23 April 2012

Authors, we encounter authors

On Friday I went to see Anne Enright read at the KGB Bar in the East
Village. Enright is a short, wry woman who interjected her reading of
an excerpt from her latest novel THE FORGOTTEN WALTZ with eyebrow
raises and "oh dear"s, which was very charming. The bar phone rang
several times during her reading and she made a joke about how
impossible it would be to read in the pauses between rings (where was
the bartender? Why was there a phone there in the first pace? Who ever
knows) I dislike using the adjective "earthy" because in most contexts
I find it lacks meaning, but as her narrator cursed, so did Enright,
without decorous pause.

On Saturday I went to see an author who first became known ("famous"
is a bit of a stretch) as a character in someone else's book. In
Christopher McDougall's BORN TO RUN Scott Jurek is just one of a
handful of Americans who travel to Mexico to compete in a foot race
against members of the Tarahumara tribe, who run insanely long
distances in the desert in sandals made out of old tires. McDougall's
book is more fad than fantastic (Peter Sarsgaard liked it so much he's
directing the movie version) but has brought to Jurek, a physical
therapist by trade, kind of a cult status. His event this week,
unfortunately, was overshadowed by the death of another character in
BORN TO RUN, a man who went for a run and never came back. (Because
there hasn't been an autopsy, there isn't much to say besides what a
shame it is.) So while Jurek was primed to talk about his new book EAT
AND RUN, about nutrition on some kind of macro level I didn't
completely follow, he was eased away from that by the restless
audience, most of whom were in some kind of running gear.

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