So now we're basically BFF.

One of my very favorite things about living in New York is that you're almost guaranteed to see every author or musician if they're on a tour. It's an embarrassment of riches; last month I saw Elizabeth Gilbert twice in one week. (And what a grounding week it was...)

Last night was the first night of Ann Patchett's book tour for her newest novel, State of Wonder. I haven't read it yet, but I started it this morning in the train and within two paragraphs I was sinking into the bench on the 4 train, struck speechless by how masterful she is at writing a novel. She read a scene last night about an anaconda that had everyone's jaws on the floor. (By the way, you should totally see if she's touring in your city. Here's the schedule.)

I read Run last summer while I was in Iowa for the summer writing workshops and I gotta say, it's not just a good book to read. It's also a good book to learn how to write! I can't tell you how many times I've gone back to Bel Canto to see how she ends chapters or changes perspective. Patchett's books are writing how-tos if you read them the right way.

I almost never stay for book signings, but she's such an approachable writer that I picked up a copy of her new book and waited on line. When it was my turn, I handed her my book and said "Hi!"

"I love your necklace!" she said.
OhmygodAnnPatchettandIarebestfriends, I thought to myself. But I said "thanks, cool. My fiance got it for me for Christmas."
She opened the book to the title page.
"Your books are really helpful to learn how to write," I said. "I'm writing my first book and I find myself looking to Run and Bel Canto to see how they work."
"Oh!" she said and started signing, but not before she looked right at me and smiled for a minute.

Later I looked at what she wrote:

I mean, is that the best or what?

1 comment:

Tara said...

i am a goober, and i totally got all teary reading her message to you. that is awesome! you *are* bffs.