It’s that time in the semester when the dread settles: term paper topics dolled out like sub-prime mortgages, your professors ploughing through their syllabi faster than an after-school krump battle, your GSI’s once irresistible Foucault jokes suddenly about as funny as dysentery.

Let’s face it, you’re vulnerable. Prone to all sorts of poor decision-making. Like, if your cheating ex-girlfriend text messaged you right now saying she just got into law school and wants to celebrate with you in Moffitt, you’d be there in a flash.

Luckily Daniel Handler (alias Lemony Snicket), Larry Doyle, Marc Maron and Eugene Mirman are here to serveread more »


McSweeney’s tipped us off on three full staged readings with the New York cast of a two-act play written by Wajahat Ali. Toni Morrison calls Wajahat’s piece: “Brilliant. Moving. Shapely. Clever. Funny.”

It is “The Domestic Crusaders,” framed around … read more »


To last night’s Story Hour crowd of self-loathing English majors, dozing professors and plucky retirees, McSweeney’s mogul Dave Eggers read excepts from his Katrina narrative, “Zeitoun.” One of 13 parts from Voices From the Storm, Eggers realized the Zeitoun family’s story had the scope and depth of a novel. The book’s stripped-down, journalistic prose punctuates the glaring intersection between the Gulf Coast disaster and George Bush’s war.

Hinging on a cliff hanger, Eggers spent 20 minutes fielding questions from the audience: the usual barrage of thinly-veiled marriage proposals read more »


If the Bay Area literary scene produced an “Early 2000s Commemorative Bobblehead,” it would be in the shape of Dave Eggers, complete with eye patch, peg leg, baseball hat, and devilish grin. Love him or hate him, the man already has a sizable legacy of well-crafted writing and community outreach.

Berkeley philanthropes and McSweeney’s diehards alike flooded Berkeley Rep this week to watch Eggers converse with SF Chronicle’s Jon Carroll in a benefit for Park Day School in Oakland. Akin to most Bay Area literary charity functions, the talk comprised both humanizing personal stories and shameless plugs for Mission District non-profits fronting overpriced pirate regalia read more »


Good news for lovers of hard-hitting investigative journalism. The highly anticipated release of McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern No. 33 will arrive in the form of a 300-page single edition daily newspaper: “San Francisco Panorama.” Better news for us (broke as hell) Bay Area kiddies: the Quarterly will be available to us for the (much discounted) price of $5 on the day it comes out, Dec. 8.

The bylines alone reek of staggering genius. Writing from Michael Chabon, Miranda July, Roddy Doyle, Stephen King, William T. Vollman, Berkeley’s own Poet Laureate Robert Hass and read more »