I made it out to the Wisconsin Book Festival last night.
I went to hear Lorrie Moore speak. I just finished "Gate at the Stairs" and really liked it. We timed it so that we would arrive just as she came on stage, and not have to listen to some guy I'd never heard of before who was speaking before her on some strange book that he'd written about chickens.
I was underwhelmed by Ms. Moore. She wasn't feeling well, and she spent most of her time making sure that we understood that she wrote FICTION, dammit. If we were not sophisticated enough to realize that a novel was an art and it WASN'T TRUE than we just didn't deserve to read her books.
She is adored by the NYTimes. They gush:
She is not so much adored in Madison. Not much gushing:
Perhaps it is because despite all of her protests otherwise, people think she writes about Madison. (And really, anyone who has lived here for even a month knows that 'Troy' is no fictional city. It's Madison!) And she writes with a bit of disdain. Or truth. Depending on how you see it.
I think she is a brilliant writer and I don't care what she writes about - I'll read it.
But of course, the highlight of the evening turned out to be Michael Perry - the guy I'd never heard of before who wrote a book about chickens. The one I was trying to avoid. He was an amazing speaker. I laughed. I cried. And I can't wait to read his book, Coop, which I now know is about way more than chickens.
Any other book recommendations out there?