Saturday, June 16, 2007


I just checked into the National Book Critics Circle blog, whose most recent post, dated yesterday, is What to do in New York Tonight. I was all prepared to feel sad and envious because I'd missed yet another big and exciting and important Literary Event.

Instead, I learned that McNally Robinson Booksellers on Prince Street (former site of a fresh-killed poultry monger that we in the old nabe dubbed "Chickenwald") was hosting a screening of the film for Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach, which I commented on none too favorably here. Admission: $10 (TEN DOLLARS! For a 20-minute bookfommercial!), or $5 with purchase of the book. Upon reading that tidbit, I exclaimed, "Give me a BREAK!" and rolled my eyes so hard they sounded like a windowshade snapping shut.

Of course, no one would pay money to attend a bookstore event that isn't hosted by actual, real live people. So NBCC president John Freeman and novelist Colum McCann, both of whom appeared in the film, plus director Doug Biro and author Kathryn Harrison, were on hand to do what McEwan refuses to do: meet with the book lovers who support--literally!--his work.

My Inner Bitch (OK, maybe my Outer Bitch) marvels at the irony of having Harrison, who wrote a novel and a memoir detailing the sexual affair she had with her father, lead a discussion about a novel that begins with the fumbling of two virgin newlyweds. I wonder if anyone pointed that out during the Q&A?

Now I'll have to find something else to be sad and envious about.

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