No Events in the Works (2009)

(December 2009)

No readings or events are currently planned. Anyone interested  in hosting one in the San Francisco Bay Area should email [email protected]. Thank you.

All Readings Postponed (2007)

(April 2007)

Dear friends, relatives, colleagues, Decca fans and the just-plain-curious,

Because of a health emergency I have postponed all readings and other events for my book “Decca: The Letters of Jessica Mitford.” Here’s a quick and simplistic update on a very complex series of procedures:

The fusions for my previous spinal operation, performed six years ago, have been degrading for some time. In recent months — and days — new problems have developed that are compressing my spinal cord and dramatically increasing my pain and limiting movement. The pain has now become excruciating and intolerable.

Therefore, early on Thursday, April 19, I will be entering UCSF Medical Center for what is expected to be a full day of back surgery. I am scheduled for a smaller, follow-up operation on Tuesday, April 24, and will be released about the weekend of April 28-29 for a lengthy period of rehab and physical therapy.

Because of the speed with which this has happened, I am taking this impersonal means to notify all those who should have been notified in person but could not be. I do not know yet if or when I will have access to computer or phone while I’m in the hospital.

Thank you all for your interest and support.


Update – May 9, 2007

I returned home yesterday, weak but elated, from the second of two hospitals — a week at Alta Bates’ capable rehab hospital in Berkeley. I am weak and unable to contact all well-wishers in person, but I am very grateful for your support throughout. There will be a several-month period of recuperation and further rehab, but so far there have been no untoward surprises and I have no reason to expect any.

Thanks again to all for your support during the rapid onset of this month of horrors.


Oakland Library – Rockridge

May 29, 2008, 7 p.m. The first reading in Jessica Mitford’s hometown, at the Rockridge branch of the Oakland Public Library, 5366 College Avenue, near the Rockridge BART station.

Pleasanton Library Reading

March 18, 2007, 2 p.m. Peter Sussman will read from and discuss Decca at the Pleasanton Public Library, 400 Old Bernal Avenue, Pleasanton, Calif. 94566.

Decca will be available for purchase at Towne Center Books in Pleasanton and at the library event.

All library programs are free and open to everyone.

A special feature of this event will be the presence of C-Span’s 45-foot-long Book Bus, which travels the country interviewing authors. The mobile production studio will be parked outside the library and open to the public after 1 p.m. BookTV will be interviewing Peter Sussman for future broadcast.

For more information, please call Penny Johnson at (925) 931-3405.

BookShop West Portal, S.F.

January 26, 2007, 7 p.m. Peter Sussman will be reading from and discussing Decca at BookShop West Portal, 80 West Portal Avenue.

Berkeley reading

January 17, 2007, 7:30 p.m. Peter Sussman will be reading from and discussing Decca at the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant Avenue, Berkeley. This event is open to the public as well as to club members. Books will not be sold at the reading, so if you would like a book signed, BYOB! For information, call (510) 883-9710 or (510) 848-7800.

Adelaide radio interview

December 18th (Australian time), 2006. Peter Sussman will be interviewed on “Evenings with Peter Goers” on ABC’s Adelaide affiliate. The show airs from 7-10 p.m.

Capitola Book Cafe

December 14, 2006, 7:30 p.m. Peter Sussman will m.c. a reading by two friends and admirers of Jessica Mitford, her dear longtime friend Marge Frantz and actress Billie Harris. The Book Cafe is at 1475 41st Avenue, Capitola, Calif.

New York City readings

December 12. Peter Sussman and Constancia (Dinky) Romilly, Jessica Mitford’s daughter, will discuss and read from Decca at two readings, one at noon and one at 7 p.m., at the Library of the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen, 20 West 44th Street (between 5th and 6th Avnues), Manhattan. $10 general admission, $5 for Library subscribers, students and seniors. Reservations strongly suggested. Tickets available at (212) 921-1767 or here. Light refreshments will be served. This event is co-sponsored by Alfred A. Knopf, publisher, and the Library of the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen. Proceeds will benefit the Library.

NYC Interview – Leonard Lopate

December 11, from 12:40 p.m. to 1 p.m. Interview on the Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC (93.9 FM, 820 AM).

Monterey radio and web interview

December 7. Peter Sussman will be interviewed on Tony Seton’s talk show “America Back on Track,” broadcast from noon to 1 on KRML 1410-AM, in Monterey, Calif., and streamed live at The 10-minute live interview will be aired at approximately 12:40 p.m. Pacific time.

Books Inc., Mountain View

December 5, 7:30 p.m. Peter Sussman will read from Decca at Books Inc., 301 Castro Street, Mountain View, Calif.

BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week

November 20-24 (and continuing for a few days thereafter). Daily readings from Decca by actress Rosamund Pike, narrated by actor Tom Chadbon. The programs are available here for a week following the initial broadcast of each installment, with each episode replaced as the following week’s book is read on that day.

Book Passage, Corte Madera

jessica-powell-lo-res.jpgNovember 28. Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd., Corte Madera. Actress Jessica Powell will read from Jessica Mitford’s letters, with introductions by Peter Sussman.

Cody’s downtown San Francisco

November 27, 7 p.m. Peter Sussman will read from Decca at Cody’s downtown San Francisco, 2 Stockton Street. (Postponed from November 8.)

J.K. Rowling & other reviews

November 5. The Sunday Telegraph’s Seven magazine published exclusive extracts from Decca and a review by J.K. Rowling. (See excerpts from this and other reviews here).

A bestseller in Canada

November 2. DECCA made its debut on Canada’s best-seller list — No. 5 on the list of the 10 best-selling nonfiction books — as compiled by Macleans magazine.

Mrs. Dalloway’s, Berkeley

barbara-oliver.jpgNovember 6, 7:30 p.m. Mrs. Dalloway’s, 2904 College Avenue, Berkeley. Actress Barbara Oliver reads selections from the letters in Decca, with introductions by Peter Sussman. Details here.

KPFA Benefit Reading

October 29, 7 p.m. King Middle School, 1781 Rose Street, Berkeley. “Celebrating Decca,” a KPFA benefit reading from the letters in Decca, featuring her friends, family and admirers. Click here for further details. Tickets are available at supportive independent bookstores and online through KPFA.

West Coast Live

October 14, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Appearance on “West Coast Live,” broadcast in the San Francisco Bay Area on KALW, 91.5 FM, and syndicated nationally. To attend in person, at the Empire Plush Room in San Francisco, make reservations at (415) 664-9500, or through Ticketweb. Click here for a list of local affiliate stations around the country.