Tonight: If you're not going to see Kay Ryan tonight, you have a few other attractive readings options. First, Gary Greenberg is at Town Hall reading from The Book of Woe: The Making of DSM and the Unmaking of Psychiatry, which is a look at a book that has done a whole lot of damage to a whole lot of people in the last century. Second, Claire Messud reads The Woman Upstairs, which is a novel described as a "tour de force." Considering this is the very good Messud, that's saying something.
And there's another event tonight at a non-traditional reading venue, too. Hollow Earth Radio’s Furnace Reading Series is a quarterly performance of adventurous literature, using music and other sound effects to enhance the experience. The latest performer, Kathlene Postma, is editor of the Silk Road Literary Journal. She’ll be performing a new short story titled “Fetch” with some sort of aural accompaniment, which should make this a unique performance experience.
Saturday: B. Ruby Rich will discuss New Queer Cinema at SIFF's Film Center at 4 pm, which should be an enjoyable way to ease into the first weekend of SIFF. Joe Hill will be at University Book Store at 4 in the afternoon. Hill, who is Stephen King's son, will try to make asshole book reviewers stop referring to him as Stephen King's son with his new novel, NOS4A2. And the evening belongs to Eve Ensler, who's reading at Benaroya Hall. The Vagina Monologues author/playwright/performer has a new book titled In the Body of the World that discusses Ensler’s personal experiences with cancer. This event is a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood, too, which makes it extra-recommendable.
Sunday: Travis Nichols reads at Elliott Bay Book Company at 3 in the afternoon. The More You Ignore Me is a novel narrated by a comment-thread troll. You can find my review of it over in the book section this week, but the short version is that it's a well-written book about a very modern situation, and it's well worth your time. And Ilina Sen is at Town Hall at 5:30 pm. Sen is a "feminist scholar, human-rights activist, and author" who is globally admired. Here's an excerpt from her book, and here are links to all the Democracy Now! shows featuring her commentary. It should be a great cap on a great weekend.