The Happy Booker had a happy weekend. We celebrated the new year, took the kids to the circus (my coverage here in the WaPo) and then attended a wonderful dinner party given for the writers in town for this year's Pen/Faulkner Gala. We mingled, swapped stories and dined under the stars with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie , Lisa Fugard, Verlyn Klinkenborg, Elizabeth Kostova , Jim Lehrer , William Henry Lewis , Tom Mallon , Kyoko Mori , MaryMorris , Sigrid Nunez , Richard Rodriguez , Roger Rosenblatt ,Joan Silber , Curtis Sittenfeld , Deborah Tannen and Roger Mudd (who will be the Master of Ceremonies at tonight's readings). Much of our dinner was spent in the company of blog-favorite Richard McCann (who is off to this amazing festival), Tom Mallon and Elizabeth Kostova (we spent most of the time comparing notes on what it's like to raise a 9 year old boy!).
At tonight's Gala each author will give a 3 minute reading on the topic of "Revenge." Tune in tomorrow for the complete coverage.
For now, here's a note on an upcoming Travel Writing Workshop for DC-Area Writers:
C.M. Mayo, (Madam Mayo) author of Miraculous Air: Journey of a Thousand Miles through Baja California, the Other Mexico, sends us this report on her upcoming class:
This fall I'll be offering three travel writing writing workshops in the DC area. First up is a workshop (via the Writers Center) at Chapters A Literary Bookstore this Tuesday September 26th (6:30-8:30 pm):
Take your travel writing to another level: the literary, which is to say, giving the reader the novelistic experience of actually traveling there with you. For both beginning and advanced writers, this three hour workshop covers the techniques from fiction and poetry that you can apply to this specialized form of creative nonfiction for deliciously vivid effects.
The course Price is $40.00 for Writer's Center Member; $55.00 for Non-Members. If you can't make this one, I'll offering more at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Writers Conference in Rockville MD October 14th and at the Writers Center in Bethesda MD October 18th. By the way, an on-line trove of travel writing tips, as well as interviews with travel writers (including yours truly) is on Rolf Potts's Vagabonding. My favorite travel writing blogs: Rolf Potts' Vagablogging and World Hum. Best travel writing book I've read this year: Henry James's A Portrait of a Lady (hey, who says it has to be nonfiction?) All-time hands-down favorite: it's toss up between Jan Morris's Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere and V.S. Naipaul's A Turn in the South. What I'm reading right now, and it is jaw-dropping: Sarah Chayes's The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban.