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Byatt on Pratchett; MacIntyre on Banned Books

Author Readings

Pearl Abraham, the author of such novels as  The Romance Reader and The Seventh Beggar, ends her guest-editing stint at the literary site Beatrice with this wish:

Up there at the B&N podium, looking out at an audience of, largely, friends and family who already know the book, I couldn’t help feeling embarrassed by it all and wondered why I, why any of us writers, do this. And though I am very grateful for friends who do show up, especially friends who have attended more than one reading, still, if I could look into the future, that is, if I were psychic, I’d hope to see that bookstore readings, meetings with the author, staged Q&A’s, or whatever variation these public events come in, will become a thing of the ridiculous past, and that books not authors will make their way to individual readers who will once again read in privacy and solitude, without the author's spoken voice in their ears.

Half of me thinks, "Yikes," while the other half says, "Amen." Words to ponder, at any rate.

By the way, I recommend The Romance Reader, about a rebellious Hasidic teenager in upstate New York.


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