Though Margaret Atwood has written great novels about perfectly normal subjects (The Edible Woman is a pre-Steinem feminist milestone), The Handmaid's Tale is one of those few books that transcends the irrational science-fiction ghetto to become a book everyone agrees is a full-on classic. Like Tale, Atwood's The Year of the Flood details the small successes and venal failures of a community in a postapocalyptic world. Atwood rarely takes to the touring circuit—this reading could be the last time you get to see her for a very long while. (Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave, 652-4255. 7:30 pm, $5.)

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