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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 Larry Brilliant

Larry Brilliant

After sitting at the feet of Martin Luther King at the University of Michigan in 1963, Larry Brilliant was swept up into the civil rights movement, marching and protesting across America and Europe. As a radical young doctor he followed the hippie trail from London over the Khyber Pass with his wife Girija, Wavy Gravy and the Hog Farm commune to India. There, he found himself in a Himalayan ashram wondering whether he had stumbled into a cult. Instead, one of India’s greatest spiritual teachers, Neem Karoli Baba, opened Larry’s heart and told him his destiny was to work for the World Health Organization to help eradicate killer smallpox. Dr. Larry Brilliant would become a key player in eliminating a 10,000-year-old disease that killed more than half a billion people in the 20th century alone. He would become a full-fledged medical officer in the UN's World Health Organization, and a member of their Southeast Asia program's Central Team.

Brilliant’s incredible trajectory is chronicled in his memoir, Sometimes Brilliant: The Impossible Adventure of a Spiritual Seeker and Visionary Physician Who Helped Conquer the Worst Disease in History.  Somehow always in the right place at the right time, Brilliant’s path has brought him into close proximity with political leaders, spiritual masters, cultural heroes, and titans of technology around the world— from the Grateful Dead to Mikhail Gorbachev, from Ram Dass, the Dalai Lama, Lama Govinda, and Karmapa to Steve Jobs and the founders of Google, Salesforce, Facebook, Microsoft and eBay, and Presidents Carter, Clinton, Bush and Obama. Anchored by the riveting account of the heroic efforts of those involved in smallpox eradication in India, this book is a fascinating epidemiological adventure, an honest reckoning of a fabled generation, and a deeply moving spiritual memoir. It is a testament to faith, love, service, and what it means to engage with life’s most important questions in pursuit of a better, more brilliant existence.

Larry Brilliant, M.D., M.P.H., is a pioneering physician, visionary technologist, and global philanthropist. A medical officer for the UN's World Health Organization and member of the Central Team in smallpox eradication in India, he was the first executive director of Google.org, and currently serves as chairman of Skoll Global Threats Fund. Larry co-founded the The Seva Foundation, whose programs and partners have restored sight to more than four million blind in dozens of countries. He has worked with four Presidents, the UN, G8 and Chaired the National Biosurveillance Advisory Subcommittee. He co-founded one of the first digital social networks, the Well. He resides in Northern California

My Participants Sessions

Saturday, October 15
 

4:00pm