Tayari Jones’ debut novel, Leaving Atlanta, is set amid the Atlanta child murders of the 1980s. In Jones’ sophomore effort, The Untelling, Atlanta sets the stage for some more fictional tragedies. Narrator Aria Jackson is dealing with a dead father, a bitchy sister, and a mother who punishes by feeding her raw chicken and platitudes about Martin Luther King Jr. Mama also isn’t much help when Aria gets into some bizarre mommy issues of her own: a surprise pregnancy that turns out to be early-onset menopause, which she passes off as a miscarriage to the man who only proposed to her because he thought he’d fathered her child. Needless to say, the central conflict’s a bit of a downer. Thankfully, Jones manages to delve into some darkly funny territory as Aria sets out to un-tell her twisted tale. Jones discusses and signs copies of her work at 8 p.m. at the Katzen Arts Center at American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW. (202) 885-2971.