Liz and Gianna are two of a dying breed--traveling sales reps for book publishers--who sell books in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and the Deep South. Since we're constantly on the road hawking books, we must find ways to amuse ourselves. So here we've decided to share our anecdotes, adventures, favorite books, and efforts in making the world (or at least these few states) a more literate place to inhabit.
Day 25: Living Author With Whom We'd Like to Have a Drink
I was telling my friend Stephanie about this blog question and she suggested that instead of living author you would like to have a drink with - how about a living author you would like to throw a drink at. I know, great questions. [How are we defining "author," because Phil McGraw (allegedly) writes books and he certainly is worth the effort for criminal mischief, but it's an insult to real writers to lump him in the same group.]
So let me answer Stephanie's excellent question first. VS Naipaul, Mr. Women-Writers-Are-Not-As-Good-As-Men. [...Yeah, this is an excellent choice.] He claims within a paragraph he can tell the author's gender. He also believes women have a narrow view of the world. I believe him to be a douche. I would throw a drink in his face, wait for it to dry and then do it again. Douche.
Now an author I would like to have a drink with, that is a longer list. Joyce Carol Oates scares me, as does Jeanette Winterson. Maybe the idea should be someone to have a drink with and learn something rather than just get shit faced with? Of course why can't it be both?
I will also take out people that aren't writers of several books; otherwise it's me, [Liz], Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler.
One of the funniest, nicest, just all-around good time ladies that I have ever met is Fannie Flagg. I would love to spend a night with her (and you know what? Take that any way you want to .... she's got Fried Green Tomatoes money). Actually, Fannie may be my second choice.
I would love to spend a few hours sharing cocktails with Rick Bragg. I must have a thing for Southerners. [Is this why you love me? Also, is East Texas considered "The South?"] I have met him a few times, even had a meal with him and another writer, but still....I would love to talk to him one-on-one. He is one of my favorite writers. All Over but the Shoutin' is so great, if you haven't read it (or listened to it on audio) I highly, highly recommend it. Two more memoirs, Ava's Man and The Prince of Frogtown are top rate, just excellent. There is something so sincere and down to earth about him (Am I swooning right now?), I honestly could listen to him tell stories for hours. I am most curious about his journalism. He has a collection of pieces called Somebody Told Me, which is good, but still, I would rather have it first hand ( I mean clearly I am in love with him...is this awkward for anyone?). [Me. I'm uncomfortable.]
So that's it, a drinks threesome... me, Fannie and Rick. Look for it on video.
Dr. Laura, you'd look fabulous with Diet Coke pooling in those face-crags. There. That should fulfill Stephanie's question. That is, unless, like Dr. Phil, she's not a "writer." In that case, and assuming that the author has to be alive (thus letting Norman Mailer off the hook), I'm winding up to launch soda at James Patterson. Then again, Dr. Laura probably actually wrote more of her own books than J.P. ....This is what happens when you swallow down or rage. You want to throw things at lots of people.
As for sharing drinks, let me start by stating that I am socially awkward. Like, severely challenged in this department. Also, I don't really drink often (other than the Diet Coke), and the idea of going out for drinks generally makes me anxious. Basically I want to make it clear that it would take a special person to make me more excited than panicky about the prospect of drinks, and also that going to drinks with me would probably prove a chore for the selected author. (I did once have drinks with an author named April Reynolds and she was a total bad-ass in the best ways. I hope she's doing well.)
Two authors come to mind for cocktails. The first is Margaret Atwood. I'm a huge fan of her writing, and I think she's a spitfire in person, which could make it entertaining. She's from Canada, too. I think she'd be able to keep a conversation going without placing any obligation on me and my awkwardness. There is a chance that I'd ask her to legally adopt me, but that wouldn't be uncomfortable for her, right?
The other writer I'd like to join for drinks is Jon Krakauer. You know this guy has great stories. Where else are you going to have a 50/50 chance of discussing disastrous Everest expeditions and radical polygamist cults? He's a journalist, adventurer, and the section definition author for adventure writing. Krakauer would be a terrific date.