Thursday, April 9, 2009
I'm Looking Through You
Today our English grad association brought a bigwig to campus. I and three other grad students have been planning for this visit for months. I have been stressing and worrying and freaking out for the last week or so.
Our distinguished visiting author was Jennifer Finney Boylan. You might remember her from my earlier plea to you all to read her two memoirs.
You can find more stuffs about the author and her books (memoirs, novels, short story collections, etc.) and her blog at www.jenniferboylan.net. I highly recommend you jump over there.
I loved having Jenny Boylan on campus today. We had a memoir-writing talk, a pizza lunch, and a reading of new stuff. It was all great. Jenny Boylan is friendly, funny, and extremely knowledgeable.
Oddly enough, my favorite part of the day was a little phrase that no one else might have noticed.
We were sitting in the English department lounge around 10am and Boylan was talking about... something. And then - mid-sentence - she said, "Now that the secondhand has passed the twelve, I'll start my talk. You'll notice no difference between what I've been doing and that talk."
One of Boylan's big themes is that being true to one's self is the best way to live in the world, even if living one's truth is really quite hard to do. I found her quick comment reflective of that focus. The comment made me smile at the time and it has kept me thinking all day.
I'm still thinking.
P.S. - I don't care for long-lined booksignings, but I do love having meaningful books signed by the authors in slightly personalized ways. Perhaps one day I'll show you my David Bevington book... Anyway, today Boylan totally eclipsed Bevington. Just try and tell me that isn't the cutest signing you've seen. Ever.