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APRIL 17

For some—OK, for me—fiction is an addiction. And it’s all my mother’s fault. Taking her young son to the doctor, using the promise of a post-appointment jaunt to the bookstore as a foolproof calmer of nerves, she introduced me to a lifelong supply of sedatives: pure fiction. So flipping through photographer Jill Krementz’s The Writer’s Desk, which features more than 50 B&W portraits of authors in their natural habitats, is like creeping inside the wondrous drug dens where my sweet narcotic is dispensed. Some writers work barefoot (Joan Didion); some work while smoking (Susan Sontag, pictured). Usually there is a little booze (Terry Southern); almost always there are a lot of books (Thornton Wilder). With legs propped up and notebook in lap, Stephen King works in a surprisingly unspooky space (unless you consider the Welsh corgi under the desk horrific). In a rundown Key West den, a paunchy Tennessee Williams approaches his Remington typewriter with glass of hooch in hand. (“You see, baby,” he says, “after a glass or two of wine I’m inclined to extravagance.”) Kurt Vonnegut, Krementz’s husband, doesn’t even bother typing or scribbling for the camera; instead he stays hunkered over a crossword puzzleÆMD+INØ. The Writer’s Desk is a marvel; there isn’t a bad buzz in the bunch. Krementz will discuss her subjects at 7 p.m. at Chapters, 1511 K St. NW. FREE. (202) 347-5495. (Sean Daly)