Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Oh, my – here's my updated fall tour for The End of San Francisco, complete with a long string of magnificent blurbs that you may have seen before but I'm including them again in case this gets forwarded – hope to see you at my events!

It’s time for THE END OF SAN FRANCISCO! Psychology Today calls it “one of the most important memoirs of the decade,” the San Francisco Chronicle describes it as a “frantic kaleidoscope of mourning and survival,” and Kirkus Reviews calls it “blunt, dynamic and original.”

Due to the relentlessness of chronic health drama, this will be my first East Coast/Midwest tour in five years, so catch me while you can! The events are below, followed by more excerpts from the phenomenal press the book has been getting. Of course, let me know if you want to bring me to your town or university along the way… And, please spread the word!

On a different note, it looks like I’m trying out that Twitter thing… You can find me @mbsycamore

Here’s the tour:

Fall tour for The End of San Francisco
by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
City Lights Publishers 2013

Thursday, October 3, 7 pm
Conrad A. Elvehjem Building
Madison, Wisconsin
Facebook event

Women & Children First
Monday, October 7, 7:30 pm
5233 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 769-9299
Facebook event

Friday, October 11, 4:30 pm
National Coming Out Day Keynote
Kleinau Theatre
Carbondale, Illinois

Busboys and Poets, 5th & K
Tuesday, October 22, 6:30 pm
Cullen Room @ Busboys and Poets, 5th & K
1025 5th St. NW
Washington DC 20001
Facebook event

Tuesday, October 29, 6 pm
Kimmel Center for University Life, Room 912
60 Washington Square South
New York, New York

Bluestockings Bookstore
Wednesday, October 30, 7 pm
172 Allen St
New York, NY 10002
(212) 777-6028
Facebook event

Brooklyn Community Pride Center
Monday, November 4, 7 pm
4 Metrotech (corner of Willoughby and Gold Sts., entrance on Willoughby St.)
Brooklyn NY 11201
(347) 889-7719

Giovanni’s Room
Monday, November 11, 5:30 pm
345 South 12th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 923-2960
Facebook event

Red Emma's Bookstore Coffeehouse
Friday, November 15, 7 pm
30 W. North Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21218
Facebook event

Tuesday, November 19, 4:30 pm
Middletown, CT

Food for Thought Books
Thursday, November 21, 7 pm
106 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA 01002
(413) 253-5432
Facebook event

Harvard Book Store
Wednesday, December 11, 7 pm
1256 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
(617) 661-1515
Facebook event

And, a Facebook invite for the whole tour!

More praise for The End of San Francisco:

“Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore… is the posterchild for all that was culturally alternative in San Francisco in that pierced-lip poser decade [the '90s], while at the same time possessing one of the loudest voices cutting through the bullshit clamor back then and questioning it all. She's also a brilliant writer… Her new memoir… is written in such a hypnotically elliptical style (summoning City Lights' Beat poet legacy) and contains so many spot-on observations and era-damning epigrams that anyone who lived through the period described will cling to its pages while wishing to hurl the book at a wall in embarrassed self-recognition. Searing, funny, maudlin, elegiac, infuriating, and confessional, The End of San Francisco is a deliberately disordered collection of vignettes dealing mostly with Sycamore's span living in the city… Along the way we get drug overdoses, AIDS, lesbian potlucks, heroin chic, crystal meth, ACT UP, the birth of the Internet, the dot-com boom, the dot-com bust, mental breakdowns, outdoor cruising, phony spirituality, Craigslist hookups, hipster gentrification, Polk Street hustling, fag-bashing, shoplifting, house music, the Matrix Program, crappy SoMa live/work lofts, "Care Not Cash," gallons of bleach and hair dye, and processing, processing, and more processing… As we weather another dot-com boom of homogenizing gentrification, The End of San Francisco is a timely reminder of the community that can spring from resistance.”
—San Francisco Bay Guardian

“Leave it to Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore to have us all excited about the end of San Francisco… Her writing is furious and unlike anything you’ve ever read… Drunk on language that ought to be incomprehensible but is somehow piercingly lucid, [Sycamore] wails elegiac for the dream of a transcendent queer culture once glimpsed with such promise here."
—SF Weekly

“Can memoir be honest, emotionally or otherwise? Is counterculture actually possible as a way to live? What happens to those who dream of a radical queer community when the dream fails? Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore’s latest book, The End of San Francisco, is a despairing memoir of loss—the loss of the dream of radical queer San Francisco, the loss of formative friendships, the loss of personal and political innocence. Written in a free-associative style and merging personal and social history, it is—like all of Sycamore’s work— innovative both formally and politically… The End of San Francisco is the opposite of nostalgia. Nostalgia is fundamentally conservative, and its conservatism is often embedded in the form in which stories are told. The End of San Francisco seems to me radical, not just in content, but formally, in insisting on other ways of remembering and documenting.”
—Los Angeles Review of Books

“Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore’s long awaited memoir… will rip you open; crack your rib-cage and pour glitter into your heart… Brutal and brilliant, the memoir weaves in and out of time, bringing readers into the intimate details of Sycamore’s adolescence and early activist days. Never defaulting to tidy recounts, cleaned with the passage of time, Sycamore invites readers to share in the complexities of growing up and finding yourself… There is no rose-colored revisionist memory here. Expertly, Sycamore tells not only the story of her past, but also gives a glimpse into the world of anyone who was ever young, idealistic, and too queer.”
—Lambda Literary

“Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is the artistic love child of John Genet and David Wojnarowicz, deconstructing language swathed in unbridled sensuality, while flinging readers into a disrupted, chaotic life of queer anarchy… Images cascade and collide with one another in an accomplished literary cadenza of salvation.”
—The Gay and Lesbian Review

“The End of San Francisco begins and ends with intense wants for recognition and connectivity. Throughout, there isn’t one part where [Sycamore] is disengaged from this intensity. But that want for more, for something deeper, for integrative relationships and structural change, which is so often mistaken for cynicism, is fueled by love and aspirations.”

“A whirring, thoughtful—but not nostalgic—elegy for San Francisco as queer haven. The book is invested in trying to understand, in trying to process both joyful and traumatic experiences even before laying them out in linear time… The book weaves and glitters, it holds the hopes and threats of Clairice Lispector’s The Passion of G.H. and also David Wojnarowicz’s blood-filled egg—one of his images for rage—while at the same time creating its own brave, tender, kinetic world.”
—The Rumpus

"This autobiography is a story of the way people fail each other, whether out of malice or exhaustion or just not knowing how to be there. It’s a chronicle of the ways that we need each other, and the way that need can be turned around, inside-out, torn in all the wrong places but still the only blanket that you have. It’s about critiquing out of love and loving despite critique, despite failure, until you can't do it anymore, until you genuinely feel as though an entire city has come to an end."
—Maximum Rocknroll

Sycamore’s work… is structurally challenging, and reads like it was driven more by free association — Freud’s psychoanalytic technique that employs spontaneous and unconstrained collecting of emotions and ideas — than by any style taught in an English literature classroom. The result is brilliant, a collection of unstructured vignettes about sex abuse, dying parents, feminism and veganism, Tracy Chapman and Le Tigre, dyke bars and gay tricks, AIDS and ACT UP that all weave together a life of hope in ’90s San Francisco and the disappointment that follows.”
—The Advocate

The End of San Francisco is as much social critique about the impossibility of collective dreams as it is a memoir looking back at queer and feminist community building in the ‘90s. And it feels life changing reading this book in the midst of the marriage debates… As a reader I felt like I was inside my own memories while I was given access to the formative moments of someone else’s life. I kept wanting Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore to be sitting next to me so I could say, “Right, me too”... The End of San Francisco is a reminder of the ways hopefulness runs alongside longing. It is a model for turning internalized pain into unabashedly anti-assimilationist liberatory politics.

"A trenchant observer, [Sycamore’s] denunciation of racism, classism and homophobia is fierce and she does not spare queer communities for their refusal to reject hetero-normativity—marriage and children—or capitalist consumption."

“This book is a useful reminder that the gay community is far from monolithic and that it is especially important to listen to the voices of resistance.”
—New York One

"Sycamore identifies the complicated messiness of identities wrestling with belonging, activism and being instruments of gentrification. . . Her style—emotional and conversational—creates a rich, satisfying, evocative and deeply relatable world."
—Broken Pencil

“Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore has a model for relationships that says: “First you reveal everything, and then when you can’t think of anything else to reveal you go deeper.” In The End of San Francisco, Sycamore lets the reader feel the bitter sweetness of that relationship model, the “push-pull of intimacy” that makes the process of excavating memories so painful but so cathartic, so difficult but so urgent… The centrality of activism in Sycamore’s life makes this memoir a vivid description of the unbreakable link between personal experiences and political issues.”
—Rain Taxi Review of Books

"The End of San Francisco could be the most insightful break-up memoir the city has ever received."
—KQED Arts

“Shirking the idea that time unfolds linearly and our lives are both affectively lived and narrated chronologically, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore's The End of San Francisco gives us memoir as "an active process of remembering" to be experienced simultaneously by author and reader. At its core, The End of San Francisco is a narrative of emotions loosely tied together in constellations of events. It's a trippy read—in multiple senses of the word—but at the same time profoundly honest and raw.”
—Velvet Park

“Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore’s searing new memoir chronicles a series of losses in Sycamore’s queer activist life, but none of these losses evokes traditional nostalgia for an earlier, happier time. Instead, each loss is held up to the light to examine how it reflects the contradictions inherent in our attempts to build authentic relationships in a world where personal and structural violence separate us from each other and ourselves… Sycamore’s insistence on hoping and feeling—in a culture that promotes numbness—propels her narrative forward. And in a memoir that offers no tidy lessons or sweeping conclusions, Sycamore demonstrates how these very longings for something different can fuel our movements toward liberation.”

“Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore's whip-raw memoir… feels like emerging from a chrysalis...”
—The Stranger

Described as "startlingly bold and provocative" by Howard Zinn, "a cross between Tinkerbell and a honky Malcolm X with a queer agenda" by the Austin Chronicle, and one of "50 Visionaries Changing Your World" by Utne Reader, Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore is most recently the author of The End of San Francisco, described by Psychology Today as “one of the most important memoirs of the decade.” Sycamore is the author of two novels, So Many Ways to Sleep Badly and Pulling Taffy, and the editor of five nonfiction anthologies, most recently Why Are Faggots So Afraid of Faggots?: Flaming Challenges to Masculinity, Objectification, and the Desire to Conform, an American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book, as well as Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity and That’s Revolting!: Queer Strategies for Resisting Assimilation. Sycamore currently lives in Seattle. www.mattildabernsteinsycamore.com


Anonymous said...

Can't wait. Where at Wesleyan U. will you be? That is close to Hartford and we hope we can make it down. Love this article.


mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Richard, so lovely to hear from you – I'm not sure where at Wesleyan I will be, but if they tell me ahead of time I will certainly try to keep you posted – feel free to check in again...

Love –