Perhaps no novel has generated as much controversy and gravitas as “Ulysses” by acclaimed Irish writer James Joyce (1882-1941). In experimental stream-of-consciousness prose, it’s the story of one day (June 16, 1904) in the life of protagonist Leopold Bloom as he journeys through Dublin.
Published in 1922, it was banned in many countries and tried for obscenity in various courts, including in the U.S. in 1933 (verdict: not guilty). Over ensuing decades, academics have called it the best English-language novel written in the 20th century.
Bloomsday, a global celebration of the book and author, is always June 16. The Sacramento Public Library is getting in on it, with a talk by UC Davis Irish literature professor Gregory Dobbins, Irish music and singing. For fun, show up dressed in Edwardian costume, 6-7:30 p.m., 828 I St.; (916) 264-2700, www.saclibrary.org.
Jack Parker for “The Valley of Tranquility” and his four-title “Adventure“ series, noon June 20 at Barnes & Noble, 3561 N. Freeway Blvd., Natomas, (916) 285-0387.
On the local front
▪ “Hollywood and Toadvine,” a short story by American River College creative-writing professor Christian Kiefer, will appear in the 2016 Pushcart Prize anthology, “Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses.” The annual collection is called “the most honored literary project in America.” Kiefer is the author of “The Infinite Tides” and “The Animals.”
▪ Richard Steele of Sacramento invested 27 years as a Marine, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. During that duty, he was a combat helicopter pilot in Vietnam, so he has the cred for his thriller-mystery “The Money Run” (PRSteele, $15, 282 pages), based partly on his own experiences (www.themoneyrun.net). He took first place in the fiction category of the 2014 Northern California Publishers and Authors Book Awards Competition.