Like many folks around the world, and particularly in Milwaukee, I'm a Lorrie Moore fan. The first book came out when I was still a young and idealistic book publicist (blog piece to come, nothing racy) in New York.
Self Help, sigh. I was just discovering short stories and I thought that Moore was so speaking to me, connecting to me and yet with her synapses in overdrive, speaking truth and doing all this wonderful wordplay. Funny sadness, I don't know, I blubber. Sorry.
Then the move to Milwaukee; Anagrams is published. I loved it as well, as did my friend John Eklund (he of the guest posts). He convinced me to take a field trip to Madison's Four Star Fiction (or was it Five Star--memory needs a tuneup). It was a full house and we both swooned as she read, a wonderful evening all around.
By the next book, Schwartz's event program was in full swing. I believe she visited us for both Who will Run the Frog Hospital (either Shorewood or Brookfield, or maybe one for the hardcover and one for the paperback. This was back when Knopf used to sell paperback rights--the first books went to Plume, but Warner bought this one. So since there was a new publisher, it's just possible they did a paperback tour).
The tour for Birds of America has no room for interpretation. It was the Downer Avenue branch of Schwartz; we chatted for a bit, or rather, she spoke and I stuttered.
So ten-plus years later, I thought this was a no-brainer. My biggest fear was that she would do one event, and it would be a competitor (note to competitors, it's not like you have these fears). There was talk of her doing an event at Marquette. I made an event request, but it wasn't a full-out event proposal. For one thing, I'd been told that smaller was better. For another, it was early and I was cocky.
But I'm not cocky any more. Moore is touring, but no Milwaukee. Look on the bright side. You can see her in these cities. It might be worth a trip.
9/10 Los Angeles Public Library
9/11 Seattle Public Library
9/12 Bookshop Santa Cruz
9/14 JCC of San Francisco
9/22 Free Library of Philadelphia
9/23 Bryn Mawr College (Philadelphia)
9/24 Politics and Prose, Washington DC
10/6 Brookline Booksmith (Boston)
11/7 Chicago Public Library
She's also listed as a featured presenter at the Madison (or some say Wisconsin, but I find that insulting) Book Festival. The festival is October 7-11, but I don't see a specific event date and place anywhere.
Here's a picture of my various first editions of her books. Well, except for Birds of America, which is an advanced readers copy. I kick myself for not buying a finished copy.
So who knows? Maybe an event will pop up eventually. For all the folks who held their books with us for today's publication, come pick them up. For everyone else, take your chances as we were almost fully reserved (our initial order was 15, but we have 12 more coming in perhaps as soon as Wednesday. We've been a bit cautious on our initial buys, which I'm sure you can understand.)
Note: the original last paragraph in this blog seemed to indicate I didn't like the book. That is not the case. Sorry for the confusion!
This is not the end of the story. Future blog post will tell all...