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Being of mixed heritage or race is exotic for only a minuteonce the novelty wears off, one is thrust back into the dilemma of straddling two worlds. It often means having to negotiate one’s place and meet the challenges of cold stares and racial stereotypes. Half and Half: Writers on Growing Up Biracial and Bicultural is a collection of essays by 19 multi-ethnic writers about the perpetual identity crisis of never quite fitting into an environment always confirming one’s foreignness. For editor Claudine Chiawei O’Hearn and writers Francisco Goldman and Lori Tsang, there is no simple answer to the question “Where are you from?” Join them to discuss these issues at a group reading at 1 p.m. at Vertigo Books, 1337 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 429-9272. (Ayesha Morris)