Michael Ondaatje has seduced the world one reader at a time with his heartbreaking narratives and beautiful, crystalline prose (four words: The English Patient, motherfucker). Now the celebrated novelist and poet makes a rare Seattle appearance to celebrate his new book, The Cat’s Table. It’s about a young Sri Lankan boy who boards a ship bound for Great Britain, and it’s the perfect setup for Ondaatje’s storytelling strengths: a narrator with a healthy sense of wonder, a rich interior life, and a romantic setting for his finely wrought stories of conflict and hope. (Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave, www.spl.org, 7 pm, free)