In A Grave Denied, the body of a handyman shows up at the base of an Alaskan glacier. Seattle Mystery Bookshop, 117 Cherry St, 587-5737, noon, free.
* ADAM HASLETT
You Are Not a Stranger Here, Haslett's debut collection of sad and unexpectedly beautiful stories, was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. He is in town to promote its paperback release. Here's a prurient excerpt: "If on certain rare occasions he does let himself undress her, she's always on top, her back arched, her eyes closed, this look on her face as though she's remembering another time, but then as he's about to come she opens her eyes and leans down and they stare at each other before he rises up to kiss her, exploding." University Bookstore, 4326 University Way NE, 634-3400, 7 pm, free.
The True Story of Hansel and Gretel: A Novel of War and Survival is a reimagination of the popular fairy tale, except the kids are Jewish schoolchildren in the forest of Nazi-occupied Poland--and, of course, the ending isn't happy no matter how you look at it. Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 S Main St, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
SKYE KATHLEEN MOODY
The local mystery writer reads from Medusa: A Pacific Northwest Mystery. University Barnes & Noble, 2700 NE University Village, 517-4107, 7 pm, free.
* DAVID HORSEY
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer political cartoonist, a two-time recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, signs From Hanging Chad to Baghdad. Jonathan Raban says of Horsey's work, "I've seen angrier cartoons in the British press, but none that offer such a thoughtful range of reasons for dissent." Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
Swick reads from A Way to See the World: From Texas to Transylvania with a Maverick Travel Editor. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 3 pm, free.
Coyote Cowgirl is a mystery thriller set in the Southwest involving a talking crystal skull, a stolen ruby scepter, and a boyfriend on the run. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 5 pm, free.
* ROBERT CORBETT, LESLEY HAZLETON, CHARLES MUDEDE, NICO VASSILAKIS
Most religious texts are historically based, stoic, severe, dogmatic, and polarizing, but Experimental Theology--which is none of those things--poses no specific institutional arguments: It focuses on exposing the most perplexing, perverted, and personal aspects of religious belief. Tonight, several of the accomplished contributors collected in the book read aloud their essays, poems, and stories. For more information about Experimental Theology visit Seattle Reasearch Institutes' website, www.seattleresearchinstitute.org. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
Eragon is Paolini's debut book of fantasy. University Barnes & Noble, 517-4107, 2 pm, free. (Also at Third Place Books, 17171 Bothell Way NE, 366-3333, on Mon Sept 22 at 10:30 am.)
Fromm is a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award favorite whose latest novel, As Cool as I Am, is "a story so rich and deep that it lingers like a memory long after the last page is turned," according to Judy Blunt. "Peter Fromm has an amazing gift for creating characters we think we know." Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 3 pm, free.
SHORT STORIES LIVE!
Various actors read various short stories. Directed by Jane Jones and Myra Platt of Book-It Repertory Theatre. Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave, 652-4255, 4 pm, $16.
MOLLY CONE, HOWARD DROKER, JACQUELINE WILLIAMS
The authors of Family of Strangers: Building a Jewish Community in Washington State gossip about regional politics and local notables. Temple De Hirsch Sinai, 1511 E Pike St, 323-8486, 7 pm, free.
The whole American-in-Paris memoir thing is a long and lustrous tradition whose most famous practitioners include Janet Flanner and Ernest Hemingway and, more recently, Adam Gopnik and Edmund White. No word on whether Sarah Turnbull's memoir, Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris, is by any measure as good as anything by Janet Flanner, but it proves that the genre Flanner started is alive and well. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 5 pm, free.
* AL FRANKEN
The former Saturday Night Live writer, author of Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot and other masterpieces, reads from his latest, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. (Expect someone in the audience to ask Franken how he feels about being sued by Fox News. As has been widely reported, the network has claimed exclusive rights to the phrase "fair and balanced.") University of Washington, Kane Hall 130, 634-3400, 7 pm, free, tickets required.
MICHAEL A. HAWLEY
Silent Proof is a mystery. Third Place Books, 366-3333, 7 pm, free.
* JONATHAN LETHEM
See Stranger Suggests. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
The author of the popular epistolary novels following the lives of Griffin Moss and Sabine Strohem (Griffin & Sabine, Sabine's Notebook, etc.) reads from his latest, The Morning Star: In Which the Extraordinary Correspondence of Griffin & Sabine Is Illuminated. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 5 pm, free.
Quicksilver: Volume One of the Baroque Cycle is a book of science fiction. Stephenson is a big deal and so, apparently, is his autograph. To ward off potential eBay schemers, the publicity materials contain this note: "Neal will sign one non-Quicksilver item for ever copy of Quicksilver purchased at the store." So don't bring in 37 first-edition copies of Cryptonomicon. Or if you do, plan to buy 37 copies of Quicksilver. University of Washington, Kane Hall 130, 634-3400, 7 pm, free, tickets required.
Judgment Without Trial is a reexamination of the imprisonment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Third Place Books, 366-3333, 7 pm, free.
Schine's new novel, She Is Me, is "deeply funny and wonderfully satisfying--a social satire with its arms around truth, grief, and family love," according to Eleanor Lipman. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
Greider talks about The Soul of Capitalism: Opening Paths to a Moral Economy. Trinity United Methodist Church, 6512 23rd Ave NW, 624-6600, 7:30 pm, free.
CECILE ANDREWS, PAUL LOEB, STEPHEN BEZRUCHKA, JOHN DE GRAAF
Local contributors read from Take Back Your Time: Fighting Overwork and Time Poverty in America. "If you only have time to read one book this year, this is absolutely the book to read," insists Barbara Ehrenreich, the insanely smart author of Nickel and Dimed. Elliott Bay Book Company, 624-6600, 5 pm, free.
EZRA CLAYTAN DANIELS
The graphic novelist signs his latest, The Changers Book Two: Our Obligation to the Future, the conclusion to his acclaimed miniseries. This is Daniels' first-ever appearance in Seattle. Zanadu Comics, 1307 NE 45th St, 632-0989, 11 am and 3 pm, free.
On Mexican Time is a memoir. Third Place Books, 366-3333, 7 pm, free.
* J. ROBERT LENNON
The author of The Light of Falling Stars, as well as several other novels, reads from his latest, Mailman. "Lennon is in control of a nervous prose and a remarkable ability to tap the funniest and most telling details, and inside his rare artistic generosity is a darkly comic vision whose scope we have not seen in decades," says Jamaica Kincaid. That's one opinion. Dominic Scarpelli reviews Mailman, unfavorably so, on page 31 of this issue. Zeitgeist, 171 S Jackson St, 624-6600, 7 pm, free.
SEATTLE POETRY SLAM--Open mic and slam with Karen Finneyfrock. Wednesdays at 8 pm. Bad Juju Lounge, 1518 11th Ave, 709-9951, $4.
STAGE FRIGHT--Youth open mic. Fourth Wednesday of every month at 7 pm. Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave, 322-7030, free.