Story Hour Series

A monthly prose reading series hosted by English department faculty Vikram Chandra and Melanie Abrams, and featuring distinguished prose writers from the Bay Area and beyond.

Second Thursdays 6 - 7 p.m. Note our new time!
All readings take place in Morrison Library unless otherwise indicated.
Free and open to the public


Faculty/staff kick off, 09.08.11 | Bay Area Mystery Writers panel, 10.14.11 | Carol Edgarian, 11.10.11 | Benjamin Bac Sierra, 12.01.11 | Cristina García, 02.9.12 | Mark Danner, 03.8.12 | Isabel Allende, 04.12.12 | Student Reading, 05.03.12


webcast View the 2010/11 series featuring Rabih Alameddine, David Sheff, Laurie King, Gene Yang, Chris Adrian, Yiyun Li, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Student Reading


September 8, 2011

Faculty/staff kick off

Morrison Library, 6 –7 pm

Join us as we kick off another season of Story Hour in the Library with readings from distinguished faculty and staff, who will introduce us to their favorite books and stories. This year’s participants include: Dean Tony Cascardi, Dean Carla Hesse, Lecturer Fae Myenne Ng, Professor Ananya Roy and others.

webcast Watch on YouTube


October 14, 2011

Bay Area Mystery Writers panel
SPECIAL TIME and LOCATION: 4-6 pm, 190 Doe Library (across from Morrison)

Since the publication of Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon in 1930, San Francisco has been recognized as the birthplace of modern crime fiction. Our panel discussion “Bullets Across the Bay” examines the area as a popular setting for mystery and detective novels. Our panel will bring together local authors Lucha Corpi, Eddie Muller, and Kelli Stanley for a discussion of the Bay Area as a backdrop, moderated by Janet Rudolph. This panel is in conjunction with the current exhibit in Doe Library, which highlights the richness of UC Berkeley’s collections for the study of genre fiction.

webcast Watch on YouTube


Carol Edgarian

November 10, 2011

Carol Edgarian

Morrison Library, 6 – 7 pm

Carol Edgarian is an author, editor, and publisher. Her novels include Three Stages of Amazement and Rise the Euphrates, both bestsellers. Edgarian is coeditor of the popular collection The Writer's Life: Intimate Thoughts on Work, Love, Inspiration, and Fame, with excerpts drawn from great writers' diaries. In 2003, Edgarian and her husband Tom Jenks, founded the non-profit Narrative Magazine, and Narrative in the Schools, a program to encourage reading and writing in schools across America.

webcast Watch on YouTube


Benjamin Bac Sierra

December 1, 2011

Benjamin Bac Sierra

Morrison Library, 6 – 7 pm

Ben Bac Sierra’s story is one of transformation. Raised in San Francisco’s Mission District he lived a harsh existence until the United States Marine Corps set him on a path to becoming a Gulf War veteran, professor, and author of Barrio Bushido. After an honorable discharge, he received a B.A. at U.C. Berkeley, a teaching credential and an M.A. at San Francisco State University, and a J.D. at U.C. Hastings College of the Law. He is a professor at City College of San Francisco and he regularly presents at high schools, colleges, conferences, and writing workshops throughout the country.

webcast Watch on YouTube


Christina Garcia

February 9, 2012

Cristina García

Morrison Library, 6 – 7 pm

Cristina García is the author of five novels, a collection of poetry, and three works for young readers including her newest release Dreams of Significant Girls. Her work has been nominated for a National Book Award and translated into fourteen languages. Other honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Hodder Fellowship, and an NEA grant, among others. Garcia has served as a professor at University of Texas-Austin, Texas Tech University, and University of Miami and will act as chair of Creative Writing at Texas State University-San Marcos from 2012-14.

webcast Watch on YouTube


Mark Danner
Dominique Nabakov photo

March 8, 2012

Mark Danner

Morrison Library, 6 – 7 pm

Mark Danner has written about foreign affairs and American politics for more than two decades, covering Latin America, Haiti, the Balkans and the Middle East among other stories. He was for many years a staff writer at The New Yorker and contributes frequently to The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine and other publications. He teaches at the University of California and at Bard College and speaks and debates widely about America's role in the world.

webcast Watch on YouTube


Isabel Allende

April 12, 2012

Isabel Allende

Morrison Library, 6 – 7 pm

Isabel Allende is the acclaimed author of 19 books which have been translated into 35 languages and have sold more than 57 million copies. She holds 12 international honorary doctorates and has received 50 awards in more than 15 countries. Her works have been adapted for movies, plays, musicals, operas, ballets, radio programs and two international movies. In addition to her career as writer, journalist, and teacher, she has created The Isabel Allende Foundation to empower women and girls worldwide.

webcast Watch on YouTube


May 3, 2012

Student Reading

Morrison Library, 6 – 7 pm

Story Hour in the Library celebrates the writers in our campus community with an annual student reading. The event will feature short excerpts of work by winners of the year’s biggest prose prizes, Story Hour in the Library interns, and faculty nominees.