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Concert: Chuck Berry

Chuck Berry is such a seminal figure in the history of rock ‘n’ roll that most people, if you ask them when they don’t have their smartphones handy, will tell you he’s dead. On the one hand, it’s ignorance. On the other, it’s simply hard to believe that someone with Mr. Berry’s influence is still alive. But alive he is, and at 85 years old, he can still rock his classic hits - “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Johnny B. Goode” and “My Ding-a-Ling” - like a young man.

Saturday at Howard Theatre, 620 T St. NW

Phone: 202/588-5595

Web: www.howardtheatre.org

Author reading: Cory MacLauchlin discusses John Kennedy Toole

John Kennedy Toole killed himself with the fumes from his car in 1969. Eleven years later, he was famous. What happened in between is that his mother found someone to publish Toole’s novel, “A Confederacy of Dunces.” The novel, about an unemployed New Orleans momma’s boy who still lives at home and must find a job, is hilarious and weird and widely considered a classic. But as Cory MacLauchlin reveals in “Butterfly in the Typewriter: The Tragic Life of John Kennedy Toole and the Remarkable Story of A Confederacy of Dunces,” Toole’s life was hardly as enjoyable as his novel. His mother was oppressive, commanding and manipulative, and relied on Toole to take care of her. His career as a writer was marked by half-hearted attempts to sell his work, decade-long droughts and depression. At the end of his life, he spent two months driving around aimlessly. When a “Confederacy of Dunces” finally was published, it was his mother who got the copyright and the attention.

Mr. MacLauchlin speaks Sunday at One More Page, 2200 N. Westmoreland St. #101, Arlington, Va.

Phone: 703/300-9746

Web: www.onemorepagebooks.com