Book Talk

This month's book news

AN AMERICAN JOURNALIST IN BEIJING ... Former Bay Area radio producer, director and author Gail Pellett will be at Books Inc. on Monday, June 20, to read from her new book, "Forbidden Fruit-1980 Beijing, A Memoir," which focuses on her experiences as a journalist in Beijing in the early 1980s.

Pellett arrived in China soon after the American consulate opened and became the first experienced foreign journalist to be hired at Radio Beijing in 40 years. The country had been "closed" for 30 years, banning all scholars, diplomats, journalists and tourists from the West.

Pellett has written, directed and produced television and radio documentaries and public affairs programs for more than 40 years, with a common theme of social justice, ranging from reconciliation in South Africa to human rights crimes in El Salvador. She worked with Bill Moyers at PBS for 13 years and has produced and reported for "The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour," as well as "All Things Considered" and the "Morning Edition." Pellett studied at the University of California,Berkeley, in the Sixties and got her early start working with Chris Welch at KPFA radio on the first feminist news show in the country.

This free event will be held at 7 p.m.. at Books Inc., 74 Town & Country Village, Palo Alto.

A LOOK INTO THE LIFE OF PAINTER DAVID PARK ... Former Portola Valley potter and writing instructor Helen Park Bigelow shares her observations about life in the Bay Area just before and after World War II -- when some of the country's most radical artists and writers gathered here -- as she examines the life of her artist-father with "David Park, Painter: Nothing Held Back." Park, who died in 1960, has since become recognized as one of the country's most important 20th Century painters of the Bay Area Figurative Movement. Bigelow has written fiction and personal essays for most of her life and has spent decades studying her father's work.

Bigelow will talk about her book at 7 p.m., Thursday, July 7 at Books Inc., 74 Town & Country Village, Palo Alto.

A VISUAL TIME CAPSULE OF STANFORD ... Newly released book, "Stanford 125: A Visual Exploration," provides an intimate glimpse into the life of the university on its 125th anniversary through the lens of Magnum street photographer Alex Webb, who spent 10 consecutive days capturing various images that reflect the heart of the "Stanford experience."

The book, released on May 25, was produced by the Office of Public Affairs in celebration of the university's 125th anniversary this October.

"Stanford 125: A Visual Exploration" is available at the Stanford Bookstore, 519 Lasuen Mall, and at Amazon.com.

NEW TRUTH BEHIND 'SERIAL' MURDER TRIAL ... Registration is open for a special evening edition of Angie Coiro's In Deep Radio series that will feature attorney and author Rabia Chaudry on Tuesday, Aug. 16, at Kepler's Books.

In her book "Adnan's Story: The Search for Truth and Justice after Serial," Chaudry exposes new evidence about the investigation and trial of Pakistani American Adnan Syed, who was sent to prison for the murder of his former girlfriend.

Chaudry includes more than 100 documents and letters as well as more background on Syed's family to expose the full story following the documentation of the case on the podcast "Serial," which was downloaded 5 million times.

As a close family friend of Syed, Chaudry has doggedly pursued every route toward his exoneration.

In this special edition of In Deep Radio, Chaudry will talk about her arguments dismantling the State's case against Syed, and the potential for a new trial for a man she believes has been unjustly convicted and imprisoned.

Chaudry is an attorney, a Jennings Randolph Senior Fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace, and an International Security Fellow at New America. She is a frequent public speaker and her writing has appeared in numerous outlets including, "Time," "The Huffington Post," and the "Chicago Times."

This free event will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 16, at Kepler's Books 1010 El Camino Real Menlo Park. RSVP at keplers.com.

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