E.L. Doctorow has a way with history. Ragtime and Billy Bathgate, just two of his many titles, are stuffed with the sort of delicious details that make the past come to luscious life. His most recent story burrows into the strange, dark mysteries of the Collyer brothers, America's most famous compulsive hoarders. Homer & Langley: The Novel narrates the lives of the upper-crust New York siblings who fell from grace as they became recluses. The brothers died within days of each other in 1947, trapped in the mountains of stuff they'd hoarded in their faded Fifth Avenue brownstone. The New York Times called Doctorow's new novel a "gentle, enveloping" story filled with "sepia-tone figures." It's truly fascinating stuff, and Doctorow will read his own elegant paragraphs today, courtesy of Inprint. 7:30 p.m. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. For information, call 713-521-2026 or visit www.inprinthouston.org. $5.
Mon., Oct. 19, 7:30 p.m., 2009