“I would never have guessed that the hottest ticket of 2009 would be a 67-year-old author of 700-page books,” begins Jay Gabler’s write-up of last night’s reading by John Irving, posted today on tcdailyplanet.net. Ah, but it was, as a capacity crowd packed ComedySportz’ theater to hear the author of The World According to Garp discuss wrestling, the writing life, and almost incidentally his latest novel Last Night in Twisted River.
Among the evening’s revelations was this gem: “Turning to questions submitted in writing by the audience, Irving mentioned that at a recent literary conference he’d perplexingly received four questions directed at Margaret Atwood. “Though we’re about the same age,” he observed, “we really don’t look all that similar.” That led to a story about how Irving and John Updike, in the last decade of Updike’s life, would trade packages of letters written by fans who mistook one author for the other.”
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One thought on “"You don’t get to pick your obsessions": John Irving Wows Minneapolis”
I think the reading tonight with Irving was possibly the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of attending. I went into “goose pimple overload” when, out of seemingly nowhere in a simple aside, he recreated Owen’s “rock dust falsetto” in his own voice. Lucky duck that I was this evening, I got to sit in the front row in the sole unreserved seat next to his wife. It was a simple hoot to watch her react to his closing story about he and his dog’s misadventure with the porcupine.
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