Feeling low? Down in the dumps? The (sort of) good news is that you’re not alone. Jason Porter’s debut novel suggests that the answer to the ageold question “Is it them or just me?” is it’s all of us. In Why Are You So Sad? (Plume), Raymond, an instruction manual illustrator for an IKEA like furniture conglomerate, determines that the entire world is caught in the throes of a clinical depression and takes it upon himself to find out why — much to the dismay of his friends and family, who are also afflicted by the epidemic, he suspects. Gary Shteyngart and other scenesters are already praising it as oddly hilarious, particularly for a book about being sad. Tonight, Porter will read and discuss with fellow literati Colum McCann, because nothing warms the soul like commiseration.
Wed., Feb. 5, 7 p.m., 2014