The full-blown Words Afire Festival is still a few months away, so the UNM Department of Theatre and Dance is hosting a teaser event with the help of The Drama League of New York. The Drama League, an association of emerging professional directors, has teamed up with UNM's playwriting department to offer a series of readings from plays selected for the 2009 Words Afire Festival. The readings take place at the former Fine Arts Library at UNM and the National Hispanic Cultural Center through Sunday, Nov. 9. There is no cost to attend any of the readings, which highlight five works by playwrights from the UNM dramatic writing program. For complete details, visit theatre.unm.edu, call 277-4332 or check the Alibi’s Arts Calendar.
Insomnia is guilt’s yoke, and it has a firm grip upon the aging book critic at the heart of Paul Auster’s moody and moving new novel, Man in the Dark. Seventy-two-year-old August Brill sits in the dark of his daughter’s house in Vermont, unable to sleep. He has been rehabilitating from a car crash and reeling from the recent loss of his wife, Sonia. To bide his time, and to distract his heart from other losses it cannot forget, Brill tells himself stories—one after the next, building a fictional castle into which he retreats.