Reading Room

Friday March 19

Stephanie Elizondo Griest will read from her book, “Around the Bloc.” Desperate to escape South Texas, Griest ventured to Moscow in search of excitement, commencing a four-year, 12-nation tour of the Communist Bloc. She chronicles her experiences as a volunteer at a children’s shelter in Moscow, a propaganda polisher at the Chinese Communist Party’s mouthpiece in Beijing, and a belly dancer among the rumba queens of Havana. She falls in love with an ex-soldier who fled radiation clean-up duties at Chernobyl, hangs with Cuban hip-hop artists who rap about Revolution, makes difficult realizations about the meaning of democracy, and ultimately gains new appreciation for the Mexican culture she left behind. 7 p.m., Bluestockings Bookstore.

Sunday March 21

Chris Abani will read from his novel, “Graceland,” the story of Elvis, a teenage Elvis impersonator hoping to make his way out of the ghetto in the sprawling, swampy, cacophonous city of Lagos, Nigeria. Abani was born in Nigeria and at age sixteen he published his first novel, for which he suffered severe political persecution. He went into exile in 1991, and has since lived in England and the U.S. Joseph Gangemi will read from his debut novel, “Inamorata,” the story of Martin Finch, a Harvard graduate investigating the powers of Philadelphia “society psychic” Mina Crawley. Expecting to use science to disprove her powers, Finch falls under the spell of the beguiling and beautiful Mrs. Crawley. 7 p.m., KGB.

Monday March 22

Billy Collins, former U.S. Poet Laureate, hosts “The Tenth Muse,” an annual tradition that pairs one established poet with three emerging poets for a night of readings. George Bilgere, whose books include “Bug Bang” and “The Good Kiss,” Michael Donaghy, author of “Shibboleth” and “Errata,” and Rachel Wetzsteon, author of “The Other Stars” and “Home and Away,” will read their work, bringing these talented new poets the exposure they deserve. 8:15 p.m., 92nd St. Y, $16.

Tuesday March 23

Gabe Hudson will read and sign copies of his book, “Dear Mr. President,” a collection of darkly comic short stories from the Gulf War. There’s Larry, who returns home from Desert Storm to find his hair gone and his bones rapidly disintegrating. Then there’s Lance Corporal James Laverne of the U.S. Marines, who grows a third ear in Kuwait. In another story, a Green Beret deserts his team after seeing a vision of George Washington, and starts administering aid to wounded Iraqi civilians only to be hindered by a band of chimpanzees. Another story, “Cross Dresser” is a former POW’s letter to his shrink after he switches bodies with his 13-year-old daughter to elude his Iraqi tormentors. 7:30 p.m., Barnes and Noble Astor Place.

“The Clear Cut Future” is an anthology that includes fiction, memoir, poetry, polemical essays, lyrical research, archival texts, photography, painting, and other arts. Contributors, Robert Glück, Lisa Robertson and Diana George will do readings and documentary photographer and filmmaker, Ari Marcopoulus, will provide pictures. All will all be on hand to sign copies of the book and answer questions after the multi-media presentation. 7 p.m., Housing Works Used Book Café.

Wednesday March 24

Ernesto Mestre-Reed will read and sign copies of his book, “The Second Death of Unica Aveyano.” This is the story of an ailing Cuban woman who identifies with Elian Gonzalez, because he too is a refugee between two countries. Through dreams and fantasies, we learn about the Castro Revolution and the protagonist’s family including her bisexual son who perished in a raft on the way to Florida and her gay grandson who falls in love with a male nurse while she battles cancer. 7 p.m., Barnes and Noble Chelsea.

Thursday March 25

Author Ross Wasielke will read from his book, “Farrell, Inc.: A New Beginning,” the sequel to “Farrell”. In his first adventure, Farrell moved to New York City where he started a new life in Chelsea. In this, his second adventure, Farrell is in charge of a small apartment building in the heart of Chelsea and he quickly discovers that being a New York landlord has its share of headaches. As in the first book, Farrell meets a great number of eccentric and flamboyant characters that add comedy, mystery and intrigue to his life. 7 p.m. at The Center, $6 for members, $10 for nonmembers.


92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Ave., 212 415 5500.

The LGBT Center, 208 W. 13th St., 212 620 7310.

Housing Works Used Book Café, 126 Crosby St., 212 334 3324.

Barnes and Noble Astor Place, 4 Astor Place, 212 420 1322.

Barnes and Noble Chelsea, 675 6th Ave., 212 727 1227.

Bluestockings Bookstore, 172 Allen St. at Stanton, 212 777 6028.

KGB, 85 E. 4th St., 212-505-3360.

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