8:30 A.M. The TransAfrica Forum, the African and Middle Eastern Division of the Library of Congress and the Center for the Book are sponsoring a day-long symposium until 5 p.m., Fifty Years of Chinua Achebe's Celebrated Novel "Things Fall Apart, " in the library's Thomas Jefferson Bldg., Room 119, 10 First St. SE. The author will read at 6 p.m. in the James Madison Bldg., Montpelier Room, 101 Independence Ave. SE. A reception celebrating Achebe's 78th birthday will follow. There will be no book signing, though signed copies of the 50th anniversary edition of Things Fall Apart will be on sale. Call 202-707-1980 for details.
6 P.M. The Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) is hosting Power, Politics and the Prism of Literature, a panel discussion featuring Azar Nafisi, author of Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books and the forthcoming Things I've Been Silent About: Memories; Marie Arana, editor of The Washington Post's Book World and author of the memoir American Chica: Two Worlds, One Childhood and the novel Cellophane; and Joanne Leedom-Ackerman, author of the novel The Dark Path to the River and vice president of International PEN, at the school's Kenney Auditorium, 1740 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Light fare will be served; to RSVP, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
7 P.M. Award-winning children's author Laurie Halse Anderson reads from and discusses her new novel, Chains, at Barnes & Noble-Tysons Corner Center, 1961 Chain Bridge Rd., McLean, Va., 703-506-2937.
7 P.M. Washington Post writer Liza Mundy discusses and signs Michelle, her new biography of Michelle Obama, at Politics and Prose Bookstore, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202-364-1919.
7 P.M. The Arts Club of Washington (2017 "Eye" St. NW) continues its literary series with "Flirting with the Masters: Poets on Walt Whitman," featuring poets Aaron Baker (author of Mission Work, winner of the Bakeless Prize) and Ted Genoways (editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review and author of Anna, Washing) reflecting on Whitman's legacy as well as reading from their own work. Call 703-994-3166 for details.
7 P.M. The Smithsonian Resident Associate Program is sponsoring an evening with Frank McCourt, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Angela's Ashes and 'Tis, at the National Museum of Natural History, Baird Auditorium, 10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW. Tickets are $28 for nonmembers; call 202-633-3030 or visit http:/
7 P.M. Donna Andrews, author of the Meg Lanslow mystery series that includes The Penguin Who Knew Too Much and Six Geese A-Slaying, reads from and discusses her work at the Shirlington Branch Public Library, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington, Va., 703-228-6545. A book signing will follow at 8:30 p.m. across the street at Busboys and Poets (Shirlington), 4251 S. Campbell Ave., Arlington, Va., 703-379-9756.
7:30 P.M. Ingrid E. Newkirk, the founder of PETA, discusses and signs One Can Make a Difference: How Simple Actions Can Change the World (edited with Jane Ratcliffe; an anthology of inspirational stories by numerous celebrities) at Borders Books-Tysons, 8027 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, Va., 703-556-7766.
6:30 P.M. E. Patrick Johnson, professor of African American Studies at Northwestern University, discusses and signs Sweet Tea: Black Gay Men of the South: An Oral History at Lambda Rising Bookstore, 1625 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202-462-6969.
6:30 P.M. Financial market strategist David M. Smick discusses and signs The World Is Curved: Hidden Dangers to the Global Economy in an event sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Washington, D.C. at 1800 K St. NW, conference room B1. A reception and book signing follow. Admission is $15 for the general public, $10 for council members. Call 202-293-1051 or e-mail email@example.com to RSVP.
7 P.M. The "Literature Live!" series at the University of the District of Columbia hosts a reading by Dwayne Betts from A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Survival, Learning, and Coming of Age in Prison (forthcoming in May 2009), which will be followed by a panel discussion on how to remedy the alarming rate of black male incarceration in the United States, in Building 41, Room A-03, 4200 Connecticut Ave. NW. A reception and book signing follow; call the English Department at 202-274-5553.
7 P.M. Amitav Ghosh reads from and signs Sea of Poppies, his new historical novel of the Opium Wars (shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize), at Politics and Prose Bookstore, 202-364-1919.