While they often presented themselves as bodybuilders’ publications, their chuckle-prompting titles — Torso, Adonis, Honcho, Mandate — didn’t lie. Gay men’s magazines of decades past were bought by gay men who wanted to look at the erotic illustrations of well- built male bodies therein. Because any- one known to possess such material in the homophobic 1950s and 1960s could experience serious consequences, men hid the magazines under their mat- tresses. These illustrations have now inspired a traveling exhibition, Stroke: From Under the Mattress to the Museum Wall. Curated by notable erotic artist Robert W. Richards and orig- inating at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the popular show contains 24 original illustrations that ap- peared in gay magazines from the 1950s to the 1990s. It also looks at how gay men, forced into the closet during those decades, used these pictures to explore their sexuality intimately. It additionally serves as a showcase for the artists in- volved. On view are works by two dozen top artists of the times, including Touko Laaksonen (Tom of Finland), Antonio Lopez (Antonio), and David Martin.More
We were recently surprised to learn that, while print and e-book publishing lan- guishes, audiobooks do better and better with every passing year. (Downloads in 2015 were up 38 percent over 2014.) We like to imagine that it’s the allure of the well-trained dramaturge that makes emotional connections while leaving some- thing to the listener’s imagination — not background noise for long commutes. In such a case, there can be no finer pleasure than a staged reading by longtime favorites Word for Word, a company that has brought countless short stories from page to stage, including “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin, “The Fall River Axe Murders” by Angela Carter, “Berenice” by Edgar Allan Poe, and “The Bunch- grass Edge of the World” by Annie Proulx. During “Off the Page,” devotees help the company massage prose into parts, and sometimes, as was the case with Al- ice Munro’s work, choose the next story for production. Tonight, the actors ap- proach short fiction from Jamie Quatro’s highly lauded IWanttoShowYou More, which explores faith, (in)fidelity, and family along the border between Georgia and Tennessee.More
A storytelling night with Carnie Asada, Profundity, Coco Buttah, Mahlae Balenciaga, Greg der Ananian, and Fauxnique, celebrates Shark Week with accounts of dangerous, deadly, and treacherous creatures.More
Be there when Cara Black discusses her new book: Murder on the Quai. Aimee Leduc is in her first year of college at Paris's preeminent medical school. But Aimee's world is crumbling: her boyfriend is leaving her, her father leaves for Berlin for a mysterious errand and asks Aimee to look after his detective agency. She begins to investigate a murder. A book sale by the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library follows the event.More
Allison Hoover Bartlett's The Man Who Loved Books Too Much is book porn of the highest order. As befitting the genre, its filled with rare books, rare bookstores, tales of famous collectors and collections, and author ephemera if the words J.D. Salinger autographed first edition get you excited, this is your book. But it has two unexpected twists: First, its set almost entirely in San Francisco, and if youve ever tried to tell someone how cool the Concourses California International Antiquarian Book Fair is, youll give silent thanks to Bartlett, who knows exactly that. Second, its also set in a local prison, and one of the main characters is a book thief who worked at the Union Square Saks. His tale is crazy: He stole credit card numbers from customers, used them to buy rare books maybe hundreds of them from all over the Bay Area (and the country), and then he deposited his booty in his shabby apartment on Treasure Island. He didnt steal to get rich, but to get a nice collection and be admired. Hes been in and out of jail, but barely the man who did most of the investigative legwork was not a cop but a rare-book dealer. The thief is still out there right now, actually, stealing books (last port of call: Canada). His name is John Gilkey. Like we said, he likes to be admired and what better place to be admired than at an author reading of his story. High alert, local booksellers!
Fri., Oct. 2, 7 p.m., 2009