Sunset Authors Reading: Tues Oct. 24, 2017

10/20/17 - posted by Robert Crabill - robert.crabill<at>

Two Sunset District novelists Nancy Taforo-Murphy & Martha Conway, will read from their new books at the Sunset Branch Library:

Set in post-WW II San Francisco, “Ann Mary, Contraception and the Pope of Rome,” Nancy Taforo-Murphy's first novel, recalls a city of neighborhoods, old open-ended iron streetcars, sparse traffic, Playland, the dunes bordering Ocean Beach, and the way children played, happily and safely, in the streets outside their row houses.

Much of the drama unfolds in the thriving Catholic Church of the 1940's with its vestments, candles, statues, chants and Latin medieval liturgy. After three babies and two miscarriages, using contraceptives still means being damned to hell -- such has long been the plight of devout Catholic women. The book gives this timely issue flesh and blood, humor and pathos. Ann Mary fears hell, honors the clerics, and lives in strict obedience to the Pope of Rome. But the Pope is asking too much of her. Hope comes from an unexpected source. Follow Ann Mary, poignant chapters alternating with comic ones, in a moving work of sadness and tenderness, humor and love.

About Nancy Taforo-Murphy:
"I was born in hard times, when lights were going out across Europe and battleships were sinking in Pearl Harbor. My parents were awfully brave... I grew up in the now-gone San Francisco of the 40's and 50's. There were few skyscrapers, little traffic, no fear of abducted children, in fact, little fear at all. Our day in the country was an excursion beyond city limits, and our idea of great fun was feeding the ducks in Golden Gate Park. Simple pleasures, happy lives. I attended Catholic schools for the next 16 years, but I do not sentimentalize nuns or priests. My story includes mockery and a clear-cut appraisal of churchly virtues and failings... I have found great happiness in writing for many years. My aim is to describe San Francisco as it was and how it could again become, and to turn a non-flinching eye on Catholicism. I wish to make readers laugh and think, and I believe that I have done so."

Award-winning local author Martha Conway's latest novel, "The Underground River," is set aboard a nineteenth century riverboat theater and is a moving, page-turning story of a charmingly frank and naive seamstress who is blackmailed into saving runaways on the Underground Railroad, jeopardizing her freedom, her livelihood, and a new love. The book is a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Autographed copies of both books will be available.

The two books are quite different on the face of it, but both address the challenges of women caught in the political strictures of their times. Come out & celebrate Sunset District authors! It should be a magical evening --

Tues. Oct. 24, 2017 6:30-8 pm
Sunset Branch Library (downstairs)
1305 - 18th Avenue at Irving St., San Francisco, CA 94122
Info: (415)355-2808
Free - Wheelchair accessible - Public Transit: N-Judah streetcar; 7, 28 & 29 MUNI buses

The Western Neighborhoods Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.