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M O N D A Y

Australian expatriate Peter Carey (who now lives in New York) is a master of Southern Hemisphere Gothic. In his sixth novel, The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith, Carey creates a title character whose facial disfigurement renders him a classic outsider, invents the lands of Efica (aka “Ootland”) and colonial realm Voorstand, and supplements the volume with a glossary to Efican vernacular. Though theater folk and their odd progeny are the basis for many a story, Carey doesn’t lose bonus points here; there’s Orwellian substance to his most fanciful forays. Carey reads at 7 p.m. at Chapters, 1512 K St. NW. FREE. (202) 347-5495. (Nathalie op de Beeck)