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Desearch Repartment, an anonymous art team from Canada, US, and Germany (left) and artistic duo Peter Christenson and Phillip Mudd (Juried Performance, right) critique elitism in the contemporary art world at Spontaneous Combustion.

Image: Courtesy COCA 

Tue, Sept 5
Nancy Pearl: 'George and Lizzie'
Commonly referred to as "America's Librarian," the first librarian columnist for Publisher's Weekly, and the recipient of both the 2011 Librarian of the Year and the PNW Bookseller's Association's Lifetime Achievement award, it's hard to believe that Nancy Pearl can do more. But again, Pearl defies boundaries and releases her debut novel, George and Lizzie, a story of an imperfect marriage and the ways in which upbringing can influence relationships. Seattle Public Library: Central, Free

Tue, Sept 5
Peter DiCampo: Everyday Africa
Elliott Bay's Fall Reading Series kicks off with Seattle-based documentary photographer Peter DiCampo and his online project gone viral, Everyday Africa. The Instagram account consists of photos taken by mostly native African photographers, and serves as an avenue for people all over the world to experience daily life in Africa. Images featured on the account toured internationally, and now selections from the page make up the bulk of DiCampo's new book, Everyday Africa: 30 Photographers Re-Picturing a Continent. DiCampo presents the book's images, along with the stories and implications that they carry. Elliott Bay Book Company, Free

Wed, Sept 6
'My Family's Slave'
This summer, The Atlantic published a complex and harrowing story of tradition and slavery by Alex Tizon. The late Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist writes of Lola, a woman brought with his family from the Philippines in the 1960s, filling a pseudo grandmother roll in the house throughout Tizon's life, but who Tizon came to realize was his family's slave. Tizon's widow Melissa Tizon and his sister Ling Tizon Quillen come together to discuss the piece's impact. Co-founder and CEO of Define American, Jose Antonio Vargas, moderates. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Free

Thu, Sept 7
Daniel Handler with Sherman Alexie
As a part of Sherman Alexie's curated series of his most beloved writers, Seattle welcomes Daniel Handler (also known by Lemony Snicket, the pseudonym under which he wrote A Series of Unfortunate Events). Handler presents his new novel: All the Dirty Parts, a story not about orphans dodging villains and evil family members, but a young boy's first encounters and obsession with sex. Good luck finding anyone that wants to return to the awkward days of puberty, but here's a good opportunity to laugh and reminisce—from a distance. Temple De Hirsch Sinai, Free

Thu, Sept 7
Spontaneous Combustion
Eastern Washington artists Peter Christenson and Phillip Mud join forces in their project Juried Performance. A critique on capitalist elitism and the ways it funnels itself into the art industry, Juried Performance draws attention to the norms of elitism and imbalanced power dynamics that plague both the art world and the political climate today. Joining them is the art team from the US, Canada, and Germany, Desearch Repartment. The group aims to mock hyper-capitalism with ad gimmicks, celebrity head shots, and fake products. The experimental performance, which includes narration, video projections, costumes, online activities, and even an exercise program called YAGA, is seriously an artistic combustion. Center on Contemporary Art, Free

Fri, Sept 8
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan: 'Harmless Like You' 
Yuki Oyama is 16, living as the embodiment of "the other" in New York City, and in a destructive relationship with an older man. Flash forward to present day: Yuki is struggling to make it as a photographer, and her son Jay, now an adult, must face the fact that his mother abandoned him when he was just two years old. Set across Berlin, Connecticut, and New York, Rowan Hisayo Buchanan's novel Harmless Like You deals with the complexities of identities, and the ways in which pain travels throughout generations. Hugo House, Free

Fri, Sept 8
The Odyssey 
Homer's The Odyssey is of course a masterpiece—but it's also long, dense, and not particularly family-friendly. The local theater group Public Works Seattle (along with over 100 participating Seattleites) takes Homer's classic and condenses it into a musical. Instead of just reading about Odysseus's journey, this interactive performance takes audience members through all the ridiculous monsters, obstacles, temptations, and dangers along the way. Seattle Repertory Theatre, Free 

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