Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Author Reading: Emma Donoghue, May 23

If it's not super apparent from the photo, I was seriously over-the-moon about seeing Emma Donoghue.  Hosted at the Harvard Book Store in Cambridge (which, despite it's name, is not affiliated with the university -- that'd be the Co-op), the reading was a packed, intimate event.  I was maybe four feet away from the woman herself.

And it was awesome.

I've never been to an author reading before, so I had no idea what to expect.  I've been a fan of Emma Donoghue since I was 18 when I discovered Hood (that's the original copy I bought in college on the table!).  Since then, I've read and loved every book of hers -- but I haven't read Room and based on the description, I wasn't planning to...but ohemgee, did my mind change after seeing Ms. Donoghue!

Even though she had a bit of a scratchy throat, it was a delight listening to her.  She has a fabulous accent and is so real and personable.  The reading was really more of a Q&A -- she opened by reading a very brief scene from Room but turned over the majority of the hour to questions.  She listened to every question and comment with keen interest, even the ones she's surely answered a million times (including, of course, one about breastfeeding.).  Most of the questions were about specific scenes or characters from Room, which actually got me very excited to read it (even if, I suppose, most of the story has been 'spoiled' for me.).  

Afterward, I was wimpy and wanted to leave but my wife cajoled me into standing in line to get my copy of Hood signed.  (While waiting, I learned my first very useful author event tip, which is to write your name (or the name you want the book dedicated to) on a sticky and leave it on the title page so you and the author don't have to spend time spelling a name over and over. Useful!)  Once I borrowed and filled out a sticky of my own, we reached Ms. Donoghue who literally gasped with delight at the sight of Hood, and laughed about how it hadn't put me off dating women after reading it.  I gushed a bit stupidly about loving every word she wrote, and asked if she'd mind a picture.  She very cheerily agreed to a photo and then I walked away in a gleeful daze.

I'm totally going to become an author reading addict, I can tell (I've got tickets to see China Miéville tonight!). If you have a chance to see her while she's on tour, do so, because she's really so engaging and entertaining.  I'm still in a fangirl daze today!


  1. I met Donoghue last year at SIBA, and it was the highlight of my year. I also gushed and told her how wonderful I thought she was, and she just took it all in stride. She is a very talented woman, and I am glad that you got the chance to meet her!

  2. oh, i'm so jealous that you're going to meet China Mieville. we get so few author events out here in Hawaii, so i'll just live vicariously through you. hope you don't mind.

  3. I'm so glad to hear you had such a good time! I've only been to a handful of readings but I've enjoyed every one. It's great to hear the author read their own words.

  4. Great to hear you got to meet one of your favourite authors. I really enjoyed Donoghue's Slammerkin and have Room on my shelf waiting to be read.

    I hope you have a similarly great experience with China Mielville.

  5. exciting! thanks for sharing your experience. i haven't been to a reading in awhile. i tend to get wimpy too ;-D

  6. Amazing! I'm so jealous, but I've only just discovered Emma Donoghue. What fun to meet an author whose work you've enjoyed for years! It's also a nice reminder for me to make time for her backlist titles because I utterly adored Room.

  7. This is excellent! You look SO SUPER excited, it's really cute. Just like me, we both almost wet our pants.

    I haven't read Hood - is it wonderful!?