MR. WONDERFUL Daniel Clowes will come to Brookline Booksmith to talk about his graphic novel, which was first serialized in the New York Times Magazine.
America’s best young novelist, Britain’s most popular mystery writer, a bearded indie rocker, and a dead master populate this spring’s mandatory literary events.
KATE ATKINSON | March 30 | The melancholic, semi-retired private investigator Jackson Brodie returns in Started Early, Took My Dog (Reagan Arthur Books), a serial mystery named after an Emily Dickinson poem. This time, Brodie is mooching around Northern England, looking at ruined abbeys and searching for clues in a mysterious adoption. | Porter Square Books, Porter Square Shopping Center, Cambridge | 7 pm | free | portersquarebooks.com.
DIANE ACKERMAN | April 5 | In Ackerman’s latest book, the reigning queen of elegiac natural history examines some sad events in her own life. One Hundred Names for Love (W.W. Norton) discusses what happened when Ackerman’s husband, the novelist Paul West, suffered a massive stroke that rendered him speechless. | Boston Public Library, Rabb Lecture Hall, Copley Square, Boston | 6 pm | free | bpl.org.
PALE KING RELEASE PARTY | April 16 | Newtonville Books and Grub Street will give fans of the late David Foster Wallace the chance to mourn him in public upon the release of his posthumous novel, The Pale King (Little, Brown). Although the book is an extended meditation on boredom, Wallace fans might feel differently thanks to readily available alcohol and a lecture from Harvard creative-writing professor Bret Antony Johnston. Those who buy the book in advance of the reading get a discount and a free drink. | Union Street Restaurant, 107 Union St, Newtonville | 2 pm | free | newtonvillebooks.com.
WILL OLDHAM | April 26 | America’s pre-eminent bearded indie rocker will visit Boston to read from Rudolph Wurlitzer’s classic novel of the cinema, Slow Fade, for which he has recorded the audio book on Drag City Records. Ben Chasney of Six Organs of Admittance will provide musical accompaniment. | Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St, Brookline | 6 pm | brooklinebooksmith.com.
DANIEL CLOWES | May 4 | Mr. Wonderful (Pantheon), the Eisner Award–winning graphic novel serialized in the New York Times Magazine, offers up a blind date saturated with the kind of exquisite alienation Dan Clowes fans have come to expect. | Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard St, Brookline | 7 pm | free | brooklinebooksmith.com.
FRANCINE PROSE | May 11 | Five years after A Changed Man, novelist and critic Francine Prose returns with another American allegory. My New American Life (Harper) is about a young Bosnian named Lula who can’t shake her past. | Harvard Book Store, 1256 Mass Ave, Cambridge | 7 pm | free | harvard.com.
CHRIS ADRIAN | May 16 | Is Chris Adrian the best young novelist writing today? Probably. His debut, Gob’s Grief, was a strange, magical take on historical fiction that left readers in great, heaving sobs. His second novel, The Children’s Hospital, offered a beguiling vision of the apocalypse that caused many a reader to weep for days. The Great Night (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) is moderately lighter fare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream set in contemporary San Francisco. Readers seeking weepy catharsis, don’t fret — there are still plenty of dead children. | Harvard Book Store, 1256 Mass Ave, Cambridge | 7 pm | free | harvard.com.