View site in English, Español, or Français
The fair-trade ticketing company.
Sign Me Up!  |  Log In
Find An Event Create Your Event Help
Alix Christie on Gutenberg's Apprentice / The Booksmith at Arion Press
Arion Press
San Francisco, CA
Share this event:

6:00 PM reception, 7:00 PM program  at Arion Press/Mackenzie & Harris (The Presidio, 1802 Hays Street, San Francisco) Please RSVP here!

Meet novelist Alix Christie at the Bay Area site that inspired her childhood passion for metal type, the M & H foundry, now run by Arion Press.

Before there was Zuckerberg there was Gutenberg. Alix Christie plunges us into the world of a more than 500-year-old technological revolution that bears some startling similarities to our own digital transformation.
The year is 1450, and Peter Schoeffer, an ambitious young scribe, is called back from Paris to Mainz, his hometown on the Rhine. There he is unwillingly thrust into a workshop financed by his foster father, the forward-looking merchant Johann Fust. It is a strange, dark place run by a driven master named Johann Gutenberg, its purpose the manufacture of books in a new  and to some, blasphemous  way: with a secret invention known as a printing press.

It is a period of great ferment in a turbulent Holy Roman Empire: Newly wealthy merchants in their Kaufhaus are angling for power; a corrupt Archbishop duels with the Pope; scribes copy both religious and secular texts while priests milk a deeply religious populace for indulgences. Against this backdrop, Schoeffer finds himself torn between two father-figures, between resentment and grudging love for a master both brilliant and stormy, and between hiding or revealing this shocking invention from the woman he loves. As he moves from reluctant apprentice to overseer of a book that will change the world, Peter must steer the Bible and the crew of men creating it through a cataclysmic time, while battling to prevail against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, none greater than the crushing power of the Catholic Church.

Like all of us today, Peter Schoeffer straddles an unnerving and exhilarating fissure between the old ways and the new. At its heart, GUTENBERG'S APPRENTICE is both a story about loyalty, betrayal and the price of true human greatness, and a parable of technological transformation.

Alix Christie grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and is an author, journalist and letterpress printer. She learned the craft of letterpress printing as an apprentice to two master California printers, including her grandfather, the foreman of the last hot type foundry in San Francisco, Mackenzie & Harris, which continues as the nation's last commercial foundry, operating in the Presidio as part of Arion Press. Alix owns and operates a 1910 Chandler & Price letterpress. Christie earned her MFA from St Mary's College, where she studied under Michael Chabon and Susan Straight. She currently lives in London, where she reviews books and arts for The Economist. GUTENBERG'S APPRENTICE is her first novel.
Registration Options
There are no active dates for this event.



Arion Press (View)
1802 Hays Street in the Presidio
San Francisco, CA 94129
United States

Map is loading...


Arts > Literary
Other > Technology

Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


Contact us
24/7 Customer Service
1-800-838-3006 US, Canada, Puerto Rico
Ticket Buyers
Track Your Order
Browse Events
Event Producers
Create an Event
Buy Pre-Printed Tickets
The Venue List
Join the mailing list
Get spam-free daily notifications of new events in your neighborhood!
Customize your mailing list
Connect with us
Friend us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Watch us on YouTube
Read our blog
Get to know us
Meet the Doers
Use of this service is subject to the Terms & Conditions of Brown Paper Tickets. All rights reserved. © 2000-2017 Mobile EN ES FR