A compilation of interesting—and, most important, free—lectures, cultural events, and more throughout the week.
In Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret, Steve Luxenberg, an editor at the Washington Post, uncovers his mother’s hidden past and an aunt he never knew existed. Luxenberg will discuss his book with New York Times reporter Scott Shane at the Borders at 18th and L streets, Northwest, at 6:30.
Wednesday, May 20
Washington Post columnist David Ignatius will read from and his discuss his newest thriller, The Increment, at Politics and Prose at 7. The novel centers around the Iranian nuclear threat and how a CIA agent must betray his country and turn to a secret British spy team called the Increment to save the day.
Thursday, May 21
The Smithsonian American Art Museum screens The Grapes of Wrath in its McEvoy Auditorium at 6. John Ford’s adaptation of the John Steinbeck novel follows the Joad family, who attempt to leave behind the Great Depression by heading west to California.
Saturday, May 23
Violinist Nicholas Kitchen will discuss and perform Bach’s sonatas and partitas in the Library of Congress’s Coolidge Auditorium from 2 to 3. The works, which will be displayed with Bach’s manuscripts on a projection screen, include the two Guarneris (“Kreisler” and “Baron Vitta-Goldberg”), the “Brookings” Amati, and two of the Whittall Stradivari (“Betts” and “Castelbarco”).
The Best Years of Our Lives, winner of seven Academy Awards, plays at noon in the National Archives’ William G. McGowan Theater. The 1946 movie follows three World War II veterans who return home to discover that they and their families have irreparably changed.
Sunday, May 24
The National Gallery of Art screens the Washington premiere of L’aimée in its East Building auditorium at 4:30. Arnaud Desplechin’s 2007 autobiographical film about life in the French/Belgian border town Roubaix centers around his father, who has just sold his family’s home, and the memories sparked by emptying the house.