Booker Prize-winning author Atwood (The Blind Assassin) births her latest postapocalyptic mess of a world with Oryx and Crake, a discombobulated tale of the last man on Earth and how he came to be that way. University of Washington, Kane Hall, Room 130, 634-3400, 7 pm, free.
New York Observer columnist Doonan (Confessions of a Window Dresser) ponces his way through a series of diva-worshipping vignettes in Wacky Chicks, a handful of stories highlighting the lives of his beloved female acquaintances. Third Place Books, 17171 Bothell Way NE, 366-3333, 7 pm, free.
DEBRA MAGPIE EARLING
The death knell of the promising debut novel begins haunting Earling's Perma Red, a virgin work about some sordid characters on a Montana Indian reservation. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave, downstairs, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
Dr. Hallowell, author of a slew of self-help works on parenting, presents a lecture for overly invested breeders. Town Hall, 624-6600, 7 pm, $15.
We're fucked, and it's all our fault. Heinberg lays out some additional facts to support the notion that we've been forced to cope with since grade school in The Party's Over, about the depletion of oil reserves. Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 S Main St, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
Lake signs her memoir in motor, Zero to Fifty, the story of her lifelong relationship with the automobile. Bailey/Coy Books, 414 Broadway E, 323-8842, 7 pm, free. [Note: Zac, I think you should have said a little more than this, seeing that our boss, Dan Savage, blurbed the book--a strange thing for him to have done, as, like me, he doesn't know how to drive. --Charles Mudede]
Noble translator O'Connor presents Where the World Does Not Follow, a collection of Buddhist poetry from China. Open Books: A Poem Emporium, 2414 N 45th St, 633-0811, 7:30 pm, free.
Wildlife photographer Banerjee signs Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, his collection of photographs depicting polar bears in snowstorms. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
Beware any book that equates numerals with spiritual or personal enlightenment. The Unconditional Bliss author signs Setting Your Heart on Fire: Seven Invitations to Liberate Your Life. Third Place Books, 366-3333, 6:30 pm, free.
I don't read books, but if I did, the first author I'd read would be Tom Robbins. Which is precisely why I don't read books. University Bookstore, 4326 University Way NE, 634-3400, 7 pm, free. [Note: Nothing you say or do, Zac, will prevent this reading from being jam-packed. Also, please don't tell our readers--the precious few we have--that you, my assistant on the books section, don't read; it really makes my job more difficult. --Charles Mudede.]
See Stranger Suggests. Noted more for her mammary glands than her scientific pursuits, former prostitute/porn star Sprinkle appears as part of ConWorks' Sex series, demystifying every single fucking inch of the female anatomy. Consolidated Works, 500 Boren Ave N, 860-5245, 8 pm, free. Also, Sat at 8 pm.
A "revolution of kindness" precedes Wagner's Life As a Daymaker, a self-help book of sorts that expounds on all those affirmative bumper stickers your "goddess" officemate is so fond of. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 5 pm, free.
Those commie hipsters of the '60s and where they went wrong: Elbaum discusses Revolution in the Air, a deconstruction of the impossible task of defeating capitalism while simultaneously dressing really cool. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 1:30 pm, free.
Race relations and deep secrets: Revoyr has followed Necessary Hunger with a novel about family history, spanning five decades of confidence. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
A selection of short stories, as the title suggests, read by quasi-famous actors, including Fionnula Flanagan, Freda Foh Shen, and host Isaiah Sheffer. Town Hall, 624-6600, 8 pm, $20.
LUCY JANE BLEDSOE
Always with the family secrets! Award-winning author Bledsoe signs This Wild Silence, the story of sisters living under a thick cloud of guilt. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 2 pm, free.
TODD JAMES PIERCE
The Australian Stories, Pierce's first novel (actually, a series of linked short stories), tells the tale of an American revisiting his Australian roots in a series of life-spanning vignettes. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 4 pm, free.
* PAUL R. BRASS
Allegorically equating the insular religious conflicts of an Indian city with that of the entire world, Brass suggests a vision of possible clarity with The Production of Hindu-Muslim Violence in Contemporary India. University of Washington, Kane Hall, Walker-Ames Room, 634-3400, 7 pm, free.
Best-selling children's author Colfer continues his bid for the lucrative Potter throne with the third installment of the Artemis Fowl series, The Eternity Code. University Bookstore, 634-3400, 7 pm, free.
Roach's necro-obsessions are revealed in her tell-all about the secret lives of the dead, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. Zeitgeist, 171 S Jackson St, 728-1966, 7 pm, free.
In King Bongo, a high-rolling insurance agent is unwittingly thrown into a mess of confusion when his sister disappears in the streets of 1950s Havana. Seattle Mystery Bookshop, 587-5737, noon, free. Also, Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
"Natural language" intersects with cognitive thought in a lecture on linguistics by Brandeis University professor Jackendoff. University of Washington, Kane Hall, Room 110, 616-1825, 7 pm, free.
In Nature Via Nurture, Genome author Ridley discusses the gene as it relates to the haze of distinction between instinct and will. University Bookstore, 634-3400, 7 pm, free.
Stunted life beneath the Big Sky: Blunt's Breaking Clean is a memoir of her life among the wheat ranches of Montana. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
* PAUL COLLINS
Fancypants McSweeney's contributor Collins returns to Seattle from his home in Portland, bringing two new volumes: Sixpence House, an account of a literature-obsessed Welsh town, and To Ruhleben--And Back, the most recent addition to the Collins Library, a series of obscure, McSweeney's-published reprints. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
Former voice-for-the-cause Gitlin offers his antiquated advice to another generation of misguided youth in Letters to a Young Activist. University Bookstore, 634-3400, 7 pm, free.
Emmy-winning chef Pepin, a man Julia Child calls "the best chef in America," tells us all about his life preparing food for people more important than he is in The Apprentice. Third Place Books, 366-3333, 7:30 pm, free.
Local author Sundaresan visits from Bellevue with The Feast of Roses, her follow-up to last year's acclaimed debut The Twentieth Wife; her sophomore novel follows the love affair between an Indian royal and one of his many wives. Third Place Books, 366-3333, noon, free. Also, Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
POETSWEST--Featuring Cathy Ross. Sun May 18, 7 pm. Penny Cafe, 1707 NW Market St, 682-1268, free.