6.08.2011

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.