Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I'm trying not to get too excited, but I'm headed to Scranton PA this weekend (wait for it--the seeming contradiction of being excited to get to Scranton will be sorted out...here): The Pages and Places book festival is Saturday and I'll get to hear A. "Sasha" Hemon speak (at the very least. I might get to meet him, too. Like, meet him meet him. Not just stand in a line and have him sign my book while I fumble for some not-crazy-sounding conversational words).

So, yeah. Pretty psyched I might also get a chance to chat with Teju Cole, who wrote Open City. He's the other novelist on the panel with Hemon. He's been compared to Sebald, so I'm fairly sure I'd like the novel. I just wish I'd had a chance to read it before this weekend. Hopefully I'll pick up a copy when I'm there. The panel they're on is called "The City as Literary Influence" which might be relevant, given that I'm working on a large project that takes place in NYC and the more I write, the more the city seems to be as much a character as the humans. Maybe even more so...

There's also a lecture on coal region writers which I'm kind of interested in attending. Being a coal miners (grand)daughter, and having written a story or two about some miners myself, I'd like to hear what the three panelists have to say. The moderator is from Camp Hill, too. Interesting.

The festival should be fun and exciting and informative, and northeastern PA is pretty pleasant this time of year. So, I'm going to run now, and obsess over every.single.word. Hemon has ever written (is it tacky to bring photocopies of all his New Yorker stories and make him sign all of them?) and dig out my book on St. Clair so I have something to talk about with the coal miners.

I can't wait! <squeal!>