STOCKING STUFFER: With Simple Times, Amy Sedaris fashions “crafts for poor people.”
Two Sedarises, two New Yorker favorites, and a famous neurologist are among the highlights of this fall’s book events.
“SO YOU WANT TO BE A WRITER” | September 28 | At long last, an author event where questions about process won’t send eyes rolling. Grub Street presents a roundtable discussion for aspiring writers whose participants include three novelists (Michelle Hoover, Jill McDonough, Chris Castellani) and a journalist who wrote a book about LARPing (Ethan Gilsdorf). | Porter Square Books, Porter Square Shopping Center, Cambridge | 7pm | Free | 617.491.2220 or portersquarebooks.com
SMALL PRESS SATURDAY | October 2 | Five authors published by four local and national small presses will show major publishers exactly what they’re missing. Adam Golaski (Rose Metal Press), Joseph McElroy (Small Anchor Press), Sumanth Prabhaker (Madras Press), and William Walsh and Myfanwy Collins (Dzanc), plus others, will read their work. | Newtonville Books, 296 Walnut St, Newtonville | 2 pm | Free | 617.244.6619 or newtonvillebooks.com
MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM | October 6 | Five years have passed since Michael Cunningham’s previous novel, 12 since he published his Pulitzer-winning blockbuster, The Hours. Now he turns an eye to a cadre of soigné New York artistes in the throes of middle age. Will By Nightfall (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) occasion Nicole Kidman to wear a prosthetic nose? One can always hope. | Boston Public Library Abbey Room, Copley Square, Boston | 6 pm | Free | 617.536.5400 or bpl.org
CHARLES OLSON CENTENNIAL | October 9 | Poets Michael Rumaker and Diane DiPrima (poet laureate of San Francisco) were great pals of Charles Olson — Rumaker even wrote a book about his days as Olson’s student at Black Mountain College. Their reading is part of Gloucester’s week-long celebration honoring the 100th birthday of its most renowned poet. | Unitarian Universalist Church, 10 Church St, Gloucester | 7 pm | Free | 978.283.4582 or Olson100.blogspot.com
BOSTON BOOK FESTIVAL | October 16 | This free, day-long extravaganza brings dozens of writers together for readings, signings, and panels. Everyone from Ashbrook, Tom to Zheng, Da will make an appearance. Celebrity book-jacket designer Chip Kidd and the astonishingly prolific Joyce Carol Oates are among the more recognizable of the participants. | Copley Square, Boston | 617.252.3240 or bostonbookfest.org
DINAW MENGESTU | October 25 | Dinaw Mengestu represents 1/20th of those the New Yorker has anointed the best fiction writers under 40, and for good reason — his debut, The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, offered an exquisitely heartbreaking take on the struggles of Ethiopian immigrants. How To Read the Air (Riverhead) expands his scope across generations and continents. | Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard St, Brookline | 7 pm | Free | 617.566.6660 or brooklinebooksmith.com