Litquake, the largest literary festival west of the Mississippi, is celebrating its 11th anniversary. Each year, the festival brings together hundreds of authors and thousands of readers. Its annual Saturday night Lit Crawl in San Francisco’s Mission District, where readings are held in bars, art galleries, Laundromats, and restaurants, is a frolicking good time.

But as good as Litquake has been, this year it will be even better. That’s because the organizers have finally acknowledged that not all the region’s literary action takes place in the West Bay. The East Bay is jammed with authors and poets, too. So this year, Litquake will be coming to Berkeley.

On Thursday Oct. 7, Litquake will host Stories on Stage, a take on NPR’s Selected Shorts. Actors will assemble at the Berkeley Rep at 7:30 pm and read short fiction from some of the Bay Area’s most notable writers. The show includes these stories:

  • Yiyun Li: Souvenir from her forthcoming collection Gold Boy, Emerald Girl
  • Daniel Alarcón: A Science for Being Alone from War by Candlelight
  • Daniel Handler: Judgmentally from his book, Adverbs

Li, who just won a MacArthur genius grant this week, and Alarcon, will be at the performance signing books. Handler, aka Lemony Snicket, is trying to arrange his schedule to come as well.

Sean San José, co-founder of Campo Santo, the award-winning resident theater company of San Francisco’s Intersection for the Arts, will be directing the performances. Actors include Maria Candelaria, Dwight Huntsman, Tina Marie Murray, Dekyi Ronge, and Mario Yedidia.

Admission: $22.50 in advance, $25 at the door; tickets available at or (800) 838-3006.

There will be another East Bay Litquake event on Oct. 6 – in Oakland. Melanie Abrams, Elaine Beale, Lucy Jane Bledsoe, Jacqueline Luckett, Lisa Braver Moss, and Kristin McCloy will be reading from their work at 7:30 pm in the Gondola Room at the new Lake Chalet Seafood Bar and Grill.  Suggested donation is $5-$10.

Avatar photo

Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman...