<$BlogRSDURL$> Spontaneous Things: Karina Sumner-Smith's Blog
Tuesday, July 29, 2003
A Heartbreaking Reading of Staggering Genius
Or, Karina Uses the Obvious Title

Last night I went downtown with Carly to a reading by Dave Eggers. It was fan-freaking-tastic. Absolutely amazing. I have been to readings before--quite a few, actually--and I've never, never been to a reading that I enjoyed half as much as I enjoyed this one. And I've liked those other readings just fine.

This was the first time I'd seen a reading as part of an author's big, fancy, publisher-sponsored book tour. They sold tickets to this event. Tickets! 400 of them! And they were sold out! The book he was supposed to be promoting was You Shall Know Our Velocity, which he did not read from, or really mention except sort of in passing and in response to questions. He read a short story that he wrote (I am floored by his use of second person--seriously. I think I have a writer-crush), and a short story that some kids he tutors wrote (an 826 Valencia story), and a couple very short pieces that he wrote under a pseudonym. And he talked, and talked, and talked, and we, sitting in our uncomfortable seats in a de-consecrated church, listened and laughed and didn't want him to stop. He talked about writing, and editing, and McSweeney's, and the crazy-ass Pirate Shop that they run, and the local tutoring/free classes that they hold, and Frisbee, and more things than I can remember. It was hilarious and articulate and unbelievably entertaining.

Can I gush more? Is it possible? I will not tempt fate by trying.

I will add, however, that he's pretty damn cute, too.

When we left, the signing line was still a good hundred people long, at the very least. He was taking the time to talk to everyone who brought something to be signed, and to personalize books with names and quirky drawings. Rumour has it that this is very standard, and that he will not leave until everyone waiting has had their book(s) signed. That is really classy--not all authors would do the same. I'm taking notes.

Posted by Karina Sumner-Smith at 8:23 PM


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