In the month of October I:
— went to Amber Sparks’ book release party. Her collection, May We Shed These Human Bodies, was a curious fusion of that experimental/New Sincerist voice I read in places like red lightbulbs and Diagram, but meshed with fabulism’s love of the resonant image. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and the event itself was a blast. Every copy of the book came with a free shot of Maker’s Mark. Smart marketing move there, Curbside Splendor.
— along with James, saw Don DeLillo speak at the Chicago Public Library. DeLillo read a much-abridged version of the story that appears in The Secret History of Science Fiction. I read White Noise as part of my PhD exams; it was amazing hearing a canonized SF writer talk about process and the inspiration(s) for his work. He mentioned that he’d started writing seriously later in life but had gone on to have a career spanning over forty years, a fact I found tremendously heartening.
— along with James, saw Cat Valente read at the Book Cellar. I sipped a beer while she read from the second Fairyland book. Oh how I love a bookstore with alcohol! Decent crowd for a rainy night, but still fairly intimate — about the same turnout as she pulled for Deathless last year. I asked a few obnoxious questions about languages. I am so bad at asking questions…I get tongue-tied and wind up sounding confrontational when I’m really just fumbling. Blech, me. It was an all-adult crowd, though, which wound up making for a delightful Q&A, because she was able to walk at length about theme and lyricism and feminism and other good things. I bought a copy of the book, but I’m waiting until my mother brings my copy of Fairyland the First from AZ so I can re-read it before diving in to book 2.
The signing line for Valente was long, and she was being very kind and talking at length to each attendee. James and I were starving, so rather than wait, we decided to make a date of it and picked up Costa Rican food. Ended the evening with plantain-stuffed empanadas. I should’ve brought her the collected Akhmatova to sign. Next time, perhaps.
But I did get DeLillo’s signature on my Viking Critical of White Noise.
I love living in a place where I attend so many fabulous things in a given month that I lose track and forget to blog all of them. Just absurd.