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Autumn's Literary Events: Neil deGrasse Tyson, Manji Talking At Connecticut Forum

Special to The Courant

Talks by famous authors and a mystery writers conference are on the calendar this fall. Here are some events:

Religion And Science

The Connecticut Forum will present programs on religion and science at The Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, 166 Capitol Ave., Hartford.

An exploration of the changing role of religion in culture, politics and life on Sept. 29, at 8 p.m., will feature Irshad Manji, founder of the Moral Courage Project and best-selling author of "Allah, Liberty and Love: The Courage to Reconcile Faith and Freedom"; evangelical Christian Michael Gerson, a Washington Post columnist and co-author of "City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era"; and Jon Meacham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Presidential biographies and contributing editor for TIME magazine. Ray Suarez, a journalist whose books include "The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America," will moderate. Tickets: $30-$90.

Neil deGrasse Tyson, the astrophysicist, author and host of Fox's "Cosmos," who has received the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal (as well as being named "Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive" by People Magazine), will discuss science, exploration and the cosmic perspective on life on earth on Oct. 17, at 7 p.m. Tickets: $49.75 to $89.75.

Information and tickets: ctforum.org or 860-509-0909.

David Sedaris At The Shubert

Humorist and memoirist David Sedaris will appear at the Shubert Theatre, 247 College St., New Haven on Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m., in a program presented by WSHU National Public Radio. Sedaris, known for his sardonic views and recollections of his quirky family, will read, answer questions and sign books. His best-selling collections of personal essays include "Me Talk Pretty One Day" and "Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls." Tickets are $49.50 to $59.50 at shubert.com/presentations/current-season/david-sedaris.

Mystery Writers Conference

Mysterium: The Mystery Writers Conference will be held at Wesleyan University's Usdan University Center, 45 Wyllys Ave., Middletown, Oct. 8 from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Award-winning and best-selling writers, as well as an agent, an editor, a publisher, a detective and a writing program director, will speak or lead master classes for mystery fans and aspiring writers, and a cocktail party will close the event. Best-selling author and Wesleyan professor Amy Bloom will host, and among the many authors taking part are Laura Lippman, Stephen Carter, Barbara Ross, Roberta Isleib (who also writes as Lucy Burdette), Ann Hood, Chris Knopf and Hirsh Sawney. The cost is $100 and includes lunch. Information: mysterium.conference.wesleyan.edu.

Patti Smith In Hartford

Patti Smith, the writer, performer and artist who merged poetry and punk rock in the 1970s to create hit albums and a National Book Award-winning memoir, will appear in conversation with WNPR personality Colin McEnroe in a Mark My Words event on Oct. 13, at 7 p.m., at Immanuel Congregational Church, 10 Woodland St., Hartford. The Mark Twain House & Museum will present the program, which will focus on Smith's second memoir, "M Train." The previously wrote the 2010 prize-winning "Just Kids." Tickets are $25, which includes a copy of "M Train." Tickets and information: 860-280-3112 or marktwainhouse.org.

Jennifer Weiner At JCC

Jennifer Weiner, the Simsbury native who had a smash debut with "Good In Bed" and has published 14 best-selling books, will speak Sunday, Oct. 23, at 1 p.m. at the Jewish Book Festival at Mandell Jewish Community Center, 335 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford. Weiner has just published a memoir, "Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love and Writing" (Atria, $27), a frank look at her childhood, career and personal life. Tickets: $40, which includes a copy of the book and a reception with Weiner. Tickets: mandelljcc.org or 860-231-6316.

Kelly Link At Trinity

Kelly Link, an acclaimed writer of fantasy and science fiction stories, will give a free talk Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 4:30 p.m. in the Admissions Grand Room on the Trinity College campus, 300 Summit St., Hartford, part of the Allan K. Smith Reading Series. Link's fourth and latest collection is "Get in Trouble," and her work appears in many magazines and anthologies. Information: christina.bolio@trincoll.edu or 860-297-2036.

Ira Glass At Twain Gala

Ira Glass, host of National Public Radio's popular "This American Life," as well as a writer, editor and publisher, will headline the Mark Twain House & Museum Gala at The Bushnell, 166 Capitol Ave., Hartford on Saturday, Nov. 12, at 8 p.m. Glass will discuss "Seven Things I've Learned." Admission is $28 TO $68, or $275 for premiere seating and private dinner and post-show dessert receptions with Glass. Information and tickets: 860-280-3112 or marktwainhouse.org.

Jonathan Galassi At Wesleyan

Jonathan Galassi, a poet, translator, novelist and president and publisher of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, will appear Nov. 30, at 5 p.m., at Wesleyan University's Center for the Arts' Zilkha Gallery, 283 Washington Terrace, Middletown. Galassi will give a free reading and discuss the exhibition of David Schorr's paintings, for which he wrote the catalog essay. His most recent book is "Muse" (Knopf, $25), a novel set in the book world. Information: 860-685-3355 or cfa@wesleyan.edu.

Lamb Book Launch

Connecticut novelist Wally Lamb will launch his new novel, "I'll Take You There," (Harper, $25.99), at a Beyond Words fundraiser for Hartford Public Library on Dec. 1 at 5:30 p.m. at the Hartford Marriott Downtown, 200 Columbus Blvd., Hartford. The story follows Felix Funicello, a 10-year-old in Lamb's 2009 Christmas novella "Wishin' and Hopin'" and now a professor who runs a movie club in an old theater haunted by a silent film era star. The novel has various formats: hardcover, audio and e-books and an interactive app designed by Metabook that Lamb will demonstrate at 4 p.m. at the Downtown Library, 500 Main St., Hartford. It includes a soundtrack, short movies and photos, drama narration and a documentary about Lamb shot at the Garde Theater. The event also will honor Louise Blalock, chief Hartford public librarian from 1994 to 2008. Tickets are $150 for guests and $250 for patrons. Registration: hplct.org.

Okey Ndibe In West Hartford

Author, editor and journalist Okey Ndibe will give a free talk about his memoir, "Never Look an American in the Eye: A Memoir of Flying Turtles, Colonial Ghosts, and the Making of a Nigerian American" (Soho Press, $25), on Dec. 4, at 1:30 p.m., at the West Hartford Public Library, 20 S. Main St., and will sign copies at 2:30 p.m. at Barnes & Noble in Blue Back Square, 60 Isham Road, West Hartford. The book chronicles his personal and professional life in Nigeria and America. The library will validate parking in the Isham Road garage. Information and registration: bit.ly/dec4okey or 860-561-6990.

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