Books It Wouldn’t Be a Convention Without Seminars
posted by May 31 at 14:00 PMon
BEA is full of seminars where people talk about books and pretty much all aspects of the book industry. There are meetings about copyright. There are meetings about minority representation. There are a whole bunch of meetings about running a small, medium, or large bookstore.
These are the sorts of things that are fascinating only to the people who are interested in this kind of thing, of couse. I attended a couple of seminars so far. One was about Book Buzz…I’m totally addicted to buzz, don’t’chaknow. I did learn about a couple of interesting books at that one. There’s a memoirish novel called Miles From Nowhere by a first time novelist named Nami Mun. She’s from South Korea and moved to New York and has worked as an Avon Lady. This sounds pretty good. Another editor talked about The Flying Troutmans by Miriam Toews. Miriam Toews has a couple of books out already—one, called A Complicated Kindness is really amazing. I don’t know why she isn’t widely read, except maybe that certain book editors have entirely failed to talk about her. Troutmans is about a family—the son is addicted to a New York Times Magazine interviewer, and the daughter has started talking like a hip hop star—taking a road trip to South Dakota to find the missing father. It’s kind of a hard sell, but Toews could totally pull it off. This seminar was only about half-full, or half-empty if you prefer.
But then I attended a Q&A with Jeff Bezos. The room was packed. Bezos talked about the Kindle and then a Wired Magazine editor asked him questions. This was a very thorough Q&A session. The only two hardball questions I’m surprised that Bezos didn’t get asked were: “Why are you so great?” and “Can I just give you a blowjob right here and now?” This is pretty depressing for a whole lot of reasons, mostly the symbolic kind.