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What’s on Your Berkeley-Inspired Playlist?

By Pat Joseph

While music may not be the first thing most people think of when they think of Berkeley, both the campus and town have been home to an enormously influential and eclectic music scene across the years, one with deep roots in the folk and blues revivals of the mid-20th century. 

6 Questions for Pulitzer Prizewinner Hua Hsu

By Hayden Royster

The New Yorker writer and author on his memoir of Berkeley

Normal (Asian) Lives

By Esther Oh

Fans of comics wunderkind Adrian Tomine may have rested easy upon seeing the film adaptation of his 2007 graphic novel Shortcomings this past summer.

People participate in a climate protest on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, on Friday, Sept. 15, 2023. / Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP

Hot and Getting Hotter

By Pat Joseph

Goodell examines the most obvious effect of warming: Extreme heat.


Marshawn Lynch Acts Like an Actor

By the editors at California magazine

… and other Berkeley movies, books, and entertainment

Flying high: Fosbury clears the bar at Berkeley’s Edwards Stadium, 1968 / Getty Images

Clearing a High Bar

By Pat Joseph

It may not say so on the cover, but the organizing theme of this issue is creativity—what it is, how it works, what it says about us as human beings.

Susan (left) and her daughter, Nora, in 1998. / Courtesy of Susan Stern

The Original Barbie Movie was Created by a Cal Alum

By Margie Cullen

Long before Margot Robbie entered the Barbie Dreamhouse, another Barbie movie had attempted to tackle the cultural phenomenon that is Mattel’s tip-toeing doll.

Cal Performances presents the Bay Area premiere of Pina Bausch's The Rite of Spring performed by dancers from 14 African countries, February 16-18, 2024, at Zellerbach Hall. / Maarten Vanden Abeele

Coming to Zellerbach: Individual, Community and the Performing Arts

By Emily Wilson

It’s a striking scene: Dozens of men and women, wearing simple dresses and pants, dance across a dirt-covered stage.

Mona Simpson’s Literary Commitment

By Mary Flegler

Through her writing, Simpson explores characters and locales both ordinary and extraordinary, her novels probing the nooks and crannies of family dynamics, lingering in the details of how we choose to give and receive love.

Matthew Zapruder / Kari Easton

The Working Poet: Catching Up with Matthew Zapruder on the Road in Portland

By Geoff Koch

Sitting in the coffee shop at Portland’s famous Powell’s Books, his name on the marquee outside, Matthew Zapruder seems surprised when asked how it feels to be an emergent public figure in poetry. 

Giobbi in a signature Grateful Dead t-shirt / Tomas Morgan

Hippie House Music: DJ Puts a New Spin on the Dead

By Leah Worthington

Around 11 p.m., a curly-haired woman, twinkling in a black, sequined pantsuit, took to the stage to roaring applause. A tie-dye Dead shirt peeked out underneath her jacket as she fit headphones over her ears and hit play.

“Nakata,” Roamer October 1910 Album, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Nakata’s Smile: Unlocking the Diaries of Jack London’s Valet

By Aleta George

The reference librarian slid the archival container across the counter. “This looks like a fun box to look through,” he said. I smiled behind my face mask.