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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 28 January 2009

The Elliot Bay Book Company will be bringing in a variety of influential Black writers and history makers for the month of February. Speakers include Quincy Jones, Comedy writer Larry Wilmore, Neil deGrasse Tyson and E. Lynn Harris, among others.

Monday, Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Elliott Bay Book Company, 101 S. Main St. Seattle

An evening that should be great fun is in store, as Larry Wilmore, "senior black correspondent" to The Daily Show and an award-winning TV producer, writer, actor, and comedian for more than thirty years (that is senior) visits to comment on why black people get the shortest month and many, many other observations, visits with his new book, I'd Rather We Got Casinos, and Other Black Thoughts (Hyperion). While the evening should be laughter (laughter sometimes based in some real-world wondering), it is worth noting, on the serious, credentialed side, that Larry Wilmore has received an Emmy and Peabody Award for his writing work on The Bernie Mac Show. Other shows he's written for include In Living Color, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and The Office.

E. LYNN HARRIS                                               
Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 7:30 p.m., Elliott Bay Book Company

A favorite author of many readers – both for his books and his lively reading appearances – E. Lynn Harris makes this most welcome Seattle return. His visit for his newest novel, "Basketball Jones" (Doubleday), serves as both a reminder of how wonderful a storyteller he is, and that NBA basketball isn't here anymore. On the other hand, the NBA powers that be probably wouldn't be too keen on this story being played out for real. Basketball Jones is NBA star Dray Jones, eventually wooed and wed to a woman determined to win him, but with another love interest, one Aldridge James 'AJ' Richardson, already there in place. "AJ Richardson, the hero of Harris's latest, has been the secret boyfriend of NBA star Drayton Jones for seven years. AJ is only too happy to keep their relationship under wraps – after all, with European trips and spending sprees financed by Dray, what's there to complain about. But when gold-digger Judi nets Dray … Blackmail, intrigue, and double-crosses round out this fun little romp." – Publishers Weekly. E. Lynn Harris, who started off as a self-published author practically selling books out of his trunk, is now the author of ten bestselling novels and a well-received memoir. This night, too, should be fun.

Monday, Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Town Hall Seattle

Award-winning author, astrophysicist with the American Museum of Natural History, and director of the renowned Hayden Planetarium, Neil deGrasse Tyson makes this welcome Seattle return for his newest book, "The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America's Favorite Planet" (W.W. Norton). "From Pluto's1930 discovery to the emotional reaction to its demotion from planetary status, deGrasse Tyson offers a lighthearted look at the planet. Astronomical calculations predicted the presence of a 'mysterious and distant Planet X' decades before Clyde Tombaugh spotted it in 1930. DeGrasse Tyson speculates on why straw polls show Pluto to be the favorite planet of American elementary school students … As the question of Pluto's nature was being debated by scientists, the newly constructed Rose Center for Earth and Space at the Hayden Planetarium quietly but definitively relegated Pluto to the icy realm of Kuiper Belt Objects (cold, distant leftovers from the solar system's formation), raising a firestorm. Astronomers discussed and argued and finally crated an official definition of what makes a planet. This account … presents the medicine of hard science with … lightness and humor." – Publishers Weekly. Need we add, Neil deGrasse Tyson is a most engaging presenter, as those who attend this evening will surely see. $5 tickets are available in advance via www.brownpapertickets.com, 1.800.838.3006, or at the door starting at 6:30 p.m., with preferred seating for Town Hall members. Town Hall Seattle is located at 1119 Eighth Avenue (at Seneca). For more information, please call Elliott Bay at 206.624.6600, Town Hall Seattle at 206-652-4255, or see www.townhallseattle.org.

QUINCY JONES                 
Friday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. at Garfield High School

Co-presented with the NORTHWEST AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSEUM and GARFIELD HIGH SCHOOL.. We are honored to be collaborating with Seattle's venerable, beautifully remodeled Garfield High School and the wonderful, still-new Northwest African American Museum, in presenting Seattle native son and Garfield alum Quincy Jones for an evening of conversation and booksigning. Occasioning this appearance by one of the monumental figures in American culture – is publication of the utterly spectacular "The Complete Quincy Jones: My Journey & Passions: Photos, Letters, Memories & More from Q's Personal Collection" (Insight Editions). This book goes well beyond text and illustrations, though have those it does; all sorts of facsimile ephemera, letters, and mementoes are artfully recreated. Expected to participate in this evening's program – in conversation with Quincy Jones - will be longtime Seattle civic and cultural leader Carver Gayton. Admission is free – with donations to the Northwest African American Museum (www.naamnw.org) encouraged – on a first-come, first-serve basis. Garfield High School is located in the heart of Seattle's Central District at 400 -23rd Avenue. Please call Elliott Bay at 206-624-6600 or see www.elliottbaybook.com for the most current information.

African American Writer's Alliance Group Reading  
Saturday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. Elliott Bay Book Company

We conclude this lively month – African American History Month, at that – with this annual group reading by Seattle's African American Writers Alliance. For over a decade we've hosted this gathering, at which many forms of writing by writers of many ages and experience levels are read. This year's reading should be especially memorable. For more information on the African American Writers Alliance, please call Georgia McDade at 206-722-0964. Please join us.

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