Mar 27, 2010

Salon du Livre Follies

I really should be packing. Really.

But before I go do that, let me share some Paul Auster-ness with you.

That's right, today I met Paul Auster. After a two-hour wait in line, during which I ended up on one side of an intense, philosophical debate with someone who was trying to cut in front of me, apparently on human rights grounds. He lost. Let that be a lesson for you all.

Anyways, if you're ready for it (drumroll, please), here's a direct transcript of my meeting with the great Mr. Auster.

Res (handing over English-language copy of Invisible, previously purchased at WH Smith, while he is sitting with his French editor from Actes Sud): It's a real honour to meet you, Mr. Auster.

Paul (yes, I feel we're on a first name basis now): Thank you. Thank you for coming. (looking down as he scribbles what I believe was supposed to be his name) I hope you enjoy the book.

Res (already getting hustled out of the way by some impatient teenagers behind her - although it's nice to see that teenagers still read): I'm half way through it, it's great! (grovel, grovel)

Paul: OK then.

And that was it. Well worth the two hours' wait.

But the true highlight of the day was hearing the following nugget of wisdom from Mr. Auster during an earlier conference:
"The most important thing for a writer of fiction is to tell the truth."

I like the sound of that.

1 comment:

Adam said...

Meeting writers is always a tricky business, especially after a long wait and then with only 10 seconds to play with. You really need to spend hours with them, and attempting a chat whilst they are sitting and you are standing is never ideal.

I remember going to WH Smith once and finding Jonathan Coe sitting at a table for a book signing. He was pretty much alone, and theoretically I could have had a long chat, but I wasn't prepared and couldn't think of anything to say!