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Welcome to Litquake, San Francisco’s literary festival, now in our 17th year. Festival dates are October 7-15, 2016. Events are all-ages unless noted otherwise. Book sales are offered when and where appropriate. Events without ticket reservations are first-come first served. Click the phone icon to the right below, to download our new mobile app version!

avatar for Thomas Sanchez

Thomas Sanchez

Thomas Sanchez is a fifth-generation Californian born days before his father was killed in World War II, and spent his early years at an orphanage and boarding school with native, black, white and Latino Americans. He participated in many iconic 1960s events, from farm workers strikes, to the tumultuous U.C. Berkeley Free Speech protest and the Haight-Ashbury counter-culture explosion. In the 1970s, he ran strategic supplies to Indians under siege in Wounded Knee, South Dakota, through government armed forces with shoot-to-kill orders. 


Sanchez lived seven years below the poverty line while writing the generational epic novel Rabbit Boss, listed by State Librarian of California Emeritus Kevin Starr as one of the three or four finest novels set in California, and cited by the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the most important books of the 20th century American West. Vanity Fair announced Rabbit Boss as a landmark of our literature, and it has been proclaimed to be etched in unforgettable prose by Vine Deloria, Standing Rock Sioux author of Custer Died For Your Sins.


In the 1980s, Sanchez traversed political and jungle landscapes of the Guatemalan and El Salvadoran civil wars with guerrilla fighters, CIA spooks and war journalists. In the 1990s, he was the only American novelist to interview Mario Morales Mesa, famed Cuban revolutionary fighter and head of the Narcotics and Gangster Bureaus.


Sanchez has been awarded grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts, and knighted as Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Republic. His novels Rabbit Boss, Zoot-Suit Murders, Mile Zero, Day of the Bees, and American Tropic, King Bongo are published by Knopf Vintage.