Earlier this week I attended a fundraiser for PEN New England (many thanks to my wonderful literary agent; if not for him I would never get invites to such fancy events). There was cocktail hour toasting the special guest writers: Alice Hoffman, Marianne Leone, Sue Miller, Richard Russo, Tom Perrotta, Stephen McCauley, Andre Dubus III, Susan Orlean – and even a famous actor, the Academy Award-winning Chris Cooper.
I am not a very fancy person, but I donned a dress and did my best. The crowd was lively and the food delicious. Our table was honored with the presence of Richard Russo, author of Empire Falls, who told us all what it’s like to win a Pulitzer Prize (which seems the equivalent of “what it’s like to walk on mars”). He was very genuine and endearing, and he also talked about the importance of creating visually beautiful books – I second and third this notion. I don’t own a kindle – I love the physicality of books too much. Besides, I already spend too much time staring at a computer screen.
It was a wonderful event. Meanwhile, I’ve actually been reading some adult novels – yes! books written for grown ups! I’ve read On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan, Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld, and Charity Girl by Michael Lowenthal, which I really enjoyed – his writing is gorgeous.
I’ll let you all know if I get invited to any more swanky parties. Next time I’ll be bold and introduce myself to all the stars.