Announcing the 2024 Zócalo Book Prize Shortlist

Congratulations to Authors Greg Berman & Aubrey Fox, Myisha Cherry, Henry Grabar, Cameron McWhirter & Zusha Elinson, and Héctor Tobar

What do incremental change, forgiveness, parking, guns, and race have in common? They are all forces that strengthen and/or undermine human connectedness, social cohesion, and community—and the subjects of the five books shortlisted for the 2024 Zócalo Book Prize.

Each year since 2011, Zócalo has honored the authors of nonfiction books on this broad topic, which has been central to our mission since our founding 20 years ago. This fall, publishers and authors submitted 180 books for consideration; our staff selected five shortlist titles to advance to our selection committee. We …

Beyond the ‘Dark Fog of Disdain,’ San Francisco Is Still There

How Revisiting a Children’s Book Helped Me See the City by the Bay, On and Off the Page

For a young bookworm like me in 1960s New Jersey, almost nothing was more exciting in elementary school than ordering my own paperbacks from the Scholastic Book catalog. I would …

This Summer, Let’s Screw Book Bans

We Can Use Censorship as an Opportunity to Get People Reading—and Romancing

Ban this column! Please!

It might seem strange to call for the cancellation of one’s own newspaper column. Besides, who needs to squelch such a piece when media audiences are declining …

Zócalo’s 2023 Summer Reading List Delivers Much-Needed R&R

Your Season of Rest and Reads Is Here, Courtesy of Our Friends and Contributors

This summer, we could all use a little R&R—rest and reads, that is. And while Zócalo can’t help you with the first part (though if we could send a beach …

Heartbreak and Yearning on the Streets of East Oakland

Columnist Joe Mathews Goes Nightcrawling

Kiara Johnson, 17, lives at the Regal-Hi apartments on High Street in East Oakland—for now.

She doesn’t have the money for next month’s rent, which her landlord is doubling. She can’t …