Literary gossip columnists, political poets, cranky lefties, and singing novelists are just some of the characters traipsing through Boston this spring to promote their new books.
AGONY AUNT Cheryl Strayed — a/k/a advice columnist Sugar — reads from her new memoir at Brookline Booksmith.
CHERYL STRAYED | March 28 | Sugar, the once-anonymous agony aunt over at The Rumpus (.net) is so popular that most of her columns elicit several dozen comments in which her readers admit to applauding and/or weeping at her advice. In February, it was revealed that Sugar is the novelist Cheryl Strayed; she'll visit the Booksmith to read from her forthcoming memoir, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest (Knopf). | Brookline Booksmith | 279 Harvard St., Brookline | 7pm | 617.566.6660 or brooklinebooksmith.com
THE BAFFLER LAUNCH PARTY | April 9 | Before he was a Harper's columnist, a bestselling author, or the definitive voice of irate progressives, Thomas Frank was the editor of The Baffler, a very funny, frequently brilliant little magazine about politics and culture. He'll celebrate the magazine's long-awaited return with its new editor, John Summers, at Harvard Book Store. (Disclosure: I'm a contributing editor.) | Harvard Book Store, 1256 Mass Ave, Cambridge | 7 pm | free | harvard.com
RICK MOODY + TANYA DONELLY | April 10 | In the decade since the author of The Ice Storm was last a precocious darling of the literary fiction scene, his interests have turned increasingly towards music. While critics (unfairly) panned the two novels he wrote in that time, he sang with One Ring Zero and formed his very own band. At his Newton appearance for his new essay collection, On Celestial Music: And Other Adventures in Listening (Back Bay Books), he'll be joined by Tanya Donelly of Throwing Muses and Belly. | Newtonville Books | 10 Langley Road, Newton Centre | 7 pm | newtonvillebooks.com
AMELIA GRAY | April 11 | Here's your chance to see that exceedingly rare thing: an experimental fiction writer whose work generated enough attention to be signed to a major publisher. Amelia Gray's first book was put out by tiny Chicago publisher Featherproof Books; her next by FC2. Now she's in town to read from her extra-weird first novel, Threats, out on Farrar, Straus and Giroux.| Brookline Booksmith| 279 Harvard St., Brookline | 7 pm | 617.566.6660 or brooklinebooksmith.com
ANNE PERRY | April 17 | Before and after Peter Jackson immortalized her murderous childhood in Heavenly Creatures, Anne Perry wrote a rich catalog of historical mysteries. She visits Boston from her home in the Scottish Highlands to read from her latest Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novel, Dorchester Terrace (Ballantine). | Boston Public Library, Rabb Lecture Hall, 700 Boylston St, Copley Square, Boston | 6 pm | Free | 617.536.5400 or bpl.org
ALISON BECHDEL | May 2 | Fun Home, Alison Bechdel's last graphic novel, saturated the greater literary landscape in a way that few others have. In Are You My Mother? (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) — not to be confused with the P.D. Eastman classic — Bechdel mines her fraught relationship with her icy, thwarted maternal unit; Gloria Steinem compares it to "a comic book by Virginia Woolf."| Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St, Cambridge | 6 pm | $5 | 617.661.1515 or harvard.com