Tag Archives: Ayelet Waldman

Local stars come out for the Berkeley Public Library

BPLF Authors Dinner 2013 - Berkeley CA.
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By Mal Warwick

Who knew? Former Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart isn’t just a musician. It turns out he’s also a musicologist of considerable note, and he’s collaborating with neurologists to conduct research on the potential use of rhythm to reawaken brain function in people with dementia. Hart’s brief conversation in the spotlight with Event Chair Linda Schacht Gage at Saturday’s 11th Annual Berkeley Public Library Foundation Authors Dinner was the hit of the evening. Yes, Hart writes books on his research, too, and he was one of thirty recently published authors honored at the dinner.

Running a close second as a crowd-pleaser was Sam Barry, a San Francisco humorist, the brother of Pulitzer-Prize-winning humorist Dave Barry, whom he closely resembles and whose greetings he passed along. Sam Barry was recently a candidate for Mayor of San Francisco, running under the slogan, “How bad could he be?” But there’s more. Barry is also a virtuoso on the harmonica, and one short command performance led to an electrifying encore that left smiles stretching all across the room. … Continue reading »

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Authors rally to raise funds for Children’s Hospital

Berkeley writers Michael Chabon and his wife, Ayelet Waldman. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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As the parent of four children, Berkeley author Michael Chabon has had the unfortunate opportunity to use the emergency room at Children’s Hospital in Oakland a number of times. Every time, the hospital took care of his kids. Now he is returning the favor.

On April 28, Chabon will be one of a number of high-profile writers and musicians who will appear at Notes & Words, a benefit for Children’s Hospital and Research Center. From the stage of the Art Deco Fox Theater, Chabon, Anne Lamott, Kelly Corrigan, and John Hodgman will talk about their lives and work. The band Cake will also perform.

“As a parent of four children, I have had to visit that portal of the emergency room a few times,” Chabon told Diablo Magazine in a recent interview. “The extremely high-quality and thoughtful and sensitive care that my family has directly received at Children’s Hospital is consistent with everything I have heard from other parents in the community. When I drive by the hospital on Highway 24, or fly over the hospital into Oakland Airport, I always find a sense of comfort when I see the rubber ducky on top. It’s a place that radiates comfort and promise.” … Continue reading »

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Peggy Orenstein dissects girls’ passion for pink

Peggy Orenstein
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From her home in north Berkeley where she lives with her filmmaker husband Steven Okazaki and 7-year-old daughter Daisy, Peggy Orenstein has been opining for years for the New York Times magazine about the world of girls and feminism. Last week, her latest book, Cinderella Ate My Daughter, was published and it is already climbing the bestseller list. (It will debut at #13 on the New York Times list Feb. 13) The book is both an expose of and meditation about the corporate push to market princesses and pink and early sexuality to young girls.

Orenstein just escaped the historic snows of Chicago (she got on the last plane leaving O’Hare on Tuesday) and is about to embark on the West Coast portion of her book tour. (She will be speaking Feb. 7 at St. John’s Church in Berkeley) Berkeleyside caught up with her to ask a few questions. … Continue reading »

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Capacity crowd turns up to hear “tiger mom” Amy Chua

Amy Chua sold out
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Chua’s views on parenting have triggered an explosion of heated debate internationally after the Wall Street Journal ran a provocative excerpt of her book on January 8 titled “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior” (a headline she does not approve of). A number of people who had booked tickets online to see Chua in Berkeley were turned away after Brown Paper Tickets oversold the event.

More than 200 people, roughly half of whom were Asian, made it into the Hillside Club, several choosing to stand to hear Chua being interviewed for over an hour and a half by KPFA’s Aimee Allison. Chua, who has local roots in that her father, Leon O. Chua, teaches at UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering and she attended El Cerrito High School, spoke breathlessly about her memoir which, she said, had been misrepresented as a parenting guide. … Continue reading »

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Ayelet Waldman’s book coming to the big screen

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The movie based on Ayelet Waldman’s book Love and Other Impossible Pursuits will be released into theaters on Feb. 4. (It is also available now on Comcast on Demand.)

Renamed The Other Woman, the movie stars Natalie Portman and Lisa Kudrow. The film, directed by Don Roos, focuses on Emilia Greenleaf (Portman), a recent law school graduate who has an affair with Jack, her boss and a married man with a 3-year-old son. Jack leaves his wife (Kudrow) to marry Emilia and they have a young daughter who dies of SIDS. Emilia must learn to cope with her grief and also learn to parent her not-very-easy-to-love stepson.

Berkeley author Waldman has a small cameo in the film, which you can spot 17 seconds into the trailer. She is holding up a glass of champagne in front of a Christmas tree at a party. … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley

A Berkeley celebration of Mark Twain

Guests browse Twain's papers
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Since the esteemed humorist died 100 years ago and couldn’t read from his own text, other authors, poets, actors, and filmmakers did the honors.

Under a carved wooden ceiling in the Heyns Reading Room of Doe Library, Michael Chabon, Maxine Hong Kingston, Rita Moreno, Mary Roach, Robert Haas, Bob … Continue reading »

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Michael Chabon: Does reverse psychology sell books?

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We are all familiar with this photograph of Berkeley writer Michael Chabon. It’s hard to forget, as his bright blue-green eyes stare straight at the observer. They are arresting and captivating.

Chabon is internationally acclaimed for his writing, but the subject of his appearance has gotten lots of ink, too, over the years. Rumor has it that Chabon turned down People Magazine’s offer to name him one of the 50 Most Beautiful People of the Year.

So it … Continue reading »

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Berkeley author pledges to support college program

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Berkeley author Ayelet Waldman has come up with a clever, not to mention generous, idea to help send a disadvantaged Oakland student to college through the Scholar Match program, established by her fellow writer and friend Dave Eggers.

Waldman has selected one student, Eddie Ashley, and is going to match every dollar her family, friends and readers donate. “You donate 10 bucks, I donate 10 bucks. You donate $1,000, I donate $1,000, up until we’ve reached … Continue reading »

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To tweet or not to tweet, that is the question

Ayelet Twitter
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Blogger extraordinaire Dave Winer does it many times a day and nearly 30,000 people follow his every word. Sustainable food guru Michael Pollan thought he was going to do it, but probably found he was too busy and has only graced us with his 140-character apercus 15 times since he launched himself into micro-blogging.

Few of Berkeley’s luminaries seem to have got the Twitter bug. A non-scientific survey reveals Winer (@davewiner*) way out in the … Continue reading »

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Watch out Ayelet, Lenore’s in town

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At Berkeleyside we feel quite proprietorial about having self-described “bad mother” Ayelet Waldman in our midst. Waldman, who lives in Berkeley, has made a career out of exposing the fallibilities of motherhood which, in fact, are common to all women who give birth.

But Waldman has an East Coast contender to the “bad mom” throne and she is coming, if not to Berkeley, very close.

Lenore Skenazy made headlines … Continue reading »

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Those craving Cupkates, take note

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While Kate, the owner of Cupkates, Berkeley’s popular cupcakes truck, tries to resolve her permit issues with the city, those of you missing the taste of her red velvets and pumpkin flavored treats should know that she is still selling them from the truck (check her Twitter updates for details) and Cupkates are available at Modern Coffee at 13th and Broadway in Oakland.

Be aware, though, that they go fast. On November 10th, according to Modern … Continue reading »

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Why so few deliveries in this foodie town?

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Berkeley author Ayelet Waldman raised a good question yesterday evening when she, and hundreds of others like her no doubt, was pondering what to have for supper.

“Oy. It’s 5 pm, and I have no idea what to make for dinner. ‘Make.’ Ha. I wish someone would start a soup delivery service,” she tweeted. Followed by “Or you know what? ANY delivery. There’s no delivery in this godforsaken town.”

This got us thinking. Apart from the ubiquitous … Continue reading »

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Pixar’s Brad Bird in conversation with Jon Carroll

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The Berkeley Rep, aglow with the success of its latest smash, American Idiot, and from the general recognition of its artistic prowess, is also holding what promises to be an entertaining series of “conversations” hosted by San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll.

First up, on November 9, is Pixar‘s Brad Bird (pictured left), the internationally acclaimed director of award-winning movies including Ratatouille and The Incredibles.

Bird also wrote and directed the 1999 feature, The Iron Giant, which in … Continue reading »

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