TALKING VOLUMES WITH JOHN IRVING

I saw one of my favorite authors live last night.
  1. I love to read.
    But I grew up in Footloose (see sI BASICALLY GREW UP IN FOOTLOOSE) so my reading options were limited. Lots of Christian fiction (and The Fountainhead for some reason).
  2. A Prayer for Owen Meaney changed reading for me.
    It was assigned in college. I read the first sentence and was hooked. It opened up an entire world of contemporary fiction I didn't know existed. And it's so, so, so good.
  3. That first sentence.
    I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice--not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother's death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany. --A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving
  4. Observation: This is the whitest group I've ever been in.
    It's Minnesota, so every crowd is pretty white. But I honestly didn't see one non-white person.
  5. Observation: John Irving can get it.
    He's 73. And you could hear the panties hitting the floor. Which is a phrase I learned from A Widow for One Year, thank you very much.
  6. I might be too young for the room.
    This doesn't happen a lot at 40, but man. This is an old crowd.
  7. Irving Wisdom: Offending a hypothetical "someone" is not a reason to change.
    Books should arouse strong feelings. A book that offends no one will, by definition, be boring. So don't edit to protect a hypothetical "someone."
  8. Irving Wisdom: When two different people provide the same feedback, it's time to pay attention.
    Good advice for writing. Great advice for life.
  9. He's exactly what I expected.
    Thoughtful and articulate. Gracious and self-deprecating. Such a pleasure to not be disappointed by someone you admire.