Two award-winning authors discuss their craft
It's hard to say whether aspiring young writers would really want to emulate the career of the excellent award-winning Dominican-American author Junot Díaz. On the one hand, his hit debut novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, about a comic-book obsessed "ghetto nerd," made it onto every Best Books of 2007 list. On the other hand, it took him 11 grueling years to finish. Tonight, Díaz will discuss his torturous writing process and what it takes to create believable lives while blending real historical facts with fictional characters. Joining him is Francisco Goldman, author of the extraordinary award-winning 1992 novel, The Long Night of White Chickens, and, most recently, The Art of Political Murder. At 6:30, CUNY Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue, gc.cuny.edu, free, seating is first-come, first-served
No strap required at this four-day musical extravaganza
The ukulele may sometimes get an "Oh, brother" sigh for attempting to be the poor man's guitar, but stop hating on this little musicmaker (download George Harrison on "Free as a Bird" or Eddie Vedder's "Goodbye"). The New York Uke Fest scores with us for giving the "jumping flea" (its name, literally) a new boost. The four-day festival includes workshops in which you can learn the basics, get your uke jams to sound snazzy and jazzy, and sit through Uke Blues 101. There will also be concerts galore, the musical Sex, Drugs, and Ukuleles!, and, of course, a special presentation on the loveable uke musician Tiny Tim. At 7, through Sunday, Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue, nyukefest.com, $10–$225
It's cruise season, but if you can't afford a couple grand to sail the high seas with bingo-playing, elderly Jewish ladies, there may be a more age-appropriate (albeit land-based) option at the Slipper Room. Jessica Delfino, a vag-obsessed musician whose abilities span the flying-V ukulele to the rape whistle, and comic-book illustrator Dame Darcy present Naughty Nautical Night #2, a burlesque show featuring hot sailors, sexy mermaids, belly dancers (are they even nautical?), and pirates that promises to titillate slightly more than the shuffleboard deck and a sunset buffet. At 9, Slipper Room, 167 Orchard Street, 212-253-7246, $5
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