14

TUESDAY

Drug corners are as ubiquitous as chain drugstores in urban America. When you cruise by one, you can roll up the window and step on the gas, or roll it down and say you’re looking, but very few people take an interest in what lies behind the black market tableau. The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Drug Neighborhood plops the reader down in the middle of the action and stays there, to hellacious effect. Written by David Simon, the former reporter and author of Homicide (he now writes for the show that grew out of the book), and Edward Burns, a former Baltimore detective, The Corner thoroughly reveals the economics and dysfunction that drive the street drug trade. By proceeding slowly in a narrative strewn with details and misery, Simon and Burns manage to anthropomorphize junkies and thugs into people the reader thinks about after the page-turning comes to an end. (The last time I was in Baltimore, I found myself pointlessly scanning the faces of people on the street looking for DeAndre McCullough, a young lion in the midst of the The Corner’s chaos.) Simon and Burns read and sign at 7:30 p.m. at Oxon Hill Library, 6200 Oxon Hill Rd., Oxon Hill. FREE. (301) 699-3500. (David Carr)