Lit City at the Line. A new literary salon hosted by the Austin-based literary magazine American Short Fiction comes to the Line Austin Hotel. This month, Lit City features Rebecca Makkai, author of "The Great Believers," which was both one of the New York Times’ top 10 books for 2018 and a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize, and Paul Lisicky, author of "The Narrow Door," a New York Times Editors' Choice. A cocktail hour will follow the readings and conversation. 7 p.m. May 20. Free. 111 E. Cesar Chavez St. litcityattheline.splashthat.com.
Karen Russell at BookPeople. From the Pulitzer Prize finalist and universally beloved author of the New York Times bestsellers "Swamplandia!" and "Vampires in the Lemon Grove," a new collection of short fiction that showcases Russell’s gifts of language and imagination. "Orange World," which she'll talk about and sign at this BookPeople event, is a series of short stories that showcases Russell's talent at creating outlandish predicaments that mirror real life. 7 p.m. May 20. Free. 603 N. Lamar Blvd. bookpeople.com.
India Arie at Paramount Theatre. Since her debut album “Acoustic Soul” dropped in 2001, the Denver-born singer-songwriter has created a lane for herself, tackling tough topics with honest lyricism and an earthy soulful sound. Her latest release, “Worthy,” opens with a powerful call to action. “What if Martin didn't stand up? What if Rosa didn’t sit down? What if Malcolm didn't man up? Where would we be now?” she sings on “What If,” a track that sets the stage for an album that shines as a tribute to resilience and light. 8 p.m. May 20. $35-$60. 713 Congress Ave. austintheatre.org. — Deborah Sengupta Stith
In Cucina con Mamma: A Culinary Experience. Did you skip the flowers and jewelry this Mother's Day? How about giving your mom an experience she will cherish forever? South Austin restaurant It's Italian Cucina has curated a very special cooking class featuring four courses and led by Master Chef Al Fini in the It's Italian kitchen. Space is limited to 10 people, so book your class today by calling 512-482-8655 or emailing email@example.com. 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. May 20. $85. 1500 S. Lamar Blvd. #110. facebook.com/events/585877551923685/.
Gabriela Villarreal at Ao5 Gallery. Mexican abstract painter Villarreal has constructed dynamic paintings that capture the vitality and color of the environment where she grew up in Monterrey, using an earthy color palette accented by delicate touches of metallic golds. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday through May 26. 3005 S. Lamar Blvd. C-110. ao5gallery.com.
Monarch Conservation with Katie Boyer. From the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Boyer will speak at the next Austin Pond Society meeting about monarch butterflies. The eastern migratory monarch butterfly population has declined by more than 90% since the mid-1990s, spurring an international movement to protect and conserve this species and other pollinators. This presentation will cover monarch biology and highlight opportunities to engage in the monarch and pollinator conservation movement. 6:30 p.m. May 20. Zilker Botanical Garden, 2220 Barton Springs Road. austinpondsociety.org.