Love it or hate it, graffiti is here to stay. In recent years, graffiti artists such as Shepard Fairey and S.F. locals Barry McGee and Mike Giant have found acceptance in the contemporary art world, shaking off the popular assumption that graffiti is solely the practice of young hoodlums. The underground graffiti world in New York City, one of the meccas of street art, is explored in Adam Mansbach’s new novel, Rage Is Back. Author of the international bestseller Go the F**k to Sleep, The End of the Jews, and the cult classic Angry Black White Boy, the Berkeley resident’s new work centers on Dondi Vance, a biracial Brooklyn teen who attends prep school on scholarship and deals pot to get by. His father, Billy Rage, was the most celebrated graffiti artist in New York until he vanished in 1989 after a public feud with the MTA police chief. Rage Is Back is a tribute to New York — to the writers, gangsters, and neighborhoods unknown to those outside the five boroughs. Written in the vernacular of the graffiti community, the novel is a culturally nostalgic tale of time-travel and the adventures of a father and son in a long-lost era of NYC.
Tue., Jan. 29, 6 p.m., 2013