THURSDAY 5/18

Riding With Strangers
A "fascinating tale" about Elijah Wald's experiences hitchhiking across the country. Is that really fascinating? I vote "cocktail party fascinating," but not "buy the hardcover fascinating." Powell's Books on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne, 238-1668, 7:30 pm, free

DBC Pierre
After Pierre (DBC standing for Dirty but Clean) won the Booker Prize in 2003 for Vernon God Little, he described himself as a "freak, dickhead, arsehole, dumb, farting machine, awkward and bumbling." Tonight, watch the farting machine read from his new book, Ludmila's Broken English, about conjoined twins enjoying their newfound individuality. Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, 228-4651, 7:30 pm, free

FRIDAY 5/19

Absurdistan
Gary Shteyngart (The Russian Debutante's Handbook)'s new novel is about an oafish Russian émigré who has ingrained himself fully to the American lifestyle. When he's denied reentry to the States after his father kills an Oklahoman, Misha writes a plea to the INS, professing his love for America, and this plea constitutes the novel Absurdistan. Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, 228-4651, 7:30 pm, free

SUNDAY 5/21

Tom Spanbauer
See review this issue. Powell's Books on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne, 238-1668, 6 pm, free

MONDAY 5/22

Poetry Northwest Happy Hour
The folks at Poetry Northwest indeed have something to be happy about: The new issue is their best yet! Raise a toast to their efforts (in iambic pentameter, of course). Blue Monk, 3341 SE Belmont, , 5-7 pm

Support The Portland Mercury

Peter Rock and Rachel Sherman
See My, What a Busy Week, pg. 23. Powell's Books on Hawthorne, 3723 SE Hawthorne, 238-1668, 7:30 pm, free

WEDNESDAY 5/24

Spork Magazine Reading
The new issue of Spork, the super-stylish, ultra-hip literary journal, was edited by none other than local literary everywhereman Kevin Sampsell. The issue is chock full o' Portland writers, and tonight there's going to be a little shindig with Paul Tobin, David Barker, San Francisco comedian Mary Van Note, and many more. Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi, 288-3231, 7 pm, free

Sponsored
SLAY Film Fest
In person at the Clinton St. Theater 10/29 & 10/30