Julie Hyzy. Hyzy serves up "Affairs of Steak" (Berkeley), the fifth installment in her White House Chef series. The Obamas aren't mentioned by name, but it's fun to follow the deftly placed clues about who occupies the famous residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Hyzy's latest romp. Past books in this perky, light-hearted series are "State of the Onion" (2008), "Hail to the Chef" (2008), "Eggsecutive Orders" (2010) and "Buffalo West Wing" (2011), featuring assistant White House chef Olivia Paras. 1 p.m., Jan. 7, Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore, 7419 W. Madison St., Forest Park; free.
Come Home Chicago. This is bound to be one of the hottest, hippest literary events of the winter, a sort of Edinburgh Fringe Festival rolled into one night. Hosted by Chicago writers Don De Grazia and Matt Martin, the evening will feature multiple voices and mixed media, along with political rants and comedy sketches, as writers new and established take turns on the stage. Writers will include Dybek, Christine Sneed and the Tribune's irrepressible Rick Kogan. Also on hand will be J.C. Gabel, editor of Stop Smiling magazine, and Chris Rice, editor of Hypertext magazine. Music will be provided by Mark Madsen and the Doc Delorean Band. 7 p.m., Jan. 15, Underground Wonder Bar, 710 N. Clark St.; free.
Granta magazine. Granta, the British publication with the impeccable literary pedigree and the envelope-pushing sensibility, celebrates its winter 2012 issue, "Exit Strategies," with a public conversation between writers Chinelo Okparanta and Nami Mun. They will read from their work as well. 7:30 p.m., Feb. 10, Women & Children First Bookstore, 5233 N. Clark St.; free.
Ayad Akhtar. Actor and playwright Akhtar, who still lives in his hometown of Milwaukee and whose works explore the complex challenges of being a Muslim in America, will chat with Tribune theater critic Chris Jones. Akhtar's first novel, "American Dervish" (Little, Brown) deals with Muslim-American life in Milwaukee in the 1980s. Two plays by Akhtar, whose parents are Pakistani, are scheduled to be performed in 2012: "The Invisible Hand," a drama about an American captured by terrorists in Pakistan; and "Disgraced," the story of a Muslim-American lawyer dissed by his firm. 6:30 p.m., March 13, Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Ave.; $15.