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“Here I am upside-down in a woman.” So begins Ian McEwan’s latest novel, Nutshell, told from an improbable perspective: a fetus. Given the fantastical nature of the story, we easily suspend our disbelief a step further, accepting the narrator’s erudition—an intellect well beyond his years obtained merely by listening to his mother, the radio, and podcasts. His inability to see the world amplifies his other senses. Besides the narrator’s meandering philosophizing, the plot of Hamlet unfolds in a modern setting, giving structure to McEwan’s comically surreal and artfully imagined book. Read more >>> Ian McEwan speaks at 7 p.m. at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. NW. $17–$40. (202) 408-3100. sixthandi.org(Victoria Gaffney)

EAT THIS

Tonight in Petworth Citizen’s Reading Room, bartender Dan Searing will be making cocktails out of “Hawaiian Orchid,” a vintage recipe book about classic Chinese, Japanese, and Polynesian cocktails. It’s a part of his ongoing Thursday series called LexiconVisit from 7 p.m. to midnight to try his old-school aloha drinks. Petworth Citizen, 829 Upshur St. NW. (202) 722-2939. petworthcitizen.com. (Laura Hayes)

OH AND ALSO

Songwriter Angel Olsen takes the stage at 9:30 Club with opening act Alex Cameron. 7 p.m. at 815 V St. NW. $20.

L.A.-based rock quartet Allah-Las play Rock & Roll Hotel in support of its latest album, Calico Review. 8 p.m. at 1353 H St. NE. $16.

The comedians from Chicago’s Second City offer a new way to understand classical music when they team up with Colin Mochrie and the National Symphony Orchestra for “The Second City Guide to the Symphony” at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. 7 p.m. at 2700 F St. NW. $24–$99.

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