Any article about JT LeRoy invariably includes a list of celebrities, so let's get straight to ours: Lou Reed, Lukas Haas, Tatum O'Neal, and Nancy Sinatra. For those who haven't heard of the wunderkind author, here's what these people are for: to make you notice. Specifically, you're supposed to notice that LeRoy has a new novella coming out, Harold's End, and if you were at his recent events in L.A. and New York, you'd have seen these people reading the book aloud to the audience.
Celebrity sightings at LeRoy's readings are common. He's a young, gifted writer with staggering outsider cred, and one of his quirks is that he doesn't like to read in public, so people help out. He craves anonymity, especially in San Francisco, where he lived and/or lives -- his exact whereabouts are something of a mystery. As a homeless kid he used to lug around a fax machine to send his work out, which tells you something about his perseverance. Harold's End is about an S.F. junkie street kid, a middle-aged rich guy, and a snail. Pick up advance signed copies at 7 p.m. as LeRoy and friends visit City Lights, 261 Columbus (at Broadway), S.F. Admission is free; call 362-8193 or visit www.citylights.com.
-- Michael Leaverton
Eat your art out
We'd all like to be a little more hip, right? More with it, groovier? We're prepared to tell you how to pick up a ton of style points, but first, let us introduce you to one of the Mission District's underground art mavens, the dapper curator Elliot Lessing. The Build Gallery's executive director holds all the keys to cool, and "Shine! San Francisco Art Walk" is his party. It works like a pub crawl, but it won't leave you with a hangover. Instead, the two-day event invites you to spend an afternoon or two hoofing it from one white-hot Mission art gallery to the next, getting savvier and savvier. Among our favorites are Pond, home of the ice-cream-cart-turned-mobile-gallery, and the front window of Artists' Television Access, through which we've seen several jaw-dropping installations. Start walking at 1 p.m. either day at any of about 20 participating galleries, including Build, 483 Guerrero (at 17th Street), S.F. Admission is free; call 863-3041 or visit www.atasite.org.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Women at Work
We can do it!
A lot of people wonder what to do to make the world a better place -- perhaps more than ever these last few weeks. For Democrats and, as columnist Molly Ivins often describes herself, "little-d" democrats, a new plan seems to be in order. Though it doesn't target any particular political party, the International Museum of Women's discussion between author Isabel Allende, who knows something about effecting change, and her friend Jungian analyst Jean Shinoda Bolen tackles the topic "Empowering Women Around the World." The conversation begins at 5 p.m. at the Pan Pacific Hotel, 500 Post (at Mason), S.F. Admission is $25; call 543-4669 or visit www.imow.org.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Doing It Yourselves
The casual name makes it sound like no big deal, but the "Thursday Night D.I.Y." miniconference is serious. Aspiring musicians and filmmakers who want rock-solid advice from people who really know their stuff should check it out. Documentarian Julia Query, punk know-it-all Jesse Townley, and RE/Search genius V. Vale are among the speakers at 7 p.m. at Cell Space, 2050 Bryant (at 18th Street), S.F. Admission is a $5 donation; call 861-5302 or visit www.artsandmedia.net.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
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