WEDNESDAY

Ten years ago at a book signing in New York City, an overzealous fan approached Clive Barker, pulled out a straight razor, and cut into his own arm. The horrorist, no stranger to dripping gore, was unfazed; he dipped his fingers into the fan’s blood, traced his name in the fellow’s book, and told him to have a bloody good day. Such grace—and his talents apparently cover any manner of entertainment. Barker has already conquered the stage (one of his early plays, Frankenstein in Love, is a politicized update of Mary Shelley’s classic set in South America), the screen (his first film, Hellraiser, is about a serial killer and the skinless monster she loves), and the written word (after his splatter-punk debut with The Books of Blood, Barker quickly became a New York Times bestseller). Along the way, the Paul McCartney lookalike has, in the immortal words of Pinhead, “shown us pains and pleasures beyond our wildest imaginings.” Among his bizarre creations are the unstoppable pagan god Rawhead Rex, all teeth and phallus, in The Books of Blood; a rug of universe-warping power in Weaveworld; and the shape-shifting menagerie of weremen in Cabal. The author’s latest novel, Galilee, chronicles the battle between two families, the Gearys and the Barbarossas, warring across the scarred landscape of a woman’s body and soul, calling upon their dark, supernatural origins for strength. Barker reads and signs Galilee—no razors, please—at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 3, at the National Press Club, 14th & F Sts. NW. Free. For information call Olsson’s Books & Records at (202) 347-3686. (Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa)