Museum Hours
Thu: 1 PM–8 PM
Fri–Mon: 10 AM–5 PM
Tue–Wed: Closed
200 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
Thursday Night

Book Release Celebration: Jaime Cortez and Claire Light Read from New Work

From a bold new take on Chinese folklore — complete with shapeshifters, murder, and mayhem — to intimate, elegant coming-of-age stories set in a migrant worker camp in 1970s Watsonville, delve into new writing from local authors at this on-site reading.  

Buy Tickets

Join us to celebrate the publication of two new books with readings by Jaime Cortez and Claire Light, moderated by artist and author Joel Tan.   

Jaime Cortez reads from his debut story collection, Gordo(Black Cat/Grove Atlantic), set in a 1970s migrant workers camp near Watsonville, California. You’ll meet Gordo, a young, probably gay boy as he enters manhood while negotiating cultural and familial constrictions. Cortez’s stories give voice to a marginalized generation of migrant workers in Steinbeck country and redefine what “all-American” means.  

Claire Light reads from her debut urban fantasy novel Monkey Around (Solaris), an action-packed spin on the classic Chinese tale Monkey King set in San Francisco, written under the pen name Jadie Jang. She introduces us to her protagonist, were-monkey Maya McQueen, who is well on her way to figuring herself out when Occupy Wall Street emerges, the Bay Area’s shapeshifters start falling to a shadowy murderer, and the city’s spirit tasks Maya with finding its guardian.  

Followed by a Q&A and book signing with the authors.

ASL will be provided.  

This program will also be livestreamed on the museum’s YouTube page. Watch online. 



Jaime Cortez is a writer and visual artist based in Watsonville, California. His fiction, essays, and drawings have appeared in “Kindergarde: Avant-Garde Poems, Plays, Stories, and Songs for Children,” “No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics,” “Street Art San Francisco: Mission Muralismo,” and Rebecca Solnit’s experimental atlas “Infinite City: San Francisco.” He wrote and illustrated the graphic novel “Sexile” for AIDS Project Los Angeles in 2003. Cortez often combines humor and tragedy to tell stories of resilient survivors on the margins of the economy, the law, and social acceptability.  
Claire Light is a Bay Area writer, cultural worker, and activist. She has worked since 1997 in nonprofit administration, particularly in arts and social justice. She has served as manager, board chair, and director of Kearny Street Workshop and was a cofounder of Hyphen magazine. You can read her fiction in McSweeney’s, Hyphen, and The Encyclopedia Project, among others. A short collection of her stories, “Slightly Behind and to the Left,” was published by Aqueduct Press in 2009. 

The Asian Art Museum is committed to being accessible to all. If the price of this virtual program is a barrier for you, please use the code VIRTUALACCESS for complimentary admission. This promotion can be applied under the “Promo Code” section on the Payment Information page. 

Organizers & Sponsors

More to Explore