So am writing this just before shooting to the airport to go on to Seattle, and I want to thank everyone who came to Powell's last night — what a generous crowd you were. It's always nice to see people face to face, and, of course, Powell's is one of the greatest bookstores in the world.
Am finding it harder to write anything very long here as the pace picks up, but do want to say how much it means to me that people read the books and come out to the readings. It always kind of amazes me that people are there, and are so kind.
Yesterday, on my five-hour flight from NY, I was seated next to an Armrest Dominator. It was a long flight. It went on so long I started to think we'd overshot Portland and were circling all the way around the globe to take a second shot at it. So am hoping that on today's flight I will seated either on the aisle or next to someone very very small, or someone who has a version of OCD that makes them always lean out into the aisle. And also, money keeps dropping out of his pocket and he doesn't even care.
The other odd thing that happened pre-reading was this: I'm sitting in the Heathman restaurant, eating a beautiful Heathman burger, when Justin Timblerlake walked by the window. I felt maybe the Heathman had slipped something into my burger. He seemed very calm. I bet he is not an Armrest Dominator. Then Jessica Lange walked by, and Sting, and then Julius Caesar. Intrigued, I ordered a second burger.
Thanks again, Portland. I'll check in one more time tomorrow.
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George Saunders is a MacArthur “Genius Grant” fellow and the acclaimed author of several collections of short stories, including Tenth of December, Pastoralia, and CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, as well as a collection of essays and a book for children. He teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University.
Books mentioned in this post
George Saunders is the author of CivilWarLand in Bad Decline: Stories and a Novella