One story in Lysley Tenorio’s debut collection, Monstress, details the time the narrator’s uncle Willie decided to get into a fistfight with the Beatles. It’s an affectionate, pop-culture-soaked portrait of Filipino life. But sometimes Tenorio’s fiction goes gothic: “Robed in white,” a nun “appears at my door like a ghost,” one story begins. “She smiles, and a crack in her lower lip widens.” (That creepy widening-mouth-within-a-smile imagery!) Delightfully, you never know what’s going to be on the next page of Monstress—a pie in the face or a trip to the underworld. Or both. (University Book Store, 4326 University Way NE,, 7 pm, free)

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