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FRIDAY

Novelist, essayist, and short-story author John Barth is easily among Maryland’s greatest literary sons and, as a practicing postmodernist writer, is perhaps among the last of a dying breed. Condemned with his peers by journalist-turned-novelist Tom Wolfe, the 68-year-old Johns Hopkins professor emeritus will read and receive the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction tonight. His classic collection Lost in the Funhouse is among his three books that have been nominated for a National Book Award, and his last book, On With the Story, like Chimera, for which he won the NBA, is an anthology of linked stories. Its tales of academe and satisfied life with a second wife in the Chesapeake Bay area may be autobiographical or just more fodder for Barth’s famous fascination with the manner and motive of storytelling itself. At 8 p.m. at the Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE. $20. (202) 544-7077. (Daniel Searing)