victor Navasky says “ought to be assigned reading,” is the autobiography of one of the world’s first celebrity journalists: Lincoln Steffens, a man whose writing was so notorious that President Theodore Roosevelt coined a term for it—muckraking. Growing up in Sacramento, Steffens (1866-1936) […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-59714-016-4
Price: $5.49

Bad Indians: A Tribal Memoir

Winner of the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award, Gold Medal for Autobiography/Memoir Shortlisted for the 2014 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing “If we allow the pieces of our culture to lie scattered in the dust of history, trampled on by racism and grief, then yes, we are irreparably damaged. But if we pick up […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-59714-201-4
Price: $19.00

Changing Season: A Father, A Daughter, A Family Farm

Honor Title, 2016-2017 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Finalist, 2017 Northern California Book Award (Creative Nonfiction) How do you become a farmer? The real questions are: What kind of person do you want to be? Are you willing to change? How do you learn? What is your vision for the future? In this poignant collection […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-59714-366-0
Price: $16.00

De-Bug: Voices from the Underside of Silicon Valley

Silver Medal, 2016 Foreword INDIES Book Awards. No shuttle buses here: De-Bug, a new collection of true stories from the social justice organization of the same name, shows a side of working in Silicon Valley that you won’t read about in the business section. As tech moguls land the cover of Forbes, the South Bay’s working […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-59714-319-6
Price: $16.00

East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres

From cuisine and martial arts to sex and self-esteem, East Eats West shines new light on the bridges and crossroads where two hemispheres meld into one worldwide “immigrant nation.” In this new nation, with its amalgamation of divergent ideas, tastes, and styles, today’s bold fusion becomes tomorrow’s classic. But while the space between East and […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-59714-138-3
Price: $14.95

Enough for All: Foods of My Dry Creek Pomo and Bodega Miwuk People

Celebrating Native California food gathering and preparation across the seasons, Kathleen Rose Smith reveals the practices handed down through generations of her Bodega Miwuk and Pomo ancestors, and shares how these traditions have evolved into the contemporary ways her family still enjoys wild foods. Her knowledge and personal reflections are expressed through recipes, stories, and […]

Paperback, with flaps, ISBN: 978-1-59714-242-7
Price: $15.00

Farmworker’s Daughter: Growing Up Mexican in America

When Rose Castillo Guilbault was five years old, she and her recently divorced mother crossed the border from Nogales, Sonora, to Nogales, Arizona, and boarded a Greyhound bus that would carry them to California’s Salinas Valley and a new life. In this affectionate memoir, Guilbault invites us into her girlhood, revealing what it was like […]

The Heyday of Malcolm Margolin: The Damn Good Times of a Fiercely Independent Publisher

Final sale! Was $20.00, now $5.00. In an age of big box stores and media conglomerates, how can an independent publishing house survive—and even thrive? Kim Bancroft takes us into Heyday, a small press that for forty years has spotlighted California’s best stories. Drawing from the words of founder Malcolm Margolin, this compelling portrait recounts […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-59714-287-8
Price: $5.00

How Do I Begin?: A Hmong American Literary Anthology

Hmong history and culture can be found in the form of oral stories, oral poetry, textile art, and music but there is no written account of Hmong life, by a Hmong hand, passed down through the centuries. As an undergraduate, Burlee Vang experienced this void when he received valuable advice from his English professor: “Write […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-59714-150-5 Temporarily Out of Stock

John of the Mountains Bundle

Regular price: $30 Get the duo for $25! Adorned with new covers by artist Lisel Jane Ashlock, these two classic texts show off famed naturalist John Muir’s writing at its finest. My First Summer in the Sierra presents Muir’s journal entries from his first long-term adventure in Yosemite and the surrounding area, when he helped drive a flock of […]

Paperback, ISBN: Muir16Bundle
Price: $25.00

Lela Rhoades, Pit River Woman

Final sale! Was $18.95, now $4.74. In the 1970s Lela Rhoades told Molly Curtis the story of her life among her Achumawi Pit River people during the tumultuous first half of the twentieth century in Northern California. In a voice so sharp, so funny, warm, and honest that the stories of her life and the […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-59714-205-2
Price: $4.74

Literary Industries: Chasing a Vanishing West

A bookseller in San Francisco during the Gold Rush, Hubert Howe Bancroft (1832–1918) rose to become the man who would define the early history of California and the West. Creating what he called a “history factory,” he assembled a vast library of over sixty thousand books, maps, letters, and documents; hired scribes to copy material […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-59714-248-9
Price: $18.00

Making Home from War: Stories of Japanese American Exile and Resettlement

Many books have chronicled the experience of Japanese Americans in the early days of World War II, when over 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry, two-thirds of whom were American citizens, were taken from their homes along the West Coast and imprisoned in concentration camps. When they were finally allowed to leave, a new challenge faced […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-59714-142-0
Price: $18.95

Manzanar to Mount Whitney: The Life and Times of a Lost Hiker

In 1942, fourteen-year-old Hank Umemoto gazed out a barrack window at Manzanar Internment Camp, saw the silhouette of Mount Whitney against an indigo sky, and vowed that one day he would climb to the top. Fifty-seven years and a lifetime of stories later, at the age of seventy-one, he reached the summit. Part memoir and […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-59714-202-1 Temporarily Out of Stock

Married at Fourteen: A True Story

“I started seriously looking for a husband when I was twelve. I’d 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 […]

The Morning the Sun Went Down

Through this lyrical and richly textured memoir we experience both the beauty and the struggles of Darryl Babe Wilson’s journey through childhood. Born into the Achumawi and Atsugewi tribes (often called the Pit River Nation) of northeastern California, Wilson spent his early years with his family in a life rich in tradition, until tragic events […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-59714-362-2
Price: $15.00

The Mountains of California

In The Mountains of California, famed naturalist John Muir takes us on a tour of the Sierra Nevada and the Coast Ranges, showing off the regions’ marvels of topography, forests, glaciers, weather, and wildlife. Muir’s vivid descriptions of nature are infused with his characteristic wonder at the magnificence of wilderness, from a single songbird’s “perfect […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-59714-337-0
Price: $16.00

My First Summer in the Sierra

My First Summer in the Sierra presents Muir’s journal entries from his first long-term adventure in Yosemite and the surrounding area, when he helped drive a flock of sheep through the foothills toward the headwaters of the Merced and Tuolumne Rivers. Muir’s vivid descriptions of nature are infused with his characteristic wonder at the magnificence […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-59714-339-4
Price: $14.00

The Oracles: My Filipino Grandparents in America

As a young girl growing up in California, Pati Navalta Poblete is dismayed to find her American way of life interrupted when her four grandparents arrive from the Philippines. Turning her adolescence upside down, they inspire her to name them “the Oracles” for the unfamiliar—and often unsolicited—wisdom they bring. Poblete tells her story of generational […]

Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora

In his long-overdue first collection of essays, noted journalist and NPR commentator Andrew Lam explores his lifelong struggle for identity as a Viet Kieu, or a Vietnamese national living abroad. At age eleven, Lam, the son of a South Vietnamese general, came to California on the eve of the fall of Saigon to communist forces. […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-57914-020-1
Price: $15.00

PREORDER The Haas Sisters of Franklin Street: A San Francisco Memoir of Family and Love

Outfitted with a new foreword by Kevin Starr, this account of nineteenth- and early twentieth-century San Francisco vividly evokes the luxurious lifestyle and close bond shared by sisters Alice Haas Lilienthal and Florine Haas Bransten. While author Frances Bransten Rothmann recreates her mother and aunt’s world of leisure with lively descriptions of high tea at […]

Paperback, with flaps, ISBN: 978-1-59714-389-9
Price: $20.00

Rose Hill: An Intermarriage before Its Time

“Dad was a Mexican Catholic. Mom was a Kansas City–born Jew with Eastern European immigrant parents. They fell in love in Berkeley, California, and got married in Kansas City, Missouri. That alone would not have been a big deal. But it happened in 1933, when such marriages were rare. And my parents spent most of […]

Sam Maloof: 36 Views of a Master Woodworker

Finalist for the Glenn Goldman Award for Art, Architecture, and Photography, Southern California Independent Booksellers Association The first craftsman to receive a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant, a man whom his friend and fellow furniture maker Jimmy Carter called “the best woodworker that ever lived,” Sam Maloof was one of the great masters of midcentury modernism. […]

Hardcover, ISBN: 978-1-59714-333-2
Price: $20.00

Take Me to the River: Fishing, Swimming, and Dreaming on the San Joaquin

Final sale! Was $21.95, now $5.49. For ten years, Coke Hallowell and her daughter Joell asked people with deep connections to the San Joaquin, “What was your life like along the river?” With candor and enthusiasm, people responded. Fishermen, miners, immigrants, Native Americans, hunters, farmers, and environmentalists all clamored to be heard. The result is […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-1-59714-143-7
Price: $5.49

Ticket to Exile

At age nineteen, A. D. Miller sat in a jail cell. His crime? He passed a white girl a note that read, “I would like to get to know you better.” For this he was accused of attempted rape. Ticket to Exile recounts Miller’s coming-of-age in Depression-era Orangeburg, South Carolina. A closet rebel who successfully […]

Walking in Beauty: Growing Up with the Yurok Indians

When Harry Roberts was a boy in the 1910s, he spent his summers at the mouth of the Klamath River, where his Irish American family was friends with the Yurok spiritual leader and cultural expert Robert Spott. As a child Harry played with the children of the Spott household, and when he entered adolescence he […]

Paperback, ISBN: 978-09664165-4-1
Price: $13.00