Sherman Alexie

Our city’s most famous writer won his first National Book Award for his young adult novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2007). It’s a coming-of-age tale with plenty of autobiographical import, about a Spokane kid who defies low expectations and social conditions to attend a white high school off the rez. It’s obviously aimed at other bright young misfits (as Alexie once was), and it’s illustrated by Seattle’s Ellen Forney in an engaging cartoony style–as if scribbled on crumpled notepaper passed beneath school desks. BRIAN MILLER

Wed., April 29, 7 p.m., 2009