Russell Banks is a frequent visitor to Pittsburgh, not only for literary readings but also as an activist. The novelist co-founded Cities of Refuge North America, a nonprofit network of sanctuaries for writers facing persecution in their home countries, and he's been here a few times thanks to the related Pittsburgh initiative, called City of Asylum/Pittsburgh, which hosts expatriate writers on the North Side. But Banks' upcoming appearance at the Pittsburgh Contemporary Writers Series should be mostly literary. Banks, currently an artist-in-residence at the University of Maryland, has written novels including The Sweet Hereafter, Cloudsplitter and this year's The Reserve (Harper Collins).
8:30 p.m. Wed., Oct 29. David Lawrence Hall, Forbes Avenue, University of Pittsburgh campus, Oakland. Free. 412-624-6506