December 1, 2010
ON a balmy fall evening in the Mission District of San Francisco, hundreds of people spilled onto Valencia Street, where they chatted happily for a few minutes before pouring back into bookstores, cafes and theaters. It was a giddy, animated crowd, but most of all bookish — a collection of fans and believers, here to listen to the written word.
The occasion was an event called Litquake, which, over the course of nine days, would draw some 13,000 residents and visitors to readings by scores of authors, many of them — like Maxine Hong Kingston and Daniel Handler (a k a Lemony Snicket) — local celebrities. The “Lit Crawl” finale alone featured more than 400 readings at bars, laundromats and even the police station in a single evening.