KAREN ABBOTT | Brookline Booksmith | January 26 | USA Today called Karen Abbott's first book, Sin in the Second City, "sizzle history." American Rose: A Nation Laid Bare — The Life and Times of Gypsy Rose Lee, Abbott's account of the burlesque superstar, follows suit. Gypsy's story, steeped in the glamour of the jazz-age underworld, reproaches today's relatively boring celebrities (with the exception of the excitingly sleazy Nicolas Cage).

279 Harvard St, Brookline | 7pm | Free | 617.566.6660 or brooklinebooksmith.com

Andre Dubus III

V.S. RAMACHANDRAN | Brattle Theatre | February 2 | In its review of V.S. Ramachandran's The Tell-Tale Brain: Unlocking the Mystery of Human Nature (William Heinemann), Booklist deemed the 21st century the age of neuroscience. If this is true, Ramachandran has done much to make it so. The scientist is so famous that his work has found its way into a plot point of the TV medical drama House.

40 Brattle St, Cambridge | 6 pm | $5 | 617.661.1515 or harvard.com

JAIMY GORDON | Brookline Booksmith | February 11 | Before Jaimy Gordon won the National Book Award last year, she wasn't exactly what anyone might call famous; her tiny publisher, MacPherson and Company, didn't send her on a fancy book tour for Lord of Misrule. Now they have.

279 Harvard St, Brookline | 7pm | Free | 617.566.6660 or brooklinebooksmith.com

ANDRE DUBUS III | Brattle Theatre | March 1 | Richard Russo won a Pulitzer Prize for his unsparing portrayal of a New England mill town in Empire Falls. He adored Townie (W.W. Norton), Dubus's memoir about growing up in same: "I've never read a better or more serious meditation on violence," Russo writes. "It's a brutal and, yes, thrilling memoir."

40 Brattle St, Cambridge | 6 pm | $5 | 617.661.1515 or harvard.com

JODI PICOULT | Coolidge Corner Theatre | March 2 | The commercial success of Jodi Picoult's novels has caused her to transcend the label of mere writer; she's now approaching force of nature. Her Boston appearance offers a chance to see her read from her forthcoming novel, Sing You Home (Atria), before she reaches apotheosis. Intrepid audience members are encouraged to shout out "Franzen!" during any lulls.

290 Harvard St, Brookline | 6 pm | $5 | 617.566.6660 or brooklinebooksmith.com

JONATHAN COE AND WESLEY STACE | Newtonville Books | March 9 | Jonathan Coe has been writing charming, English social satire for years. His latest novel, The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Slim (Knopf), contends with social networking. Fellow English guy Wesley Stace — known to middle-aged folk-music fans by his stage name, John Wesley Harding — tours the US release of his acclaimed third novel, Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer (Picador).

296 Walnut St, Newtonville | 7 pm | Free | 617.244.6619 or newtonvillebooks.com

DEB OLIN UNFERTH | Brookline Booksmith | March 15 | It should surprise no one that the extraordinary writer Deb Olin Unferth once ran away to Nicaragua to join the Sandinistas. She has recorded the experience in her forthcoming memoir, Revolution: The Year I Fell in Love and Went To Join the War (Henry Holt). In Vacation, Unferth's astonishing 2008 debut novel, a man wanders around South America with a brain injury. Now we know why.

279 Harvard St, Brookline | 7pm | Free | 617.566.6660 or brooklinebooksmith.com

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