Turning 30 usually calls for a blowout birthday party, but for Inprint, Houston’s preeminent literary arts organization, turning 30 was the perfect excuse to create a whole, new party genre, the after-reading, champagne and cupcake signing-line party.
For a surprise added reading event to their Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series, Inprint brought to town renowned American author James Salter for the only Texas appearance in support of his new novel. That book, All That Is, has garnered rave reviews for the 87-year-old author and is causing critics and fans alike to take one more look at this literary giant.
When the first batch of tickets were released on the Inprint website, they were snatched up in 11 minutes.
Houston fans immediately took notice when Inprint made the announcement that the reading at the Menil Collection would be free but would require a ticket. When the first batch of tickets were released on the Inprint website, they were snatched up in 11 minutes. The second set was gone in four minutes. Not wanting to disappoint the literature-loving hordes still clambering for seats, Inprint and the Menil decided to audio broadcast the reading onto the front lawn to let guests without a ticket relax out on the grass, while not missing a word.
Salter was an appropriate choice for this anniversary celebration that ends the 2012-2013 season. The last time Salter published a new novel was over three decades ago, before Inprint’s founding.
Set in post-World War II New York, All That Is chronicles the life and loves of the novel’s protagonist, a book editor named Philip Bowman. The novel gives a fascinating look at a time when many New York publishing houses were first established. It was era of immense change in the world of writers and books, and so All That Is might resonate profoundly for readers living in our own time of tweeting and blogging authors and books taking form as light on a screen.
After Salter’s reading everyone was invited to Inprint House, located a block behind the museum. Event goers wandered into the evening air, and quickly turned into partygoers as they streamed into Inprint House.
No one appeared to mind waiting in the immense line that snaked through the converted house and onto the backyard deck. With cupcakes and champagne to imbibe inside, great conversation among old and new friends to be had beneath the night sky and James Salter waiting to sign books and talk with guests one-on-one, Inprint might have hit upon the perfect line-waiting formula for the future. Here’s to another 30 years of champagne and cupcake line parties.
Among Houston’s literati attending the event were Kathryn and David Berg, Rick Carrell, Franci Crane, Justin Cronin, Consuelo Duroc Danner, Cece Fowler, Sis Johnson, Kathleen Lee and Tony Hoagland, Karl Kilian, Victoria and Marshal Lightman, Lillie Robertson, Doreen Stoller and Dan Piette, and Mark Wawro.