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Books

This week’s book talks bring Julie Andrews, Ben Lerner and Lindy West to L.A.

Lindy West
Lindy West discusses her new book, “The Witches Are Coming.”
(Jennifer S. Altman / For The Times)

Many of the literary stars of the fall are making their way through Los Angeles this week, along with other luminaries. Here’s the lowdown:

The Hollywood years

Julie Andrews joins columnist Mary McNamara for a conversation about “Home Work,” Andrews’ new memoir. “‘Home Work’ is the story of an ordinary person blessed with extraordinary gifts, including a soaring, angelic soprano voice, whose big struggle was to maintain that normalcy in a Hollywood rife with exploitation and excess,” says reviewer Patrick J. Kiger. The evening is co-hosted by the Ideas Exchange and L.A. Times Book Club.

7 :30 p.m. Monday. Orpheum Theatre, 842 S. Broadway, Los Angeles. $47 includes copy of the book.

Her stories

Lindy West, author of “Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman,” which was turned into a Hulu series earlier this year, is just one of the feminists proud to hop on her broomstick. In her latest, “The Witches Are Coming,” West draws on her experience as a stepmother to two teen girls, as well as her own upbringing, to comment on misogyny, women’s anger, #MeToo and other aspects of the current political moment. The event is presented by Skylight Books.

8 p.m. Monday. Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in Barnsdall Art Park, 4814 Hollywood Blvd. $32 includes copy of the book.

Notes on the self

Ben Lerner returns with his third novel, “The Topeka School.” Lerner’s latest takes Adam Gordon, the same central character who appeared in the author’s debut, “Leaving the Atocha Station,” and travels to late-'90s Kansas. Through Gordon, a debate-team prodigy and son of a famous feminist psychologist, “The Topeka School” ruminates on the meaning and failures of communication, family, psychology and masculine identity. Lerner will be in conversation with author and UCLA professor Mona Simpson.

7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. Free.

Nightmare in the house

Carmen Machado’s new memoir, “In the Dream House,” wrestles with how to tell the story of an abusive relationship between two women. Told in second person, the book has been widely praised as innovative and haunting. In this event presented by Skylight Books, Machado will be in dialogue with writer and book publicist Kima Jones.

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7 p.m. Thursday. Dynasty Typewriter at the Hayworth, 2511 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. Free.

Olympic stories

In “Dreamers and Schemers,” Barry Siegel revisits the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles through the exploits of impresario Billy Garland. Relying on historical records, photographs and a touch of speculation, Siegel plumbs “with care and fondness the extent to which one man could overcome so many obstacles to do something epic, successful and with wide-ranging consequences for both a city and a worldwide athletic contest,” says reviewer Nathan Deuel.

7:30 p.m. Thursday. The Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring St., Los Angeles. Free.

This land is your land?

Arlene Walker, Southern California resident and winner of the PEN USA CASP Award, discusses “Seeds of Deception.” Her debut novel, which Kirkus praised as “an immersive dive into an underrepresented moment in American history,” takes on the fight of a freed slave to get her family admitted into the Cherokee Nation in 1886.

4 p.m. Thursday. Los Angeles Public Library, Alma Reaves — Watts Branch, 10205 Compton Ave., Los Angeles. Free.


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