Friday, September 08, 2006

Festival of Authors

With autumn comes vibrant foliage and author readings. I am still not certain whether I find author readings enjoyable or merely something I think I should enjoy, but the fact remains that each year's announcement of IFOA participants makes my heart leap a little with anticipation. In my mind, the most notable of this year's participants is Cynthia Ozick, having recently published a collection of essays, the most excellently titled The Din in the Head. However, my guess is that there will be a bigger buzz around the likes of Man Booker longlister Claire Messud, and cult writer Mark Z. Danielewski. Everything I read about Messud's The Emperor's Children makes me think of Jay McInerney's Bright Lights/Brightness Falls/Good Life triumvirate. My, but I do love New York, but the writing that revolves around life there can sure be cliché. As for media whore Danielewski, his imminent release has been subject to a bloated marketing frenzy, and is sure to excite and confuse those who have been MZD worshippers ever since House of Leaves made its postmodern presence felt virtually and otherwise. Despite all of my negatively bent speculations, I am sure that they are two very fine books.

And here's an innovative idea for a festival feature: an interview with Margaret Atwood. Very original. Never before done, I think. I am quite sure that CanLit cannot continue to revolve around the inventor of the Unotchit. Very soon, she will invent a device to sell side by side with the remote autograph signer, that being the remote author reading device. Harbourfront is sooo far away from the Annex! Despite all of my snarky musings, I am sure that she is a very lovely woman.

To sum up: two very fine books, a very lovely woman, and listening to successful writers read from their published works...what could be more fucking enjoyable than that?

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