Reason #253 why I love living in Austin, TX – I get to meet amazing authors in one of my favorite bookstores in the world, Book People!
This beautiful place gave me one of the best weeks of my life as a book lover! Inside these walls, I got a chance to meet and briefly chat with not one, not two, but three incredible authors. I feel so blessed to have met them and learned from the wealth of knowledge they provided about their experiences as writers.
By the end of the week, I was exhausted. Going to book signings for three days in a row is tiring business, but it’s so worth it! I don’t even mind that I basically got no reading done this week. I had so much fun that if I could turn back time, I’d do it all over again. 🙂
Day 1 – Karan Mahajan
Supporting living authors of color is a life-long goal I have set for myself. So when I heard about Karan Mahajan’s new novel, The Association of Small Bombs, I knew I had to begin following this man’s work and career. The New York Times has given it a glowing review which has made me even more eager to read than I thought possible.
Karan Mahajan actually lives in Austin as well! He apparently likes to hang out at Book People as much as I do. It’s very likely that we have been in the building together, browsing the shelves, or reading on the chairs and couches at the same time. OK, I’m starting to sound like a creepy fanboy. But meeting him was wonderful because he is smart, honest, and grounded.
Day 2 – Hanya Yanagihara
I have not yet read A Little Life because its length has held me back, but after hearing her speak, I realized I can no longer put it off. Hanya Yanagihara is one of the best, most eloquent speakers I’ve met. She exudes talent and intelligence and I felt privileged to have met her.
I must admit that one of the reasons I put off reading A Little Life was because I heard that it doesn’t include any women in the narrative. It is supposed to be a story of male intimacy and friendship, so I get it, but still – where are the women!? But after hearing her speak and explain the novel and what it means to her, she really sold it to me. It is an emotional thriller, with a protagonist who continuously attempts to better himself but fails repeatedly and stagnates as a result. It is a novel that reflects on the tyranny of happiness, the idea that if you’re not happy, then you must be doing something wrong. Essentially, it is a novel I must read in 2016!
Day 3 – Antonio Ruiz-Camacho
Antonio Ruiz-Camacho is another author who lives in Austin, TX — really, how awesome is my city?! But it gets even better. Not only do we currently live in the same city, but we also have the same hometown in Mexico! Hearing him speak and getting to meet him was a wonderful experience. He is such a kind and diligent person who deserves much success.
The New York Times described his short story collection, Barefoot Dogs, as being “full of remarkable wisdom and humor, yet unflinching in its portrayal of the horrors sweeping contemporary Mexico.” I was very impressed by the excerpt he read of the strangely titled “Origami Prunes.” Expect a review of this book in the coming weeks!
Have you ever met more than one author in one week?
What are your fondest memories of meeting your favorite authors?
Let me know in the comments below!