Abraham Verghese
Searle Center, Duke CampusAbraham Verghese’s real life is more fascinating than that of many fictional characters. Born and raised in Ethiopia, he worked at a number of hospitals in the U.S. after receiving his medical degree, including a period in Tennessee in which he immersed himself in the treatment of AIDS and HIV in a white, rural environment. Later, he was accepted into the prestigious Iowa Writers Workshop and earned an M.F.A.; his writing has appeared in the likes of The New Yorker and The Wall Street Journal. Since 2007, he’s held chairs at the Stanford University School of Medicine. And now, his first novel, Cutting for Stone, a tale of Ethiopia, has just been published. It raises the question: Is there anything this man can’t do? You can ask him yourself when he appears at the Searle Center at 7 p.m. The Regulator Bookshop sponsors, but because of the crowd expected, the event is at Duke. For more information, visit www.regulatorbookshop.com. Zack Smith

The Belleville Outfit
Berkeley CafeThe Belleville Outfit hops the rails to tie rural and city life together while taking time to appreciate the sights in between. Just as trains connect country orchards with urban stages, the violin of the sextet swings slide guitar into jangly piano. The Austin-based group is a traveling Americana/ blues review that formed at Merlefest in 2007 and promptly forgot about genre distinctions. This lends the music an enormous sense of freedom and openness. Male and female vocals trade off between Appalachian traveling songs and upbeat, bird-tweeting jazz. The high lonesome sound celebrates blue notes at 8 p.m. for $10. Andrew Ritchey