Heyday Books has recently released works by two distinctly California authors. Hear them together on May 7 at the Bay Area Book Festival, with tickets available for either in-person at Freight & Salvage in Berkeley or virtually. (Details here: https://www.baybookfest.org/session/beocming-story/)
The Coasts of California by Obi Kaufmann
Obi Kaufmann’s new book, “The Coasts of California” joins his “The California Field Atlas” and “The Forests of California” as essential reading for those who want to delve more deeply into the exceptionally diverse nature of California. Kaufmann pulls together a compendium of facts, maps, geography, and geology notes with illustrations to create a beautiful and fascinating read and invaluable reference tool. This book embraces science and art simultaneously with a truly humanistic outlook.
Kaufmann begins this book with a summary of ethical presumptions that sets the stage for reading as a deepening experience and cuts to the quick of the issue: California is changing and what it is today is not what it was yesterday nor what it will be tomorrow. From this reader’s perspective, understanding the natural world creates appreciation and also helps to place oneself somewhere present in this evolving timeline. Kaufmann’s ethical presumptions conclude “for every point of despair, there is a point of hope” —an excellent notion enlivened by this beautiful tribute to California’s coast.
Becoming Story by Greg Sarris
Greg Sarris’ “Becoming Story” is a fine collection of memoir essays which, woven together, become an entire seamless meditative piece. Together, they inform the shaping of a foster child, who later found his heritage and eventually, his role as the Chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria. Described as “A Journey Among Seasons, Places, Trees and Ancestors” this book has a wonderful voice and non-linear storytelling quality. The reader gets to unwind and drift a bit with the writer, exploring the Coastal Miwok and Southern Pomo lands of Marin and Sonoma counties and their history prior to European settlers as well as the lands today.
Both personal and historical, Sarris’ insights are potent, and ironically, at the same moment, can be delightfully ambiguous—like a good puzzle that wants your presence to find how each piece might fit together. “Becoming Story” is very much a book of place, informing on tribal history, geology and climate change, all delivered in such a conversational tone that it is bittersweet to arrive at the last page.
On May 7, one can hear these two different authors together discussing their writing and the lands that inspire them at the Bay Area Book Festival. This promises to be a fascinating conversation, made easy to participate with both in-person and virtual tickets. The authors will allow time for book signing after the talk. Details and tickets for this and many other events at https://www.baybookfest.org/session/beocming-story/