The Week I Met Hanya Yanagihara, Karan Mahajan, and Antonio Ruiz-Camacho

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!

From the store’s Twitter Page

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 

 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

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

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!

17 thoughts on “The Week I Met Hanya Yanagihara, Karan Mahajan, and Antonio Ruiz-Camacho

  1. Reasons number 1,000 and 1,001 why Austin is an awesome city. I would love to visit there someday! What a thrilling experience this must have been for you! To us booklovers authors are the celebrities, for sure. Now youve got me really curious to read Yanagihara’s book.

    1. She was an incredible speaker, riveting, witty, and so smart. I have to read her book. It’ll take me ages to finish it, but I think it’ll be worth it.

      And yes, Austin is such a great place! Where do you live?

  2. You look happy in all the pictures. And, Book People is a wonderful name for a bookstore. I am going to visit Austin in June, and I am surely going to hang out here for a while. 🙂

  3. So much fun for you! I enjoy seeing your pictures of it – I find you look so composed. I would probably be beet red and dripping in sweat. 🙂
    And, so cool that you’re from the same hometown. I don’t go to a lot of author events (mostly because of where I live), but I have gone to the few that have come to my town. Usually they are Nova Scotia writers, relatively unknown in most places, but also the ones I most like to support!

  4. Oh that’s so wonderful you got to meet some of your favorite authors!! 🙂 So jealous, I live in Germany and hardly ever like German lit so I basically never get to meet author. Once I sae Margaret Atwood at a book festival from afar.. does that count? 😀
    Also, A Little Life is one my list! But am.scared it’ll Curious about the lack.of female characters but I didn’t know the authors wasn’t even a dude 😀

    1. I found it an odd choice for her to not include an significant female characters in the novel too. If a man wrote a novel that included only female characters, I’d be a little hesitant to read it as well..But as I said, this book sounds fascinating so I’ll have to read it and decide for myself!

      And yes, it will make you bawl, unfortunately. Some of the people I met at the singing openly admitted to crying and having their hears shredded by this novel.

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