Steven Galloway’s new novel, The Confabulist, opens with this admission from a seemingly normal guy named Martin Strauss: “I didn’t just kill Harry Houdini. I killed him twice.” What follows is a historical re-imagining of the famed illusionist’s life and his fateful encounters with Strauss, whose damaged memory is but one reason he’s an unreliable narrator. A Canadian with a gift for fanciful stories, Galloway says he’s always been fascinated with Houdini, who many forget was the most famous man of his time — and thus ripe for a slight-of-hand book about his singular exploits. Galloway discusses The Confabulist at Joseph-Beth Rookwood. 7 p.m. Free. 2692 Madison Road, Norwood, josephbeth.com.