Sep 26, 2011

National Book Festival - 2011

This past weekend was the National Book Festival and once again, I was there with DQ. We are so devoted to this event that not even the threat of a very rainy day could keep us away. We're not alone in that. The tents were packed - standing room only.

DQ and I attended most of the authors together. One for her, one for me, and one we both wanted to see. Happily, all were really good. Although I was worried at first that there wasn't enough that I wanted to see, I came to realize that you really only need one for each time slot and we had that.

We started with Gregory Maguire, the author of Wicked and other books. Here he is with DQ. I've neither seen, nor read, his books but I really enjoyed his talk. He talked about his inspiration and how the book became a play. At one point he even broke into song. How great is that?


My pick was Sarah Vowell. I've enjoyed her pieces on This American Life and I had high hopes. DQ had no familiarity and zero expectations. We both laughed out loud. She was a great speaker, very animated and candid. That candid nature led to one of the most interesting moments. DQ went up during the Q&A period and asked the author (who is part Cherokee and has written about the Trail of Tears before) how she "feels about Andrew Jackson". The answer was "I fucking hate him!". There was more to her answer than that but still, they videotape these presentations and put them on the web. On the Library of Congress site. I wonder how many of these presentations need to be bleeped.

The last author we saw was Laura Lippman. DQ and I are both fans of her books. She was great. Even better, we got through the day without any rain. No Rain At All. It goes without saying that I brought my giant umbrella and DQ wore my boots. Had we not been prepared the heavens would've opened and the National Mall would've become a river.

How was your weekend.


sprite said...

I looked for you guys, but picked different authors, so our paths must not ever have crossed. Good to hear you enjoyed yourselves. I did, too.

Carole Knits said...

I'm glad it was good and I'm sorry I missed it again. Next year!

Mini said...

wow... that sounds like fun. I like Gregory Maguire's books, they are witty and have a nice edge to them. I keep thinking I ought to make an effort to go see more authors read their work; I wonder if it'll be a new "voice" for me when I read their work?