Fiction writer David Haynes has distinguished himself in the literary world in the 10 years since he published his first novel. A Midwestern African American novelist who doesn't write about the inner city, drugs or gangs, Haynes was named one of the 20 best young American novelists in 1996 by the literary magazine Granta. Now he's touring the country to promote his latest book, "The Full Matilda," a story about an African American woman, long employed in Washington's service industry, who begins to question the work she has been doing after her father dies. Haynes will read from the book and talk about it at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Karibu Books, Bowie Town Center, 15624 Emerald Way, Bowie. The event is free. 301-352-4110.


On Saturday at 7:30 p.m., the Bowie-based National Ballet will showcase its finely tuned techniques as part of its 56th annual Student Gala Performance. Dancers of all ages will perform "Memories," "Mother Goose" and "Enricco Cecchetti Academy of Ballet" at the Hallam Theatre in the Queen Anne Fine Arts Building of Prince George's Community College, 301 Largo Road, Largo. Tickets are $15-$30. 301-218-9822.


In the 30 years he worked as a naturalist, Wayne J. Chunat always had artistic impulses. Even before he began his career, Chunat dreamed of becoming a biological illustrator. But since he couldn't acquire a formal degree in the subject at his alma mater, Kent State University, he spent much of his spare time outside of work teaching himself a broad range of media and styles. The Ohio artist uses watercolors, acrylic, oil, intaglio or pencil to paint flora, fauna, landscapes and historic structures. His work is featured this month at the Hollingsworth Art Gallery, 10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop, Laurel. Admission is free. 301-497-5765.