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Thursday, March 1, 2007


SO. Attended a reading last night at Harbourfront with the lovely and talented and always good company Adrienne. Three authors on the slate: the vastly published, Pulitzer-winning Jane Smiley; and debut authors Kyo Maclear and Jon Clinch. We went pretty specifically to hear Jon, who is on tour for his novel FINN, the “dark secret history of Huckleberry Finn's father”. Jon is a fellow member of the BackSpace online writing community and we were keen to get out support him.

Well now, having met the gentleman in question, I just have to say, if the dude is coming your way on his tour and you have the opportunity to attend a reading, I highly recommend it!

Of the three authors at Harbourfront last night, Jon's reading was the one I enjoyed the most. Jane Smiley was quirky and entertaining, to be sure, but I eventually found my focus wandering as she read a longish, meandering story-within-the-story excerpt about a character's encounter with Henry Miller – however, that probably says more about me and my gnat-like attention span than her. Kyo Maclear's reading was, apparently, her first – although it really didn’t seem like it; she didn’t seem overly nervous – rather poised, in fact. Her chosen excerpt – I think it was the very opening of the novel – was a bit 'quiet' for my tastes for a reading; perhaps something a bit less backstoryish from later on might have worked better – but her novel THE LETTER OPENER sounds as though it could be pretty interesting once it gets going. Jon read three excerpts, from the beginning, middish and endish of FINN and tied them together nicely and compellingly with interesting, precise explication. His presentation is intense and engaging and polished, his reading professional and nuanced and damned entertaining.

After the reading, Adrienne and Jon and I went for drinks in the hotel bar and met up with ‘my’ John and had a fun, witty-repartee-filled rest of the evening. Always a good thing.

At any rate, if you see a copy of FINN in yer local (and you will – this book is going to sell HUGE) pick it up. I think you’ll find it well worth it – and not just for the real purty cover.

Outta here
(yes yes NY pix soon!)


Doug A Scott said...

You get to do cool stuff. You really do. And Finn does sound interesting; I may very well keep an eye out for it at work.

Looking forward to NY pictures.

Jon Clinch said...

Hey, Lesley --

Thanks for the kind words! And it was great to meet you and John and Adrienne, too.

I'm in Jackson, MS, now -- heading for Oxford any minute...