On Memory 

Of all the terrible things in this world — wars and famines, droughts and ruined picnics, swine flu and swine-flu vaccinations — boring, self-involved conversation at a party ranks right up there. Few thing are worse than listening to strangers drone on about themselves while avoiding slimy baby carrots. And though the snacks at the Writers Place (3607 Pennsylvania, 816-753-1090) remain a mystery, a good time might still be had there at Hilary Masters' reading and book signing tonight, beginning at 8. Masters, despite being a memoirist (an occupation self-involved by definition), is not boring and would probably be quite pleasant as a party guest. He'll be reading from his book Last Stands: Notes From Memory — which received the American Academy of Arts and Letters award for literature in 2003 — along with selections from his two new books. Would cream puffs be too much to ask? See writersplace.org.
Fri., Nov. 6, 8 p.m., 2009

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