Reading Recap: Powell’s on Burnside

Audience: About 40.
Anxiety index: 5 (out of 10).
Book given away: A Man of the People by Chinua Achebe.
Surprise guest(s): The lovely Whitney Otto. And my aerobics instructor.
No. of Moroccans:3

My first official reading for Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits took place last night at Powell’s on Burnside. I spoke about books and what they’ve meant to me throughout my life, highlighting a few that have had special significance for me (hence the choice of A Man of the People.) I also talked about my journey to writing, and how it took years to finally have the guts to chuck everything and just do it. I read a few pages from the first chapter and then I talked about how the book came into being, the characters, the structure, etc. People asked some great questions, and that was the best part of the reading for me–this opportunity to chat with readers.

Then came the signing itself. A woman whose husband was Moroccan asked me to sign the book to him in Arabic, which was fun. We wished each other a happy Ramadan. A librarian wanted her copy signed to the branch. (Hello, Lake Oswego readers!) My aerobics instructor wanted me to write that I couldn’t have written this book without her. (And, hey, mens sana in corpore sano, after all.) I ended up signing some extra books, and so Powell’s will make them available online at some point in the future for those of you who want autographed copies but can’t get to a reading. I’ll post a special link when I have it.