Alice Sebold is on tour for her new book, and last night Kennedy and I went to see her.
I read somewhere that writers have responsibilities that go beyond writing, namely buying books and attending readings. Because I feel guilty buying so many books, this idea is immensely satisfying for me. It’s not just another book to pile in stacks on the floor, it’s an investment in my career. Readings are something else altogether. I never feel guilty about going to readings. Instead I feel uncomfortable, especially in the little receiving line to get my book signed. Even though I know Alice, last night was no different.
Alice remembered me, which was nice. I presented Kennedy, but this seemed to baffle Alice. One of the guys I work seemed shocked when he heard I was taking my daughter to the reading. And I’ll admit I wondered if it was the right thing to do myself. Alice’s big theme is violence to women, and her new book even features a matricide. But Kennedy got so excited about our date after I first suggested it, I didn’t have the heart to leave her at home. Lucky for me Alice picked something to read that didn’t require any explaining.
So another reading under my belt. Alice looks pretty much like I remember her, except a little bit older.
Speaking of writer responsibilities, last week I submitted my story, The Solution to All My Problems, to Tin House, primarily because their Spring issue is themed “Off the Grid,” by which they mean “stories about people that function out of the bounds of “normal” society.” It probably behooves me to do more research on journals, but the deadline for submissions was fast approaching, so I just made sure they publish non-fiction and sent it out.
Tim~ What does Alice’s voice sound like? Is it soft? It seems like it would be from the way she looks, although I know she is far tougher than her appearance on book jackets leads one to believe.
I don’t think of her voice as particularly hard, but it does have that East coast twang that can seem somewhat sinister. You can hear for yourself, as she was on Fresh Air not long ago promoting her new book:
The good thing about taking Kennedy to readings when her age still reckons in the single digits, is that she’s going to be a pro at the whole reading scene by the time her first book is published!