Thursday, July 23, 2009

a cool writer of impressive action

One of the things I love to do while I'm in the Bay Area is to attend readings by authors I wouldn't otherwise get to see. True, we've had some great writers visit Flagstaff, from Jan Brett and Lemony Snicket for the kids to Ron Carlson and T. Greenwood for the adults. But here in Northern California you almost can't walk down the street without having a famous author whack you in the head. Figuratively speaking, of course.

Last night I attended Dave Eggers' reading at a local indie bookstore. He read from his new non-fiction work Zeitoun, which is about the horrifying experiences of a Syrian man living in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. I've been an Eggers fan since his "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" and "You Shall Know Our Velocity" days, so it was a real treat to see him in person. (If you haven't read anything by him, I recommend running out and getting something today - especially AHWOSG, which, for me, was a fun awakening to some new, stylistic possibilities in writing). He seems like a very down-to-Earth person, too, and he clearly puts his money where his mouth is (profits from the books go to worthy causes like 826 Valencia and ongoing hurricane relief efforts).

This is the sort of thing I'm going to miss when it's time to head home in a couple days.

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