Monday, February 22, 2016

Last Night's Reading: Illustrated Encounters with Extraordinary Authors - by Kate Gavino

I follow author Junot Diaz on Facebook. A recent post of his featured a drawing of himself by Gavino along with a quote "Every time someone gives you a formula for what you should be, know that it's basically a pair of handcuffs". From this post I learned about the passion I share with Gavino: book readings. Some years ago I wrote an essay called "Rubbing Elbows with the Authors" for the Internet Review of Books. The essay tells of how much I enjoy going to book readings by authors (both the famous, and not-so-famous). The essay has since been removed from the IRB but it can be found here. Gavino's work is a quick read based on her tumblr account featuring drawings of authors she has heard reading their own works. When she attends a reading she doodles a picture of the author and adds a favorite quote. She and I both know that readings are generally free entertainment, and a cool way to meet famous people without the huge crowds. This was especially fun for me to read. I felt like I was playing a game finding drawings of authors I've read (Lois Lowry, Marjane Satrapi, Carl Hiaasen, Margaret AtwoodIsabelle Allende, Laurie Halse Anderson, Edwidge Danticat, Maya Angelou, Chuck Palahniuk, Jeffrey Eugenides, George R.R. Martin. John Green, Elizabeth Gilbert  and (bonus!) even some that I've met myself Tiphanie Yanique, David Sedaris, Janet Mock).

I got a bit emotional reading this book. Listening to books being read aloud tends to make me cry a little bit. Apparently so does reading about readings.

So, here's hoping that  I will be able to meet Gavino someday. Hearing her do her own reading would make this truly a meta experience. I've never tried my hand at drawing author's portraits, but if I  meet her I will give it my best shot.


  1. Thank you for your kind words about my work! Book readings make me emotional as well. :) Hope we're at the same reading one day! - Kate Gavino

    1. Getting comments from the authors I write about is one of the things I like best about this blog! Thank you!