We had a great event out here in San Francisco last night. Green Apple Books sponsored the reading at the Last Day Saloon; the goal was to celebrate Lydia Davis’s work, and I think we did a lot of that. We read some testimonials from readers and writers, and then opened the stage for readings from audience members.
Alone and in pairs — one team did a great reading of “They Take Turns Using a Word They Like,” while another did “Sisters (II)” — about fifteen audience members read from Samuel Johnson Is Indignant, and at the end, the audience, with their applause, determined the best reading of the night. A guy named Tom, who I later gave a very nice haircut, won for his reading of “Interesting”; he won a large painting of a tangerine, which was still wet. (Sorry.)
I just want to thank, profusely, all those who came out on a drizzly night. To see about 150 people come out to hear each other read from Lydia Davis’s work, in her absence — well, it was really kind of overwhemingly great. I hope all those who last night were first exposed to Lydia’s work will become converts — it’s impossible to resist — and I hope all those who’ve known her work for some time gained some new insights. The one guy, Tyler, who did a barking, Beat-style reading of “Money” ensured we’d never see that piece quite the same way again.
Thanks and we’ll see you next time.