Nathan Englander Reading

[4 freeways later]
I keep trying to figure out why I feel so off today (just slightly more so than any other day, though, to be honest), and then I remember probably because within an hour of getting home yesterday I left and drove to LA for the Nathan Englander reading, which lasted until after 8:30. It was a beautiful night in LA and the library is decorated for spring:

[I'm actually going to get a library card... so I can get my parking validated...]

Nathan Englander was there to promote the paperback edition of his short story collection, What I Talk About When I Talk About Ann Frank, which I read over a year ago. I appreciated his short stories, but my real reason for being a fan is his novel on the Argentinian Dirty War, The Ministry of Lost Cases. The ALOUD event was moderated by The Los Angeles Times critic David L. Ulin, which was a nice treat since I loved his The Lost Art of Reading

I just have to add this aside here, I apologize. First of all, Englander needs to update his Twitter profile picture- let's leave it at that. Second of all, his socks were great- pinkish multi-color argyle that clashed terrible with his flannel. I'm serious- I like this "I don't give a shit" attitude amongst the LA literati. Also, I was quite surprised at how old the crowd was- I was probably one of the youngest. The demographics at events like this always interest me- who's reading whom?

[source; warning: objects may appear younger than they really are]

Anyway, as predicted, it was a great event. Englader is animated, liberal, and well-informed. He read for less than ten minutes and the prose came alive with his sardonic wit and straight-up humor. His discussion on the critique that he only writes about Jewish people and the Holocaust was fascinating. He says he'll stop writing about the topic when it stops being relevant, and since it still informs so much of the worldly conscience and the politics in Europe he will continue. He also pointed out that the underlying topic might be the same but that there's a infinite amount of ways to weave it into stories. He spoke quickly and passionately about everything, and in several comments he alluded to a sort of charming self-doubt that we all can relate to.

I wanted to ask him to tell us about Jonathan Safran Foe, since they worked on a translation project, but I thought it might be tacky. 

Remember to check out my reading tab for past events! 

1 comment:

  1. A good review of a reading is always a nice thing to read! There is something so personal about being able to hear a good author read their work. I look forward to more posts from you, thank you!