We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.



Vietnam writer Tim O’Brien has said that he writes about war because it gives his prose an instant sort of pressure. But after nearly 30 years, it looks as if the ol’ writing wrist needs a tourniquet. O’Brien’s new novel, July, July, takes place at the reunion of a Minnesota college’s class of 1969. There’s been some cancer, some bullets, but at the end of the 30-year day, everyone’s just tryin’ to find love. When the ensemble cast of midlife-crisisers flashes back to the defining moments of their lives, expect affairs gone wrong and wars unfortunately fought. No, you shouldn’t read July, July expecting dramatic new insights. This is pretty well-worn territory, and thus the novel reads like a breeze—there’s not much here to make you stop and think. Maybe O’Brien would have more luck writing about dragons or robots. What would they think about Vietnam? Ask him at 6 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Josh Levin)