Books Keith Gessen Reviews His Audience in Seattle
posted by May 23 at 16:08 PMon
Keith Gessen—a founding editor of n+1 (here’s a great piece about money and the writing life), author of a novel called All the Sad Young Literary Men, and a touch-football player—came through town a couple weeks ago. This week in The Stranger’s book section, he writes about his experience.
A paragraph of it:
The reading at Elliott Bay was, until I got to Cleveland, the friendliest I’ve done. I read a portion of the book that deals with New York, the bounty of New York, of what it’s like to finally get everything you thought you wanted but get it all too late—a part I had not read aloud since an audience in D.C. sat in stony silence through all the jokes and then asked, as their first collective question, “So these are problems specific to New York?” I had put that chapter away after that, but on the day of the reading decided the Seattleites could handle it. And I was right.
Also discussed: the Hotel Monaco (“sensible”), the price of hamburgers in Seattle (“it’s possible I was hallucinating”), Portland (“it struck me, this time, as just a little too self-satisfied”), airline travel (“airline travel, let’s face it, is immoral”), and the spirit of Old Seattle (“it was in Seattle that I finally went off the rails of my tour”).