Christopher Sorrentino
In his second novel, Trance, Sorrentino blends fact and fiction to address the absurd 1974 kidnapping of Patty Hearst by the Symbionese Liberation Army. Powell's Books on Hawthorne , 3723 SE Hawthorne, 238-1668, 7:30 pm

Edith Mirante
Mirante's book Down the Rat Hole is a chronicle of her adventures breaking various international laws and infiltrating borders as she journeyed through China, India, Laos, and Bangladesh, all in the name of garnering and distributing information on Burma's struggle for freedom. Powell's City of Books , 1005 W Burnside, 228-4651, 7:30 pm


Used Book Buyback
Once again, Powell's opens up its entire warehouse to buy your used books. It's just like selling books at the normal stores, 'cept you can bring 'em in by the truckload instead of the three tattered Safeway bags you used last time. Powell's Warehouse , 2720 NW 29th, Sat-Sun 9 am - 5 pm


Mark Helprin
All we know about Helprin is that this Mormon chick we had a crush on in high school loved the shit out of him and tried to get us to read him every day in Public Speaking class. And we almost did, but then we didn't, which maybe means that us and that God fearing lass just weren't meant to be. Oh, Megan Pugmire, where oh where can you be...? Oh, and Freddy and Fredericka is Helprin's first novel in 10 years. Powell's City of Books , 1005 W Burnside, 228-4651, 7:30 pm


Lisa See
Super-intelligent Chinese American writer Lisa See (Dragon Bones, On Gold Mountain) presents her latest, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, about female friendship in oppressive 19th-century China. Powell's City of Books , 1005 W Burnside, 228-4651, 7:30 pm

The Back Room
You already love restaurant ripe for its eclectic family supper dining experience--now get some culture with your cuisine courtesy of ripe writer in residence and Clear Cut Press editor Matthew Stadler and Marriage Records honcho Curtis Knapp. The duo presents The Back Room, a series of musical/intellectual presentations by Portland notables. Tonight kicks the thing off with departing, very sharp Oregonian architecture critic Randy Gragg, Office of Sustainable Development bigwig Ron Paul, and a performance by the Watery Graves. ripe , 2240 N Interstate, 235-2294, 7 pm, $35


Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
God, the strange hobby of knitting has gotten so popular, we've caught decidedly un-matronly hipsters going at it in the middle of bars. Pearl-McPhee attempts to explain the obsession in the unfortunately titled At Knit's End. Powell's City of Books , 1005 W Burnside St., 228-4651, 7:30 pm