Set against the stark, isolated landscape of rural Idaho, Heather Sharfeddin's contemporary Western debut explores themes of racism, loneliness, and drug abuse in the dark mountain ranges of sleepy Sweetwater. Annie Bloom's Books, 7834 SW Capitol Hwy, 246-0053, 7:30 pm, free

FRIDAY 10/21

Big Lonesome
Jim Ruland's debut short story collection reimagines America's history, casting Dick Tracy as a San Fernando Valley detective, dropping Little Red Riding Hood into Nazi Germany, and exploring Popeye the Sailor's sordid past. Reading Frenzy, 921 SW Oak, 274-1449, 7 pm, free


Pam Ore, Vanessa Place, Teresa Carmody
Check out this hat trick of women authors: Ore's first collection of poetry, Grammar of the Cage, poses tough questions about our relationship to nature; Dies: A Sentence by Place is a 117-page run-on sentence (much like this very listing); and Carmody's collection of short stories about Midwesterners, Requiem, is titled with one of the coolest words in the English language. In Other Words, 3734 SE Hawthorne, 232-6003, 3 pm, free

MONDAY 10/24

San Francisco Noir
The fine folks who brought you the pot boiling anthology Brooklyn Noir turn their sights to our Rice-A-Roni neighbors to the south, as Peter Maravelis, Peter Plate, Kate Braveman, and Robert Mailer read from their hard-hitting San Francisco stories. Powell's Books on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne, 238-1668, 7:30 pm, free


Chris Elliott
See Destination Fun, pg. 25. Powell's Books on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne, 238-1668, 7:30 pm, free

Politics: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
As part of their Civility in Politics series, Lewis & Clark has invited Former US Representative Dan Rostenkowski (D-Ill.) to discuss his 36 years in Congress. In 1994 Rostenkowski was indicted on corruption charges and left office. In 1996, he pled guilty to mail fraud and was sentenced to 17 months in federal prison. Bill Clinton pardoned the fallen Congressman in 2000, an act that would be considered both civil and political. Templeton Student Center, Lewis & Clark College, 0615 SW Palatine Hill Road, 768-7381, 6:30 pm, free


Sarah Vowell to Benefit Write Around Portland
See Destination Fun, pg. 25. Powell's, at First Congregational Church, 1126 SW Park, 228-4651, 6:30 pm, $25-60