• A fiction hit

Chris Crutcher, whose eight books for young adults all have been selected as Best Books for Young Adult Readers by the American Library Association, speaks Ñ with authority Ñ on bringing real life into fiction at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, at Portland State University's Lincoln Hall Room 75, 1620 S.W. Park Ave.

• TV talent gone bookish

Stephen Cannell, creator of such television hits as 'The Rockford Files' and 'The Commish' and author of a half-dozen best sellers, comes to Twenty-third Avenue Books, 1015 N.W. 23rd Ave., at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, with 'The Viking Funeral,' his second book about Los Angeles Police Department Det. Shane Scully.

• Unpalatable exposŽ

Author Eric Schlosser promotes the newly released paperback version of his book, 'Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal,' at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, at Powell's City of Books, 1005 W. Burnside St.

• Spiritual matters

Powell's sponsors James Redfield (author of 'The Celestine Prophecy') and Michael Murphy, co-authors of 'God and the Evolving Universe,' as they share their views on the future of human potential at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, at First Unitarian Church, 1011 S.W. 12th Ave.

• After Prozac, Ritalin

Elizabeth Wurtzel, who was 26 when her best seller 'Prozac Nation' was published, went on to become a Ritalin addict, about which she's written 'More, Now, Again.' This latest chapter in her life airs at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25, at Powell's City of Books.

• Culture club

Travel back in time to Baroque Italy while sitting in the intimate salon setting of a French art gallery. Susan Vreeland, author of 'Girl in Hyacinth Blue' (a collection of vignettes about the impact of a Vermeer painting on its owners' lives), is back in Portland with her new book about Artemisia Gentileschi, the first female painter to achieve commercial success in her lifetime. It's at 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, at Le Meitour Gallery, 7814 S.W. Capitol Highway. Tickets are $5 or free with purchase of 'The Passion of Artemisia' at Annie Bloom's Books, 7834 S.W. Capitol Highway.

• Character cache

'The Pilot's Wife' author Anita Shreve recycles characters from her book, 'The Weight of Water,' in her latest, 'The Last Time They Met.' It's the subject of her talk at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29, at Le Meitour Gallery, sponsored by Annie Bloom's Books.

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