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Authors in L.A.: Isabel Allende celebrates 'Zorro' and more

March 19, 2012 | 12:15 pm

With his sword and black mask, the dashing outlaw known as Zorro has become a part of Southern California's fictionalized history ever since appearing in a pulp magazine story in 1919. He's a romantic Robin Hood-like figure who has inspired numerous movies and books, including Isabel Allende's novel "Zorro."

Allende visits Southern California this week to discuss her book as part of Long Beach Reads One Book, an annual event sponsored by the Long Beach Public Library Foundation. Allende's visit is a highlight of this year's focus on "Zorro," but the program offers many other events (see the foundation website and other events listed below) as well.

Other highlights of this week's author events in L.A. include appearances by U.S. ice skater Kristi Yamaguchi, poet Lewis MacAdams and novelist Mark Salzman. 

As always, check bookstores and organizations for any venue or time changes to the events listed below.

Mon. March 19: 11 a.m. Kristi Yamaguchi presents and signs “It’s a Big World, Little Pig!” at Vroman’s.

Mon. March 19: 5 p.m.  John Gertz, president and chief executive of Zorro Productions Inc., presents a viewing of his production “The Legend of Zorro” (starring Antonio Banderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones) and a discussion as part of the Long Beach Public Library Foundation’s Long Beach Reads One Book series celebrating Allende’s novel “Zorro.” The screening will be at CSULB, William Link Theatre (UT-108), 7th St. and East University Dr.

Mon. March 19: 7 p.m. Lüc Carl discusses and signs “The Drunk Diet: How I Lost 40 Pounds ... Wasted: A Memoir” at Book Soup.

Mon. March 19: 7:30 p.m. “Mothers (and a Dad) Who Write” features Gayle Brandeis, Samantha Dunn, Leslie Schwartz and Susan Straight with moderator Antoine Wilson at Skylight Books.

Tue. March 20: 7 p.m. James Scurlock discusses and signs “King Larry” at Vroman’s.

Tue. March 20: 7 p.m. Joshua Knelman discusses and signs “Hot Art: Chasing Thieves and Detectives Through the Secret World of Stolen Art” at Book Soup.

Tue. March 20: 7 p.m. The Times' editor at large Jim Newton discusses his book “Eisenhower: The White House Years” with A. Scott Berg as part of the Aloud Series at the Los Angeles Central Library.

Tue. March 20: 7:30 p.m. Jorja Leap discusses and signs her book “Jumped In: What Gangs Taught Me About Violence, Drugs, Love and Redemption” at Skylight Books.

Tue. March 20: 7:30 p.m. “Who Says L.A. Has No Culture?” Slate critics Dana Stevens and Stephen Metcalf, and Julia Turner talk with with "30 Rock" and "The Hunger Games" actress Elizabeth Banks as part of a Slate/Zocalo Public Square event.

Wed. March 21: 7 p.m. Lewis MacAdams discusses and signs “Dear Oxygen: New & Selected Poems 1966-2011” at Book Soup.

Wed. March 21: 7:30 p.m. Mark Sundeen discusses and signs “The Man Who Quit Money” with special guest Daniel Suelo at Skylight Books.

Wed. March 21: 7 p.m. Leila Cobo discusses her novel “The Second Time We Met” at the Barnes & Noble, 3rd Street Promenade, in Santa Monica.

Thur. March 22: 7 p.m. A special one-man performance by Mark Salzman of “The Man in the Empty Boat” as part of the Aloud Series at the Los Angeles Central Library.

Thur. March 22: 7 p.m. South African poet and activist Keorapetse Kgositsile reads and discusses his work as part of the Hammer Reading series at UCLA’s Hammer Museum.

Thur. March 22: 7 p.m. The Long Beach Public Library Foundation presents “An Evening With Author Isabel Allende,” Long Beach Performing Arts Center, Terrace Theater at 300 E. Ocean Blvd. The event is part of the foundation’s Long Beach Reads One Book series that is celebrating Allende’s novel “Zorro.” 

Thur. March 22: 7 p.m. Chloe Coscarelli discusses and signs “Chloe’s Kitchen” at Vroman’s.  

Sat. March 24: 4 p.m. Duff McKagan discusses and signs “It's So Easy: And Other Lies” at Book Soup.  

Sat. March 24: 2 p.m. A special event celebrating the bestselling YA novel “The Hunger Games” and the new movie adaptation, Barnes & Noble, 3rd Street Promenade, in Santa Monica.

Sat. March 24: Anne Opotowsky signs and discusses the graphic novel “His Dream of the Skyland” at Chevalier’s Books.

Sat. March 24: The ALPA assistance league presents: A Day of Authors, featuring keynote speakers Denise Hamilton, Stephan Harrigan and T. Jefferson Parker and including Mary Ann Fraser, Ron Hansen, Laura Rhoton McNeal, Tom McNeal, Jim Newton and Susan Straight at Cal State Fullerton’s Titan Center.  

Sun. March 25: 3 p.m. Rhys Bowen (“Hush Now, Don’t You Cry” and Cara Black (“Murder at the Lanterne Rouge”) discuss and sign their books at Vroman’s.

Sun. March 25: 3 p.m. Joe R. Lansdale reads and signs his new novel “Edge of Dark Water” at Skylight Books.

-- Nick Owchar

Photo: Isabel Allende at a conference in Mexico City in March 2012.  Credit: EPA/Sashenka Gutierrez