There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
The 1983 class of Brit-lit mag Granta’s “Best of Young British Novelists,” which included Martin Amis, Julian Barnes, and Salman Rushdie, may never be equaled. The same can be said for another ’83 bumper crop: the fabled NFL draft catch of Elway, Marino, Dickerson, et al. No telling whether this year’s writers (and draftees) will, like their forebears, live up to their designation, but there’s little doubt about one thing: The 2003 novelists probably don’t know who Eric Dickerson is. They are promising, though, and very British. The fiction (excerpted in the latest issue of Granta) by the two blokes and one bird taking part in tonight’s discussion covers British subjects with a British sensibility. Alan Warner’s “The Costa Pool Bums,” a vignette about drunk aspiring plumbers at Gatwick, is full of detached, dark wit. In “Gas, Boys, Gas,” Andrew O’Hagan takes a treacly premisea young chap leading blind veterans around English countrysideand makes it hum with his commanding use of language. But it’s Sarah Waters’ “Helen and Julia” that stands out: Her effortless yet exacting depiction of desperation and jealousy sparkles from all the way across the pond. The three discuss their work with Granta editor Ian Jack at 6 p.m. at the Phillips Collection’s Music Room, 1600 21st St. NW. Free. (202) 387-2151. (Josh Levin)