Tuesday, June 2, 2009

One Last Joe Meno Roundup

So I begged, pleaded and cajoled, and Joe Meno did come up and read at Boswell Book Company last Friday. He's the sweetest guy ever (edgy punk persona aside) and had the crowd of 30 (not embarrassing, substantially bigger than his last appearance in Milwaukee, still disappointing to me) eating out of his hands. Oh, and that's a real 30, though I am including a ten-day-old baby. Really. Ten days.

Did I mention that the novel plays off of Slaughterhouse Five, in tone and in what it sets out to accomplish, using the simple rock-your-reality grace of "Billy Pilgrim has become unstuck in time" as a jumping-off point? Did I mention that crazy jacket was done by the same person who did Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Now that I mention it, you can immediately see it.

Bayard Godsaves's two stories were great, on that Meno and I agreed. It turns out his story in Flash Fiction is also licensed in a reader for Swedish teenagers learning English? How cool is that? His novel is being shopped by agents. He promised that I'm going to be able to read it soon. Oh, and if you are an editor or publishing type who wants to try it, email me and I'll hook you up.

Part of the deal was that I escorted Joe around (ok, I won't call you Mr. Meno). Not really a chore, especially since I found an Alamo $10/day weekend rate. We had a light dinner afterwards at Palomino (he's a vegetarian) and then we went to a fancy restaurant (I don't want anyone in trouble so I'm not mentioning it) to get a book signed for the hostess, who couldn't attend.

For some reason, it was a little twist that really engaged all three of us. If the next author I take around has time, maybe we'll do a whole loop, chasing down folks who told us they wanted to come to the event but had to work.
And hey, The Great Perhaps was our bestselling hardcover fiction book for the week. So that's something. The New York Times review supposedly comes out this Sunday.

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