Around Town | October 15, 2010 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - October 15, 2010

Around Town

FOR THE FRANCOPHILES ... James Franco, Palo Alto's favorite homegrown Renaissance man, recently took some time off from his films, his General Hospital shoots, and his Ivy League classes to release a collection of stories about the city of his youth. The collection, "Palo Alto Stories," hit the bookstores this week, and it's filled with references to the titular city. Franco, now a Yale University student, studied the writing craft at Brooklyn College and Columbia University and wrote these stories for his creative-writing classes, as he told NPR in a recent interview. Though the book alludes to a myriad of local landmarks — Stanford Hospital, the old Printer's Inc. bookstore and Jordan Middle School to name a few — the stories are less about the city than about the dark thoughts and frequent indiscretions of local youths (story titles include "Headless," "Killing Animals" and "I Could Kill Someone."). Sex, drugs, alcohol and guns abound in "Palo Alto." The dark themes may not come as a surprise to those who've been following Franco's career. These days, movie fans can watch Franco play another disaffected writer, Alan Ginsberg, in the film "Howl."

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