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19

MONDAY

Despising novelist/socialite/narcissist Jay McInerney is so damn easy that when—lo and behold—you find yourself actually enjoying his prose, the sensation plays like a dirty little secret that thrills more than shames. It’s as if you’re crammed into a toilet stall trading lines of Bolivian marching powder with the man himself. While fellow literary brat-packers Bret Easton Ellis and Tama Janowitz continue to wheeze in the fog of post-’80s obscurity, McInerney managed, some years back, with The Last of the Savages, to cleanse himself of loser dust and distribute some handsome, high-low fiction. His latest output, Model Behavior: A Novel and 7 Stories, invades the shallow terrain of the Manhattan fashion scene. But instead of settling for a wink-wink glimpse at this lost (but utterly cool) group of people—see Bright Lights, Big City—McInerney paints his surroundings as a cold, ugly planet with not an inner soul to be found. He reads from and signs copies of his book with Haruki Murakami, author of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, at 7 p.m. at Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Sean Daly)