The celebrated novelist writes in his memoir Little Failure that his last name, with its “insane, Sovietized spelling” and eye-watering consonants, has “cost me a lot of human warmth.” He quotes a giggling receptionist going, “Mr., uh, I can’t pronounce this… ShitShitShitfart?” He discusses getting circumcised in second grade, doing psychedelic mushrooms at Oberlin, having a panic attack at Strand Bookstore, plus the horrors of Hitler and Stalin: “As I march my relatives across the pages of this book, please remember that I am alsomarching them toward their graves and that they will most likely meet their ends in some of the worst ways imaginable.” (Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave, townhallseattle.org, 7:30 pm, $30/includes copy of the book)