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Don Winslow to retire after last novel, 'City in Ruins'

 April 11, 2024 at 3:43 PM PDT

S1: It's time for Midday Edition on Kpbs. Today we're talking about the arts and culture scene here in San Diego. I'm Jade Hindman. Here's to conversations that keep you informed , inspired , and make you think. Bestselling crime author Don Winslow penned his last book. He joins the show to talk about his career and what's next.

S2: It sounds a little smarmy , but I mean it sincerely. You know that every good material thing I have in life , you know , I owe the readers.

S1: Plus , we've got a preview of the Arab Film Festival and a few events happening this weekend. That's ahead on Midday Edition. Welcome in San Diego , it's Jade Hindman. Author Don Winslow joins the show to talk about his last book and what's next. Plus will preview San Diego's Arab Film Festival and check in on all the weekend happenings. This is midday edition , connecting our communities through conversation. Some big news for bestselling San Diego author Don Winslow. The final book in his last crime fiction drama trilogy , City in Ruins , is out now. Not only that , he's retiring from his novel writing career to focus on political activism. Don Winslow joins me now. Welcome back to Midday Edition , Don.

S2: Thanks for having me.

S1: So glad to have you here. So , okay , without giving anything away , what are readers in for with City in Ruins , what's going on in the life of Danny Ryan.

S2: And the life of Danny Ryan ? You know , Danny takes a big leap. And I hope the readers go with me on this. When we last left him , he was wandering around the deserts of Anza-Borrego. As a matter of fact , after having had a love affair with a Hollywood actress. And when we meet him a few years later , now he is a billionaire casino mogul in Las Vegas. Interesting.

S1: Interesting. Very interesting. Um , you've been working on this trilogy for 30 years.

S2: Kind of bittersweet. You know , I've. I've picked this book up and set it down so many times , and it had so many doubts about my ability to to pull it off. And so to finally have it finished and then , you know , open that box and see the actual book. Um , I have mixed feelings , to be honest with you. It was a thrill to see it and a lot of satisfaction to it finish the trilogy , but also knowing that it's the last time I'm going to open one of these boxes and see , you know , the book come out. Uh , it's a little bittersweet.

S1: Yeah , it's been quite the journey.

S2: A lot. Um , you know , we we live , uh , half the year in July and now and half the year in Rhode Island where a lot of the books take place. Um , my son got married. You know , it's funny. Uh , when I began this trilogy , my now adult and married son was a toddler , you know , running around the house , and , you know , he and I killing Imperial Star Wars troopers and that kind of stuff. And , you know , uh , you know , uh , now he's a married man. All of that's changed. Uh , you know , I listen , I mean , I think when you come to the end of a career , of course you get reflective and you think back , I think people look at my career now and , you know , immodestly. I mean , uh , I'm kind of shocked. I've had 7 or 8 New York Times bestsellers and movie deals and all of that , and that's what they see. Uh , they don't see the years. You know , when I had $37 in the bank and publishers were , you know , saying , well , you're not a bestselling author , so we won't print a lot of books. But of course , if they don't print the books , you can't sell them , you know ? And so you're stuck in that perfect catch 22. So , yeah , I think I've been reflecting a lot on , on those years.

S1: Man , you've gone through so much , overcome so much.

S2: It's funny. Jade , you know , between a character named Art killer who was in these three sort of big drug books that I did , and. And , Danny , I've spent more time with those two guys who don't really exist than any other real human being in my life , with the possible exception of my wife. So , um. Yeah , I think I will miss Danny , you know ? But I feel like I've known Danny my whole life. I grew up around the Danny's , you know , played hockey with him and surfed and went to bars and all that kind of thing. So , uh. Yeah , I'll miss him.

S1: Well , they say save the best for last. So is city in ruins the best one done.

S2: I'd be the last person to make that judgment. You know , I think that's up to the reader. Listen , hopefully you get better as you go along , you know , and not worse. Uh , I feel pretty good about this book. I think that over the past few years or the past few books , rather , I've become more economical with my use of language. I try to make fewer words , do more. And I think that's true. I think in some ways to become a more compassionate writer , um , probably a bit more compassionate toward my characters in this book than than maybe I was in earlier books , uh , whether it's my best or not , you know , I don't know. I'm not the one to make that judgment. Hmm.

S1: Hmm. Well , I mean , speaking of making fewer words , do more. I want to talk about your transition to political activism. You're already very active. But tell me why you're taking it full time.

S2: You don't get to choose the times you you live in , you know , and and I , I think that this election coming up in November might be the most important election since 1860. I think our our democracy is at stake. I think that that there's a I'm just going to. Frankly , a neofascist movement in this country led by a man who who organized a coup against the government of the United States , tried to overthrow the government of the United States. And this man , this traitor , uh , is now the Republican nominee for president. So that requires responses that that are faster than you can you can give in a novel. You know , if I were to write a book about this , uh , by the time I wrote it and it was published , the fights over. And so , um , you know , it's urgent. And so that's why at this time. Right.

S1: Right. And you use social media to , to get to that urgency a lot , right ? Yeah.

S2: Almost exclusively. You know , I mean , I occasionally write a column. I've been on television a lot the past few days , uh , giving this message , but yeah , we're on , you know , I guess it's now x what used to be Twitter and my partner , Shane Salerno and I , you know , in addition to the tweets or whatever they're called now , uh , have done a number of videos that have , um , this is shocking to me , have received over 300 million views. Wow. Uh , 15 million in the last three videos alone. And so , yeah , that that's our effort to to get the message out and fight this fight. Yeah.

S1: Yeah.

S2: You know , I started out as as as you're pretty basic crime writer , you know , thinking I would write privatized stories and , and , uh , all of that. And that has little to do with politics. But then , uh , back in , oh my God , 97 or 8 , I started to write books about the drug situation , crime novels , you know , but they were very close to , to reality. And and so that required a lot of research. And the more I researched , the angrier I got , um , and the more political I got. And then , uh , the second book in that series , a book called The Cartel , was about an incredibly violent period in Mexico with the drug wars and how American policy affected that. And then I ended up taking out a , uh , a full page ad in the Washington Post advocating an end to the war on drugs , because I started to think , you know , if I don't try to do something just outside the the realm of , of narrative fiction , I'm just another guy making money off dope. You know what ? What's the difference between me and the guy slinging on the street ? Except I was probably better paid. Uh , and then I , after that book , um , I swore was not going to go back to that world. And I wrote a number of very , you know , apolitical books just for fun. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But then in 2015 , with , with Trump running for president and , and saying slanderous lies about my friends and neighbors and in the Mexican American community , villainize immigrant children , uh , the opioid epidemic hit and and I felt that that I could speak out politically in the books. I could get under the headlines , you know , and headlines always become stereotypes , don't they ? But if I could show you the life of a , of a immigrant child coming up on that train from Central America , if I could get you to spend some time , for instance , with a a young woman addicted to heroin , you're going to look at those situations a little differently. And so I think I became more and more political. Aren't you glad you asked ? Yeah.

S1: Well , I mean , I hear you say that , and I'm like , you're not done yet. There's still a lot more. There are many more stories to tell , but. All right.

S2: Yeah , but , you know , listen , I think I think there's been a confluence of two streams , if you will. One is the political stream that we've discussed , and the other is , look , you know , I'm not young. I think when you write books of that nature , to be perfectly honest with you , it takes something out of you. The research for those drug books was rough , and I think there's a time when you need to know to to exit the stage gracefully and graciously , if you will , and , and let's some other folks step into the light. Hmm.

S1: Well , tell me more about San Diego's significance in your work.

S2: You know , I came out to California from the from the East coast that came out here as a private investigator and , uh , at a time when my writing career was , was not thriving. And I just fell in love with the. Place , you know , and still am. You know , I've driven the , the PCH , you know , for instance , in North County , I don't know how many times Jade a thousand. Yeah , probably. Um , I'm still as excited doing it as I was the first time. And then the proximity to the border was , of course , a major influence on my career. I ended up spending 23 years on the drug beat , you know , because of its proximity. So I woke up one morning and in , um , the late 90s to , to read an article in the newspaper about 19 innocent men , women and children being slaughtered in a little village not not far across the border. And , and I wanted to find out how that could happen in that launch , this 23 year odyssey. So San Diego is huge , both as a subject of my work , as a location of my work , but but also psychologically. And it absolutely changed the way that I wrote it.


S2: You know , um , you know , it's kind of darkly funny. I did one of the drug books was was entitled To Power the Dog , the first one. And , and critics were , um , often wrote about the quote , charred moral landscape. And it makes me chuck a little bit because I finished that book. After The Big Fires in Julian in 2002 , I was helping to run the the relief center in town , and so I was finishing that book while sitting on cartons of bottled water , looking out at nothing but an actual charred landscape , you know , for for months. But , you know , certainly Julian and and the , the quietude up there that it allows a writer. Uh , you know , I hike 4 to 6 miles most days when I'm there , and while I'm taking those walks , I'm usually refining dialogue or thinking about plot lines and so , yeah , uh , I think it's been a big influence.

S1: Well , earlier you said it takes something out of you.

S2: Uh , because I don't feel retired yet. You know , uh , between sort of the copyediting process of the book and the publishing process and now being out on tour and , and also being pretty busy with the political commentary , I don't really feel retired. It's starting to hit me a little bit shade because , you know , I'm going around now evenings I'm in bookstores or theaters and , and , you know , uh , with the reading public , uh , who are all kind of saying don't retire or they're saying thank you and goodbye and , and all of that. So the reality of it is starting to hit me , I think , more and more every evening , you know , um , and , you know , I'm so grateful to those people. It sounds a little smarmy , but I mean it sincerely. You know that every good material thing I have in life , you know , I owe to readers. Uh , and so now I'm out both thanking them for that and also saying goodbye. Uh , so , yeah , it's it's a little emotional , I have to admit. Yeah , yeah.


S2: You know , a really sincere thank you. I feel so grateful for this career that I've had much bigger , much better than I ever dreamed , you know. And I want to thank the San Diego audience for being San Diego. It's such a it's such a great place to live and to be. And it has this , this , you know , I have this feeling and I tell a lot of people this. And by the way , I'm an obnoxious San Diego tour guide when we have out-of-town visitors. Man , I'm terrible. Like , I take them here and I take them there , and I tell them what to order at certain restaurants and you know what time to be in certain places. Um. I'm terrible , uh , but , you know , it's such a wonderful place to live. You know , you can have breakfast in the desert , lunch in the mountains , and dinner at the beach with with no problem at all. But I'm always telling out-of-towners that San Diego has this sort of unspoken ethic where it seems that that most people just want people to be happy. Yeah. You know , which is pretty , pretty wonderful when you think about it.

S1: I've been speaking with Don Winslow , best selling San Diego author of more than 20 crime fiction novels. His latest and last is called City in Ruins. It's out now. Don , again , thank you for being here.

S2: Thanks for having me. Thanks for taking the time.

S1: Still ahead. A preview of San Diego's 13th annual Arab Film Festival.

S3: I liked very much that the film festival is a cultural representation of Arab life and artistic , and that mattered a lot to me.

S1: You're listening to Kpbs Midday Edition. Welcome back to Kpbs midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman. San Diego's Arab Film Festival is back for its 13th annual event and ready to present eight screenings , each showcasing one feature film and one short film from across the Arab world. Kpbs reporter Jacob Ayer gives us a peek at what some of the films will be focused on this year. He asked festival organizer Basma Darwish when and why she first got involved.

S3: I joined at the beginning. I had moved back from Palestine. I lived there for a year teaching at the university , and a friend of mine , Anne Marie Jasser , had made a film. They asked me to present it. That was my introduction. So I started out simply , uh , introducing a film , um , for Anne Marie Jasser. But I also needed to be involved in the Arab community in some way and some form of activism. And I , I liked very much that the film festival is a cultural representation of Arab life and artistic , and that mattered a lot to me to share that with the with the community here in San Diego. Yeah.

S4: So if you've been with the festival since the beginning , this is the 13th , uh , San Diego Area Film Festival.

S3: We made it through that with one year of online screenings. I think I would say that the films have changed over the years. Uh , we initially there were a lot of the films tended to show the stark reality faced by the Arab world , um , by the communities in the Arab world , um , as a result of different events. And I feel like the artists , the filmmakers have striven more towards other , other representations of life. It seemed like in the beginning of the festival , we had a lot of complaints about how depressing the films were , and now I'm seeing a lot more of a mix , uh , filmmaking , where , um , the artists are , are exploring more creatively and just stepping out of telling the story of trauma and occupation.

S4: Um , so tell me a bit about this year's festival. Then what can people kind of expect ? Kind of films are screening.

S3: Um , well , we're screening a lot of variety. We're always striving for variety. But this year , um , we are stepping more into representing Palestinian filmmaking because of what's happening in Gaza and in the West Bank and in Jerusalem. We're opening with a film called , um , I'm from Palestine , and it's a very it's a short it's an animated short that presents the story of a little girl who , who , who struggles with identifying where she's from because she knows where she's from. And this is also my story , which is funny. Um , she knows where she's from. She's growing up in the US. But when the teacher asks the kids to point to a map , her homeland isn't there. Um , and Palestine is not there. And then her entire world goes into this state of doubt. But this this year's festival has a lot more Palestinian films telling Palestinian narratives during the narratives of Palestinian life and Palestinian filmmakers. We open with I am from Palestine and a House in Jerusalem is our feature. And then we close with Lid , which is an entirely different kind of story.

S4: So tell me a bit about if you're comfortable. You said it mirrors your life. In some ways. You're Palestinian then too.

S3: Yes , I am , and from Jerusalem and my parents were in Kuwait when I was born. We moved to the US when I was three into the San Joaquin Valley. We were the only Arabs that we knew. I didn't speak English yet. Um , my mom told me stories often about this beautiful place called Palestine , and that was what explained my name and our food and the smell in our home and the sound of the Quran on Fridays. So I would tell the kids , you know , my name is Basma. I would tell my friends that we were from this place called Palestine , and I loved this place because my mom told me stories about it. And the oranges and and the figs and my mom and dad's love story and writing love letters on oranges. And one day the kids came storming up to me , and this was probably in the third grade and said that I was a liar and that there was no such places. Palestine. Then I went home and I remember very clearly asking my mom. She met me out on the sidewalk and I told her what happened , and I said , they said , there's no such places. Palestine. I remember very well her expression , um , and reflection and the pain and the tears behind her eyes , um , as she said , uh , to me that I could say that I was born in Kuwait , but originally from Palestine. So that became where I was from for about 18 more years. Born in Kuwait but originally from Palestine. So anytime I had to explain my name , um , or our , our grape leaves or dishes. Um , I was originally from Palestine , but born in Kuwait because Kuwait is on a map.


S3: Um , this year's festival , I think , uh , might draw more attention because people are growing more and more informed and our choice to focus on Palestinian films. Is based on what's happening now in Palestine.


S3: Uh , we we tend to be , uh , we've been marginalized as Arabs. And I feel like this festival brings. Well , it does two things. One , it's really important to see yourself represented on screen in society as culturally relevant. And for me , as an Arab female , um , it's been a beautiful experience to both view the films on screen at the Museum of Photographic Arts , and also to be part of making that happen. So I feel like there's that. And then there's also the , the , um. Community of people who maybe want to know more about Arabs than what they've seen from mainstream sources. Um , and it's actually a very festive and fun night. And it's a , it's a beautiful , uh , experience of sharing and exchanging. And we also offer , um , Arabic food that is extremely popular.

S4: And like you were saying , maybe in the early years , it was it was really focused on the harsh realities , but now trying to find , you know , the beauty within , within , you know , the difficult realities.

S3: Well , the beauty has always been there and yes. And now now we are seeing a lot more films that represent the beauty and the the harshness. Um , the people of the Arab world are so resilient and they have experienced so much hardship. Um , and meanwhile , as humans and I think this is the , the greatest beauty of it as humans , um , they continue to find love and pursue hope and dreams. And we share that at the festival.

S4: And there's other cities in the US that do have similar Arab film festivals.

S3: Um , and I'd say that most of the , uh , volunteers , we are 100% volunteer organization , uh , both Karama and the film festival and none of our , our staff or crew are paid , uh , we pay the filmmakers and for the venue. But we do have a very large Palestinian community , and I feel that it's it's a it's really important that we are represented at the film festival or as in , by offering a film festival.



S1: That was Arab Film Festival organizer Basma Darwish. Jacob also sat down with Rami Yunus , co-director of the feature film Lydd. Hiya.

S5: Hiya. So my name is Ram Younis.

S4: And you're a filmmaker.

S5: To our purpose. I think I should be presented as a filmmaker.

S4: Let's talk about the upcoming film at the San Diego Arab Film Festival. I believe it's called Lydd.

S5: Uh , we started working on this project back in 2016 , uh , and we wanted to tell the story of my hometown of Lydd , which is a city that was occupied in 1948. It used to be the city that connected Palestine to the world. Because it had an international airport. Uh , trains would depart from there to Lebanon to Cairo back when the borders were open. Uh , but then 1948 happened. The Israeli occupation , uh , massacres took place in the city. Uh , we call it the Nakba in Arabic , the catastrophe of the Palestinian people. So , uh , the end of the day , we decided that , hey , let's do something crazy. And if we go down , we go down in flames. What if we do a science fiction documentary ? Sarah and I , uh , are science fiction fans. Uh , so we decided to just , like , play with , with ideas that we had. And at some point we figured , okay , but what if 1948 never happened ? How about that ? How about maybe trying to create an alternate reality in which the atrocities never happened ? And , uh , so , you know , in a way , you could say that it is kind of Rick and Morty meets a Nakba film , which is but less funny. Essentially , I would say that this film also serves in imagination as , um , a basic human. Right ? Yeah. And , uh , no one can take away your imagination. That's one thing that can be occupied , you know ? And if you don't imagine , you're doomed to live the reality that was created in someone else's imagination.

S4: You mentioned it multiple times. You're Palestinian yourself. You said you're originally from Lydd. Yeah.

S5: Yeah.

S4: And where are you living now ? I mean , you're still in the heart of a lot of the ongoing conflict. No. Yeah.

S5: Yeah. So , uh. Well , I'm a Palestinian. What I'm about , I'm what we call a Palestinian citizens of Israel. Um , um , about 20% of Israel's population. People don't really know this , but 20% of Israel's population are Palestinian. We are direct descendants of people who survived 1948 or were not expelled in 1948 for whatever reason. Um , so yeah , there are about 2 million of us. Uh , um , and uh , and in the yeah , the film tells our story in a , in a sense , it tells the , um , you know , it exposes the root of , um , I would say of , uh , the grave injustice we've been seeing.

S4: You know , just being there and having this rollout in the US. Like , not all the films are actually being produced from the specific area where you're living that are filming , that are showing at the San Diego Arab Film Festival. I think you have you have a very boots on the ground , you know , uh , position in all of this.

S5: Lit is , uh , is an international endeavor. Uh , my co-director is an American. I'm , like I said , a Palestinian citizens of Israel , our executive producer is Mr. Roger waters , and our other producer is , uh , Palestinian , Lebanese , British , Southern Asbury. We are an international film. And we see the case , uh , the case for Palestine as not necessarily just a Palestinian case , but a global human rights issue. Not a lot of films get made in here , uh , especially about the , uh , issue of 1948. Essentially , we created an alternate reality in which Israel doesn't exist. There are Jews , Christians and Muslims living in one place without the occupation. It's not a utopia , but it is also not an occupied , injust place.

S1: That was Lydd co-director Rami Younis , speaking with Kpbs reporter Jacob Air about the San Diego Arab Film Festival. The festival is held at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park from April 12th through the 21st. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door if they're not sold out. Coming up , a mother and daughter explore the life of an immigrant in a new picture book called Memory Garden.

S6: Even though this is an Iranian grandmother with an Iranian American little girl being her granddaughter , in the end it is the garden that belongs to all immigrants.

S1: Hear about that and more in the weekend preview. You're listening to Kpbs Midday Edition. Welcome back to Kpbs Midday Edition. I'm your host , Jade Hindman. This weekend in the arts , there's an interactive children's book launch , a classical piano superstar , a spring market , and much more. Joining me is Kpbs arts producer and editor Julia Dixon Evans with all the details. Julia , welcome.

S7: Hey , Jade. Thanks for having me. You know , it's.

S1: Always great to have you here. Um , so let's start with the children's book by Zo Rea and Suzy Ramani called Memory Garden. Yeah.

S7: Yeah. So this is a gorgeous new picture book. And the story follows a grandmother and her granddaughter as they they share a day in the garden. And it's a super simple premise , but of course , it's this opportunity for the grandmother and immigrant to share memories have of her homeland and gardening in Iran. The narrator is the granddaughter , and her understanding of her grandmother's native country is really vague , and in that way , it kind of keeps the whole thing super relatable for anyone who has maybe an immigrant grandparent or who is an immigrant themselves. I thought that was really neat how they did that. But the story and the illustrations do give a lot of clues and and vivid detail about Persian culture. It's really a lovely story.

S1: Oh that's great. And you had a chance to sit down with the creators of the book , a local mother daughter , author illustrator duo , is that correct ? Right.

S7: So both are actually really established already. You might remember Zora Armani's book Sky of Red poppies. It was the 2012 one book , one San Diego selection and the illustrator Suzy Kamani , she's famous for her boy girl party creations , and she also designs the little commemorative pin for the San Diego Book Crawl. She's also illustrated tons of books herself , including The Very Essential Stack , the cats children's book. And you know , when you hear of a of a local mother daughter collaboration on a book , you kind of imagine that they came up with this idea together , but that is not the case. The publisher connected them and didn't even know that they were related. So I started out by asking the two of them how that actually happened.

S8: So my mom had sold her manuscript to this publisher and there was no illustrator attached to it. I was desperate to illustrate it , actually. I really wanted to , but that's just not the process. Um , so the publisher came back with a suggestion. The editor knew my work on another gardening adjacent book called what Will Grow and Had sent , had sent my mom my portfolio and asked if if I would be an acceptable illustrator for the project , completely not knowing that we're related. My sister , who also shares our last name , was representing my mom as agent and called me with happy tears. You know , I think the editor didn't know that necessarily that they were related either.

S7: Oh that's incredible.

S6: I never thought I would write a picture book. For years , Suzy had told me that she would love it if someday I wrote something that she could illustrate. And when I did it , um. Lily had already told me we can't pick Suzy to be the illustrator as much as we both wanted to.

S7: And Lilly is your.

S6: Lilly is my other daughter. Yes. And so to this day , it seems like a dream. I have to pinch myself to believe it.

S7: And what was it like working on a story written by your mother and working with her ? You've illustrated so many other projects. I'm wondering how this project felt different.

S8: It felt different in every other way. I mean , I've never known any of the authors I worked with before , so part of it was sort of wanting to meet her expectations or her hopes for the book in the most positive way , not as a pressure , but , um , the nature of the story makes it also deeply personal for me. So I sort of felt like I was going through this discovery process myself of how do I know my culture ? Much like the protagonist in the book , I've never been to Iran , so I sort of thought about , well , what informs your knowledge of a culture when you haven't been to the country that it originates from ? And I really had to dive deep and think really deeply about my own experiences. So it was very revealing to me about all the ways my mom and my dad have imbued culture in my life and have , you know , have made it part of my identity through my lived experience. So , yeah , it was it was a really emotional experience and like all the positive ways and. Also the sort of , um , deep ways that the deep ways that an experience can be meaningful to you. It never felt like work.

S7: Um , I want to talk a little more about the story. Sorry. The two characters in this book are an immigrant grandmother and her granddaughter , and throughout the book , we follow them talking as they garden in the grandmother's backyard.

S6: So even though this is an Iranian grandmother with an Iranian American little girl being her granddaughter , she talks about a Persian garden. But in the end it is the garden that belongs to all immigrants. The relationship here is grandmother and granddaughter , but it can be any older immigrant with a new American child.

S7: Susie , this book is so rich with visual details , both in the present Western garden and then also in the memories of the grandmother's childhood gardens.

S8: I'm a really big outdoorsy person , and , uh , well , I'm I don't have the green thumb that my mom does for a garden. I recognize how it , in any culture , can form sort of a sanctuary , and it becomes a peaceful space that you share , that you share with the people who matter to you. So that feeling of warmth in the outdoor environment was really important for me to communicate. And then the other thing , too , was I realized a lot of my cultural experiences were through the visuals , through things like textiles and the colors of things like food. Um , I really wanted to make sure that those things that I feel intuitively about my culture were also present in the illustrations.

S7: And , uh , sorry , there's a line in your author's note that I really love. It says when you become an immigrant , a part of your past silently awaits the right moment to be passed on to the next generation.

S6: It doesn't matter how many years each involves. I came here as a young woman in her early 20s , and I've lived in this country 50 years. But when I think deep down that Persian ness has stayed with me and that that's forever part of me. Therefore , putting that out is my legacy to my children and now my grandchildren. And this is what I , I tell a lot of adults and I when I address them , even during the talks about the children's book , I tell them , within each one of you there are stories that these kids need to know. Tell them if you don't write , tape them. Make sure that the story doesn't die with us.

S1: That was author Zora Ramani and illustrator Susie Ghahraman discussing their new picture book , Memory Garden. This Saturday at noon , they'll hold an interactive storytime with art lessons , seed planting and more at the downtown library. You're listening to Kpbs Midday Edition. I'm Jade Hindman , here with Kpbs Arts producer Julia Dixon Evans , and we're discussing what's going on in the arts and culture scene this weekend. And there's a big concert at the shell Friday night. Let's talk about piano player Lang Lang and what he's performing with the San Diego Symphony. Yeah.

S7: So Lang Lang is like a classical music superstar , basically. He has such an incredible style and stage presence , and he recently released an album of music by the composer , sensations , and he will be playing a couple of Saint-Saens pieces with the symphony. For one of them , he'll be joined by his wife , piano player Gina Alice Redlener , and they will perform Carnival of the animals , which is a lovely piece. This is our recording of them playing the aquarium movement , one of the kind of more recognizable pieces. And the symphony will also play a piece by contemporary Dutch composer Joey Hawkins. It's called 365 , which is 365 measures long and kind of mimics the rhythm of the year. And this is all Friday Night at the shell.

S1: Sounds like a lovely time. This weekend is the second Saturday of the month , which means it's barrio Art crawl. Tell us about. That.

S7: That. Yeah. So barrio Art crawl is a monthly self-guided art tour and festival. It's every second Saturday along Logan Avenue in Barrio Logan. It runs from noon to 8 p.m. and there's food open studios and galleries. There's a ton of shops along the route and also music performances kind of peppered throughout throughout the area. And one highlight this weekend is an exhibit by the artist Panca. It's at this small gallery inside the books , and I love polkas , art. She has these vivid , recognizable characters and kind of these street art aesthetics , and it's opening at the gallery during the art crawl that's at one end of the crawl. And then also don't miss the barrio Art Crawl Gallery , the newly opened official gallery space for the crawl that's at 2113 Logan Avenue. And then if you head over a few more blocks to Brett and Saw , you can see all of the exhibits on view there. There's a closing reception at Best Practice and then at chance. If you haven't yet to check out Tara around schools. Really incredible interactive maze installation that's at Athenaeum Art center in in Bread and Salt.

S1: All right. And in North County , there's a new play opening at New Village Arts in Carlsbad. And so this is a spoof of an Alfred Hitchcock movie , right ? Right.

S7: It's called the 39 steps , and it's directed by New Village Arts own A.J. Knox. And it stars Dallas McLaughlin and Erica Marie Weiss. And the story follows a man who is wrongfully accused of murder after a woman is found dead in his apartment. And the Hitchcock movie is this spy thriller. And then this spoof stage adaptation , this is by playwright Patrick Barlow. It leans into the kind of absurdity of the whole thing. That's a lot of comedy and a lot of physical humor. And the show is in previews right now. If you're looking for a lower cost option , the shows through Friday night or the preview pricing , and then opening night is Saturday , and this is at New Village Arts in Carlsbad , right in the heart of the village on State Street.

S1: Lots to see there. And finally , the San Diego made Spring Market takes place this weekend in the la mesa village. This is a huge pop up market with local creatives , local musicians , and lots of great food.

S7: There's usually an entrance fee , so that is on my radar and there are hundreds of booths. There's an interactive community art installation , and there'll be performances for musicians , a bunch of locals , including a band that caught my attention at last year's Spring Market. It's the Fernandez. There are two teenage sisters who are super talented and yeah , the whole market is from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. along la mesa Boulevard , right between Spring Street and fourth Street.

S1: All right. You can find details on these and more arts events , and sign up for your weekly Kpbs arts newsletter at Kpbs. Org Slash Arts I've been speaking with Kpbs Arts producer and editor Julia Dixon Evans. Julia , as always , thanks.

S7: Of course. Great to be here.

S1: That's our show for today. If you missed it , you can always download the Midday Edition podcast wherever you listen. Don't forget to watch Evening Edition tonight at five for in-depth coverage of Sandiego issues. The roundtable is here tomorrow at noon. But before we go , I'd like to thank our Midday Edition team producers Giuliana Domingo , Andrew Bracken , Brooke Ruth and Ashley Rush , art segment contributors Julia Dixon Evans and Jacob Ayer , technical producers Rebecca Chacon , Ben Redlich and Brandon True. For the Midday Edition , theme music you hear is from San Diego's own The Surefire Soul Ensemble. I'm your host , Jade Hindman. I'll see you back here Monday. Until then , have a great day on purpose.

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Best selling author Don Winslow is pictured here.
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On KPBS Midday Edition: Best selling author Don Winslow is out with his last book, 'City in Ruins;' a sneak peak of the San Diego Arab Film Festival, and a preview of arts and culture events happening this weekend.

International best-selling author Don Winslow, local to San Diego, has released his last novel in the Danny Ryan trilogy: 'City in Ruins.' In his final book, we meet billionaire gambling mogul Ryan in the Las Vegas strip.

On Midday Edition Thursday, we hear about Winslow's plan to retire from novel writing. He intends to focus on political activism ahead of the November election.

Also, a sneak peak of the 13th San Diego Arab Film Festival, which runs from April 12-21. Eight screenings will each showcase one feature film and one short film from across the Arab world.

And Julia Dixon Evans sits down with a mother-daughter author-illustrator duo to discuss their children's book 'Memory Garden,' ahead of an interactive storytime event this weekend. Plus, other arts and culture events happening around town.