Editor's Note: As part of CultureMap's State of the Arts series, we are highlighting upcoming fall arts events you won't want to miss.
The fall arts season is set to harvest a bumper crop of new books and visiting writers reading from them. The Houston bookstores’ calendars are filling up with author appearances and Inprint has an intriguing lineup scheduled for its Margarett Root Brown Reading Series with big names like Junot Diaz, T. C. Boyle, and Zadie Smith on its 2012-2013 roster for solo reads.
Readings with two or three novelist or poets tend to be nights of artistic discovery. On a kind of literary double date, we might find our eyes wandering over to this new guy sitting to our old love.
Yes, one of the best things about author readings is that one-on-one audience time we have together to listen to a work in an author’s own voice and then ask our questions. Yet, sometimes it’s double the fun when there are two writers sharing the podium for the price of one, be that price zero (students and senior citizens, if the Inprint event is not sold out) or five dollars (general admission tickets).
Readings with two or three novelist or poets tend to be nights of artistic discovery. We might be a fan of one writer but have little knowledge of the other. On a kind of literary double date, we might find our eyes wandering over to this new guy sitting next to our old love. Beguiled by the new imagined world he temps us to traverse, we decide to take him home with us too (in book form, of course).
There’s also always the possibility for a little discrete, always polite, onstage drama. During Inprint’s two-author events, they seem to enjoy sharing the spotlight most of the time, but there have been nights when the duet turned into a subtle duel because of a literary rivalry or a bad review one had written about the other. Nothing was said onstage, but the body language could have written a novel onto itself.
And sometime it's the other way around. During one Inprint event several seasons ago, two authors seemed rather taken with each other, so much so that they disappeared after the reading and even their agents didn’t know where they had absconded to a day later.
The first of four double author events during Inprint’s 2012-2013 season, the Donoghue and Kunzru read will probably not be so dramatic, but will certainly have some cool accents.
Donoghue is a Dublin born writer who now calls Canada her home. Her previous bestselling novel, Room, won the Orange Prize and was a finalist for the Booker Prize. Her new book Astray will have only been out for 10 days before her Houston appearance.
Novelist, journalist, and essayist Hari Kunzru was born in London, of English and Kashmiri parents, and now lives in New York. Named one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists, his latest novel Gods Without Men has been compared to David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas. Gods Without Men tells multiple stories spanning from the eighteenth century to present day that are all in someway connected to the Pinnacle Rocks in the Mojave Desert.
If you enjoy finding those amazing two-for-one specials, mark your calendars for the those literary duets and trios coming this fall.