Literary Happenings: Dylan Landis & Beverly Gologorsky at the Center for Fiction, Wed 10/07/2009

9 Oct

Kudos to Lisa Glatt for being cyber-friends with the amazing Dylan Landis. Earlier this summer, I was goofing around on Lisa’s website and happened to click on a link to Dylan’s site. Thank god I did because this woman is the real deal, a truly gifted writer who understands humor and pathos and giving her characters free rein to be without all the tiresome explanation of why and how come. They sold out of her book at the reading, she was so good.

Speaking of amazing people, Dylan was introduced by Elizabeth Strout, who’s been on everyone’s lips this summer after winning the Pulitzer Prize for her latest book, Olive Kitteridge. I snatched up a copy after her envy-inducing introduction of Dylan at the reading. I wanted to be Dylan for scoring (and deserving) such an interesting and generous preface, but more importantly I wanted to be Elizabeth Strout, who seems to be the ideal of mature female authorship. She was well-spoken, funny, clever, well-dressed and put-together, and actually oozed an aura of being captivated and enthusiastic about her fellow writer. I wanted her to be my mom and best friend and lifelong mentor.

The other reader, Beverly Gologorsky, has written a book about Vietnam vets and their family and lovers. It was touted as a thoughtful take on real trauma (as opposed to the self-created messes we wade through) but I found her reading to be a little confusing and overemotional. Of course, I should offer the caveat that I dislike sentimentality and talking about one’s emotions. Perhaps she’s different on the page, where I don’t have to cringe at hearing someone read aloud someone else’s feelings.

The venue, the Center for Fiction housed at the Mercantile Library, is a true gem in Manhattan and I’m seriously contemplating becoming a member. It’s a lovely old brownstone in Midtown, with $4 books in their bookstore, several floors of fiction and lots of events. The crowd was mostly older people; CityBoy and I were among the youngest in the audience (after the Center’s interns, I assume). Because it’s a membership library that seems to partner with NYC publishers and editors, expect some heavy hitters in the crowd. Later next month, they’ll be hosting A.M. Homes!

You can check out my GoodReads page for my reviews of Dylan Landis’s Normal People Don’t Live Like This and Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge (once I’m done with them).

Happy reading!



2 Responses to “Literary Happenings: Dylan Landis & Beverly Gologorsky at the Center for Fiction, Wed 10/07/2009”

  1. Dylan Landis October 10, 2009 at 10:31 pm #

    Jho, thank you for the incredibly kind words–and I’ll watch goodreads too; that kind of thing makes such a difference for a new book. I’m not surprised you were on Lisa Glatt’s site; she’s amazing, stories and novel both. I suspect your library list overlaps a good bit with my bookshelves (Strout, A.M. Homes). Be well…and thank you again.

  2. thatjhoanna October 11, 2009 at 3:12 pm #

    Dylan – you’re very welcome. I must say it was a special thrill to see you’d somehow find my post and left a comment. Thanks!
    I’m new to NYC and the quality (and quantity) of literary events is staggering. I’m a poet who loves fiction so I’m like the proverbial kid in a candy store.

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