Duck season! Rabbit season! No! It’s book season!

After two lousy months of no-name author readings at Elliott Bay, September looks like a return to the high-quality calendar of the spring, when I once went to three readings in the same week. September 5 sees James Welch (author of Fools Crow), hawking copies of his new book The Heartsong of Charging Elk, which kept my stepfather up until 2 in the morning to finish it. Margaret Atwood (or "Magaret Atwood," as Elliott Bay's web page calls her) is doing a $10 event on the 11th. I was no fan of The Handmaid's Tale, but if the publicity campaign is any indication, it should be a major-league literary event, and besides, novelists of Atwood's fame are like old-school baseball cards: maybe you didn't particularly like Carl Yaztremzki, but if you get a chance to get the Carl Yaztremski card with the sideburns, you don't pass it up.

I'm definitely planning to see William Vollman on the 13th, even though I'm not entirely inclined to get a copy of his book. David informs me that Vollman is known for spicing up his readings with fun like firing a pistol (albeit one loaded with blanks) into the audience. Vollman fandom seems to mark a certain slightly maladjusted demographic, one that sees itself mirrored and justified in his grandiose misanthropic insanity. All the same, should be an interesting event. Jane Mendelsohn graces the Elliott Bay basement on the 23rd with the intriguing-sounding Innocence. Nick Bantock will be on display, as it were, on the 25th. I have a suspicion that he's probably horribly shy and inarticulate in person: his lavishly-designed books have the meticulous artistry that speaks of great creativity that has been utterly denied at least one other possible outlet. T.C Boyle, another one of the Collectible Literary Figures, visits on the 27th. And to round out the announcements, Booker-prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro will be in town on the 9th of October. They're also promising, that same action-packed October week, to host Michael Chabon, Mark Salzman, Bill Bradley, and Neal Pollack.