Never the Sinner
Stewart Theatre, N.C. State CampusLeopold and Loeb remain one of the odder entries in the history of crime. Their senseless murder of a young boy, seemingly for the thrill of it, has remained a point of inspiration for many a piece of fiction, including Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope (1948), the Orson Welles-starring Compulsion (1959), 2002’s Murder by Numbers and even a 2005 Off-Broadway musical. Their infamous trial and defense by Clarence Darrow raised many disturbing questions about the nature of capital punishment, the idea of the Nietzschean superman, and the relationship between crime and the media. For a one-stop lesson in the tale of Leopold and Loeb, check out the 1988 play Never the Sinner by John Logan (who would go on to write such screenplays as Gladiator and The Last Samurai), a chronicle of the pair’s notorious history. For more information, visit www.ncsu.edu/theatre/currentseason.html. Zack Smith

Junot Díaz
Richard White Lecture Hall, Duke CampusIt was an 11-year gap between his short story collection Drown and his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, but Junot Díaz found it was worth the wait. Wao, published in late 2007, won the Pulitzer Prize for literature, the John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize and a shelf full of other awards. Yet Díaz, who’s currently in the midst of a world tour of readings and signings, doesn’t feel his life has changed that much: “They have another Pulitzer in a few months, so I’ll get to get off the track, and someone else gets to run around for a while.” Read our interview with Díaz, who speaks and signs at 6 p.m. For more information, visit latino.aas.duke.edu. Zack Smith