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Sometimes a father's shouts and unintelligible grunting imparts to a child the most valuable form of communication. Dennis Cooper examines this dynamic in his latest novel, The Marbled Swarm, and he'll read it to you, too — just in case you have no father and have grown accustomed to making artists into your surrogate parents. Of course, passing down language without nuance carries with it inherent pitfalls — what if a man's son is seized with the notion that Gandhi was the spiritual leader of Indiana? The consequences could be devastating — and, as fans of Cooper's skewed skewerings have come to know and love — highly entertaining in a deeply literate, existentially electric way. Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz; Thurs., Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m.; free, book is $14.99. (323) 660-1175, skylightbooks.com.

Thu., Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m., 2011