Amanda Boyden

Both Amanda Boyden’s author bio and her first novel, Pretty Little Dirty, rely heavily on her rough-and-ragged blue-collar roots (she was a trapeze artist and contortionist before turning to writing). Her second novel, Babylon Rolling (Pantheon, $23.95), yields a cornucopia of carefully multicultural characters. It’s fraught with the racial and social sensitivity of a practicing White Liberal Novelist. However, Boyden is also from New Orleans, which gives Babylon a depth that I didn’t expect. The book chronicles through the eyes of five families the year before Hurricane Katrina hit. Political correctness prevails, but Boyden’s personal experience evacuating to Texas during the storm clearly gave her something to say. All things considered, she says it pretty well. Elliott Bay Book Co., 101 S. Main St., 624-6600, Free. 7:30 p.m. EMMA BREYSSE

Thu., Aug. 14, 7:30 p.m., 2008

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