October 18, 2009

People Love Lorrie Moore

By Liana Liu, Assistant Fiction Editor

People love Lorrie Moore. Like, love-love. I love Lorrie Moore. And so I, along with a hundred other fans, came to the Twin Cities Book Festival last Saturday to hear her read and speak. The Book Festival, an annual event, had lots of book stuff going on, but was sadly lacking food options. Many tables (hello dislocate!) did have bowls of assorted candy, in an attempt to entice potential readers/customers, but one can't survive on sugar alone. Well, I suppose one can, if it's only for a few hours, as it was at the Twin Cities Book Festival. I guess what I'm trying to say is that by the time of Lorrie Moore's reading, I was on a total sugar high. Which might explain the nature of the following observations.

1. People love Lorrie Moore. The atmosphere in the room before, during, and after the reading was one of bubbling excitement, of chirpy anticipation. Conversations sang with unbridled enthusiasm! How at odds with the sarcastic, cynical, irony-loving, outsider-status-treasuring characters that populate Lorrie Moore's books. The fans/readers arrived with no chips-on-shoulder; they were ready and willing to be pleased. And pleased they were! Lorrie Moore made jokes and they laughed, oh how they laughed! I am not saying that her jokes weren't funny, because they were perfectly funny. But still, how they laughed! I swear, I'm not complaining. It was just unexpected to be in a room full of people that were all so ready to laugh! It made me feel awkward. It made me laugh!

2. Lorrie Moore has pretty hair.

3. I missed Nicholson Baker's reading because I was roasting a potato and I miscalculated the amount of time it took to roast. And once started, you can't stop. Heck no! But late in the afternoon, he visited the dislocate table and he was such a sweet fellow with such a fluffy beard that I wished I hadn't missed his reading. Serves me right for choosing food over art, as usual. We gave him an issue of dislocate! Doesn't that make you want an issue of dislocate, literary journal read by Nicholson Baker?

4. Lorrie Moore did not visit the dislocate table, but she is excused because she had a bad cold.

I apologize for the number of exclamation points used in this post. A teacher once said that my excessive use of exclamation points in a story was too Lorrie Moore-ish. I can't help it. I love her!