Book ’em

By Steven Libowitz   |   March 7, 2023

Cancer physician and researcher Siddhartha Mukherjee, who has been praised for making scientific discoveries read like riveting mysteries, is coming to town to talk about his new book, The Song of the Cell, an exploration of medicine and our radical new ability to manipulate cells. The author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Emperor of All Maladies and the No. 1 New York Times bestseller The Gene continues his exploration in this story of how scientists discovered cells, began to understand them, and are now using that knowledge to create new humans. The Guardian called the book a masterclass that will leave you in awe of biology, while The Wall Street Journal said Mukherjee has “a storyteller’s flair and a gift for translating complex medical concepts into simple language.” Mukherjee’s Wednesday, March 8, “Word of Mouth” series event from UCSB A&L at the Granada is co-presented by the Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara and in association with UCSB Department of Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology. 

Elsewhere, John Sayles could easily have been in town earlier this month for SBIFF, as the New Jersey native writer-director has twice been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay – for Passion Fish (1992) and Lone Star (1996) – while also writing and directing several cult and classic movies including Return of the Secaucus 7 (1980), Baby, It’s You (1983), The Brother from Another Planet (1984), Matewan (1987), Eight Men Out (1988), City of Hope (1991) and The Secret of Roan Inish (1994), not to mention videos for Bruce Springsteen’s hits “Born in the U.S.A.,” “I’m on Fire,” and “Glory Days.” Sayles, however, is also a novelist, with six novels and a few collections to his credit. 

Not surprisingly, his latest, Jamie MacGillivray: The Renegade’s Journey, has been called a thrilling historical and cinematic epic, one being compared to the work of such authors as George R. R. Martin, Philippa Gregory, and Charles Dickens. The epic spans 13 years, two continents, several wars, and many smoke-filled and bloody battlefields, in the world of the novel’s eponymous hero. Sayles signs copies at Chaucer’s Books on Friday, March 3.  


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