Bookwaves/Artwaves – April 14, 2022: Jane Smiley – Brian Garfield

Bookwaves/Artwaves is produced and hosted by Richard Wolinsky.

Links to assorted local theater & book venues



Jane Smiley, whose latest novel is “Perestroika in Paris,” in conversation with host Richard Wolinsky.

The author of sixteen adult fiction novels, two short story collections, five non-fiction works plus several young adult novels, Jane Smiley is the Pulitzer Prize winning author of “A Thousand Acres,” and more recently The Last Hundred Years Trilogy. She current teaches creative writing.

“Perestroika in Paris” is a departure from her other works. Clearly an adult novel, it focuses on several animals on the loose in Paris in 2008, including a horse named Perestroika (Paras), based in part on Jane Smiley’s own horse of the same name, a dog named Frida (based in part on Jane Smiley’s own German short-haired pointer) and an array of other creatures, all of whom communicate with one another, and create a bond with a young orphan named Etienne, who lives with his elderly grandmother near the Eiffel Tower.

As Jane points out in the interview, in an era when we are overwhelmed with angst in politics and during the pandemic, a book that takes us far away can often seem like a necessary relief.

Extended 39-minute Radio Wolinsky podcast.



Brian Garfield, who died on December 29, 2018, one month shy of his eightieth birthday, wrote at least sixty-five novels, most of them westerns, three collections of short stories, three books of non-fiction and several works for film and television. Though writing mostly in the western genre, he is best known for the revenge novel Death Wish, which became a hit movie starring Charles Bronson in 1974, along with Hopscotch, which became a successful film with Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson in 1980. His 1982 Western Films: A Complete Guide is still the definitive work on the subject.

In 1983,Richard Wolinsky, along with Richard A. Lupoff and Lawrence Davidson sat down with Brian Garfield to talk about his career. An extremely prolific writer at the time of the interview, and only in his early 40s, Brian Garfield’s output declined precipitously afterward, with only two novels and one non-fiction book published over the final 35 years of his life.

Brian Garfield’s best novel, Wild Times, is currently out of print, though a kindle edition is available for a low price. The mini-series of Wild Times and the musical Legs never came out on DVD and are unavailable for streaming, The original Death Wish and its sequels can be rented on Amazon and Hopscotch is available free on Kanopy through your public library. A remake of Death Wish came out in theaters in 2018, starring Bruce Willis, and promptly flopped. It is currently streaming on Epix.

This podcast was digitized and re-edited in 2019 by Richard Wolinsky. The podcast is dedicated to the memory of Patricia Lupoff, who was also present at the interview.

Complete 58-minute Radio Wolinsky podcast



Book Interview/Events and Theatre Links

Note: Most in-person events still require proof of full vaccination for all audience members over 12 and masks. Many venues will require proof of boosters. Shows may unexpectedly close early or be postponed due to actors’ positive COVID tests. Check the venue for closures, ticket refunds, and vaccination status requirements before arrival. Dates are in-theater performances unless otherwise noted. All times Pacific Standard Time.

Book Stores
Bay Area Book Festival  This year’s Festival dates: May 7-8, 2022,
Book Passage.  Monthly Calendar. Mix of on-line and in-store events.
Books Inc.  Mix of on-line and in-store events.
The Booksmith   Monthly Calendar. On-line events only.
Center for Literary Arts, San Jose. See website for Book Club guests in upcoming months.
Kepler’s Books  On-line Refresh the Page program listings.

Live Theater Companies
Alter Theatre. Upcoming: Snag by Tara Moses, filmed. Live Outdoors: Pure Native by Vickie Ramirez, summer 2022.
American Conservatory Theatre Fefu and her Friends by Maria Irene Fornes, at the Strand, now through May 1, The Lehman Trilogy postponed.
Aurora Theatre The Incrementalist by Cleavon Smith, opens April 15.  Aurora Connects, conversations via YouTube, Fridays at 8 pm. A Year With Dawn: Monthly Reading Group via Zoom, free, see website to register. Wives by Jaclyn Backhaus, starts June 24, 2022.
Awesome Theatre Company. Coffee Lady by Bridgette Dutta Portman, Thursdays March 31-May 5, 9 pm, PianoFight. Now streaming: The Jersey Devil Play, on Vimeo, tickets required.

Berkeley Rep Octet, a chamber choir musical by Dave Malloy, April 20-May 29, Peet’s Theater.
Brava Theatre Center: See website for events.
BroadwaySF: Il Volo Sings Morricone and more, April 24, Orpheum. Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles, April 30, Golden Gate. Cats. national tour, June 1 – 12, Golden Gate. Hadestown national tour, opens June 7, Orpheum.
Broadway San Jose:  TOOTSIE national tour, April 19-24. Season starts with Disney’s The Lion King, August 3-21.
California Shakespeare Theatre (Cal Shakes)  Romeo y Juliet May 25 – June 19, 2022.
Central Works Escape From the Asylum by Patricia Milton, Mar 19Apr 24, at the Berkeley City Club.
Cinnabar Theatre. Three Tall Women by Edward Albee.
Contra Costa Civic Theatre Crowns by Regina Taylor, April 15 – May 15, 2022.
Curran Theater: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child playing now.
Custom Made Theatre Circle Mirror Transformation by Annie Baker, March 25- April 16.
42nd Street Moon. Fun Home, April 21 – May 8, 2022.
Golden Thread  Drowning In Cairo by Ada, Ashraf Elsayigh, April 8 – May 1, 2022. Potrero Stage.
Landmark Musical Theater. RENT, coming summer 2022.
Lorraine Hansberry Theatre. Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage, April 1-16, Magic Theater, Fort Mason.
Magic Theatre. Monument, or Four Sisters (The Moth Play) by Sam Chanse, May 11 – May 29, 2022.
Marin Theatre Company Hotter Than Egypt by Yussef El Guindi, March 31 – April 24.
Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts Upcoming Events Page.
New Conservatory Theatre Center PrEP Play, or Blue Parachute by Yilong Yiu, April 1 – May 8.
Oakland Theater Project. Endlings by Celine Song, in association with Ferocious Lotus Theatre Company, April 8 – May 1, at FLAX art & design, 1501 MLK, Oakland.
Pear Theater. In Theater: Pear Slices,  May 5-29; The Piano Teacher, June 22 – July 16.
PianoFight. Calendar of shows.
Ray of Light: Kinky Boots, September 8 – October 1, 2022.
San Francisco PlayhouseWater by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegria Hudes,
March 16 -April 23.
SFBATCO See website for upcoming streaming and in- theater shows.
San Jose Stage Company: August: Osage County, March 30 – April 24, 2022.
Shotgun Players. Passing Strange by Stew, March 5 – April 23.
The Breath Project. Streaming archive.
The Marsh: Calendar listings for Berkeley, San Francisco and Marshstream.
Theatre Rhino Streaming: Essential Services Project, conceived and performed by John Fisher, all weekly performances now available on demand.
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. Sense and Sensibility, a musical, music and lyrics by Paul Gordon, streaming March 25 – April 17. Gem of the Ocean by August Wilson, Mountain View Center for the Arts, April 6 – May 1.
Word for Word. See webpage for WORD for WORDcast streaming availability.

Misc. Listings:
Current film series. Wayne Wang retrospective, with the director introducing the films, in theater, see schedule for details.
Berkeley Symphony: See website for listings.
Chamber Music San Francisco: Calendar, Feb. 13 – May 8, 2022.
Dance Mission Theatre. On stage events calendar.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Calendar listings and upcoming shows.
San Francisco Opera. Calendar listings, January 16 – June 10, 2022.
San Francisco Symphony. Calendar listings.

Playbill List of Streaming Theatre: Updated weekly, this is probably the best list you’ll find of national and international streaming plays and musicals. Each week has its own webpage, so scroll down.
National Theatrical Streaming: Upcoming plays from around the country.
Filmed Live Musicals: Searchable database of all filmed live musicals, podcast, blog.

If you’d like to add your bookstore or theater venue to this list, please write [email protected]










Artist Song Album Label
Matthew MontfortAmberGuitar WorksNarada Productions, Inc.
Bobby LoveFunky BirthdayRare HerbsThe Orchard