The Stories of Stories: A Stream of Consciousness Report on the Boston Book Festival 2010

It’s hard to believe that yesterday was just the second annual Boston Book Festival. Save a clumsy keynote (more on that later) and the occasional technical difficulty, this big, big show ran smoothly from 10:00 am to 9:10 pm. The BBF organizers and volunteers deserve some sort of commendation (funding from the state perhaps?) for the excellent service they did the city today. If there was one major problem with Boston Book Festival 2010, it was the overabundance of intriguing panels and events. So intriguing, in fact, that I found myself  rejected from two panels I’d planned on attending and unable to make it to one panel entirely due to time constraints. I also overheard that scores of people were turned away from each event at the Trinity Sanctuary, to my knowledge the largest of the BBF’s venues. Thanks in part to surprisingly good — if at times blustery — weather, the festival drew a large, enthusiastic crowd of readers and lookers-on alike. It was a great day to hear authors share stories about their stories. Here’s a polished version of the iPhone note I created to document my day.

  • The tent set up in Copley Square for Symposium Books, the used book store by Fenway, had a deal where you could fill a small plastic bag with books (“Be Reasonable – No Overflowing Bags”) and pay a fixed price of $20. In my small plastic bag were the following: Vertigo by W.G. Sebald, Where Silence Reigns: Selected Prose by Rainer Maria Rilke, The Volcano Lover by Susan Sontag, Humors of Blood & Skin: A John Hawkes Reader by John Hawkes, Countrymen of Bones by Robert Olen Butler, Writing in the Dark: Essays on Literature and Politics by David Grossman, Dictation by Cynthia Ozick, and The Lemoine Affair by Marcel Proust.
  • At the Harper Perennial tent I met the very charming people who have been sending me books for review. I wanted to show my appreciation, y’know, with money, so I purchased Sick City by Tony O’Neill and Lit by Mary Karr, whose The Liar’s Club has always been near the top of my to-read pile. What most interested me about Sick City were two expletive-riddled blurbs (“I loved the whole f**ked-up journey,” “I f**king loved it”), one from Tom McCarthy (C, The Remainder) and one from Slash (Appetite for Destruction). More interesting than that, even, is that Slash got the cover blurb, while Tom McCarthy was relegated to the back.
  • At a tent for Zephyr Books, an imprint I hadn’t heard of, I bought a book of short fiction called Snow Plain by Duo Duo, a Chinese writer who has won multiple awards for his poetry. From the Zephyr Books tent, I headed to the Church of the Covenant on Newbury St. for the “First Time’s A Charm” panel with Jennifer Haigh, Justin Cronin, and Joshua Ferris.
  • The “First Time’s A Charm” panel made for a great start to the day. The moderator took a little too long to bathe the young writers in praise both personal and appropriated (usually from the New York Times Book Review). Once the panel turned into a sort of conversation, though, things got pretty interesting. They talked about their shared connection to Iowa (Ferris went as an undergrad, while Haigh and Cronin both studied at the famed writer’s workshop), and about the trappings of success. Joshua Ferris had the most interesting soundbites, particularly the line, “Rejection is always the thing.” He said that when you aren’t facing rejection from sources outside yourself, you should probably engage in a sort of self-rejection, “kill your darlings,” etc.
  • Cronin referenced a Richard Ford quote, on winning the National Book Award: “The thing about that award is they give it every year.”
  • Ferris raised the interesting point that a sense of loneliness overtook him as he sought, alone in his writer’s room in New York, to replicate the world of (communal) office life in his first novel, Then We Came To The End.
  • The writers talked about structure for a while, and voice, and Jennifer Haigh said her first book, Mrs. Kimble, gave the points of view of one man’s three ex-wives. That sounds very cool.
  • After the panel ended, as I waited for Ferris to sign my copy of the “20 Under 40” issue of the New Yorker, I overheard him say that he’s racked his brain but he can’t think of how or when the idea for his second novel, The Unnamed, came from. I, like that book’s narrator, am prone to taking aimless, reasonless walks around the city. I’ve got to read The Unnamed at some point. I’ll feel this way about many, many books by day’s end.
  • By waiting in the signing line at “First Time’s A Charm,” I missed the David Shields panel (“The Novel: A Prognosis”). That was OK, though. I’ve seen Shields bully the contemporary novel enough for one year.
  • My first rejection of the day came, surprisingly, at the “Writing About Baseball” panel. The Trinity Forum (capacity of 150) filled before I arrived, five minutes after the panel’s 11:00 am start. I felt a jolt of disappointment, mainly because I had intended on suggesting to the panelists that they read Adam Gallari’s excellent, baseball-centric story collection, We Are Never As Beautiful As We Are Now. But then I realized, Hey, the festival managed to fill a room at 11:00 am. A room about sports writing. I got the feeling that the BBF was already an unqualified success.
  • I went to the “Crimes and Misdemeanors” panel held in the BPL Popular Reading Room. I mistook Hallie Ephron’s name on the program for humorist Nora Ephron. Expecting a funny, light panel I instead got a panel about crime writing. Or, I did, until I left ten minutes in, after hearing that one of the panelists had a character-based series of books that consisted of at least sixty novels. That’s almost as many as The Hardy Boys. (Was there more than one Hardy Boys author?) I heard James Patterson’s name. I realized the space wasn’t for me.
  • Before I left, Hallie Ephron said that her book was about “not murder, but wanting something you can’t have” a theme interesting enough, but not one strong or innovative enough to sustain a whole book for me.
  • Interestingly, each crime writer could pinpoint the exact moment that one of their story ideas originated, as opposed to Ferris’ sort of blind inspiration. I don’t know what this says about Ferris or crime writers or popular writers. Probably nothing.
  • From this one window in the BPL Popular Reading Room you get a really stunning view of the John Hancock Tower’s reflective windows.
  • I went to Wendy’s for lunch.
  • I found an eccentric little bench in a back alley by Back Bay’s T station (see: photoessay) and sat and read the first essay (“Books That Have Read Me”) from David Grossman’s Writing in the Dark. It was really good. It was about the way in which language, the written word, and stories influence our personal, religious, national identities. It also made a firm argument that “language has a life of its own.” I wanted to re-read it right after I finished it, but I had to make my way to the Back Bay Events Center for the 1:30 Dennis Lehane/Tom Perrotta panel, “From Page to Screen.”
  • “From Page to Screen” was a lot of fun, even if, for the second straight year, the great Tom Perrotta was upstaged by his co-panelist. Last year John Hodgman, a former student of his, stole the show during the panel they shared. This time around it was Boston favorite Dennis Lehane. It’s hard to win over a crowd so thoroughly wooed — and rightfully so — by stories of working with Clint Eastwood or the the drama of selling a script through the studio system.
  • Telling an interesting story about how to switch writing styles, from book to TV, Lehane spoiled a death that occurs in the second to last episode of The Wire, a show for which he wrote. I heard someone grunt disapprovingly behind me.
  • Lehane said one of the major differences between writing for a book and writing for TV/film is that, with TV/film, you have far less room for “fat.” You need to whittle scenes down, sometimes using tools like symbols or metaphor. Talking about the first fifty pages of Mystic River, fifty pages he “loves” and “is proud of,” he said that he thought it would have to be at least thirty minutes on screen because so much happens. What happened instead was that the screenwriter used the visual symbol of Tim Robbins’s character not finishing scrawling his initials into wet cement to convey so much of what takes place and what is significant in that opening chapter.
  • The first time Lehane sold Shutter Island, via the “awful” studio system, the producer who acquired the rights made it so that the film adaptation would have a different ending. Lehane found this preposterous, said he built Shutter Island’s structure like a “house of cards,” that his was the only one way to end the story. But the rights were out of his hands at that point. He was happy to see that particular project bomb on its first day of production, signaling a swift return of Shutter Island’s rights to the novelist.
  • Lehane talked about how his movies sometimes get Boston accents wrong, particularly in Mystic River. He said Tim Robbins was basically doing Brooklyn the whole movie. The crowd lapped this up, and Lehane and moderator Ty Burr (The Boston Globe) went on to talk about some of the worst Boston accents in films ever. Tom Perrotta, not missing a beat, spoke up to say, “I’m not from here, I thought those all sounded great.”
  • They talked about the powerlessness of the novelist in Hollywood, how the writer has almost-complete power with his book when he writes it, but how that power is totally ceded when you sell it to a movie producer. That’s why you want to sell it to good producers and directors, like Alexander Payne, Todd Field, or Clint Eastwood.
  • Tom talked about the casting of Matthew Broderick in Election, said initially he was opposed to it because he always saw Broderick as “a boy,” and thereby wouldn’t make a convincing teacher. Perrotta called the performance one of the most surprising and strongest in the movie. He said that those decisions made outside of yourself, by other people, can often yield remarkable things you couldn’t have predicted.
  • Both writers extol the benefits of the collaborative process of filmmaking as opposed to the solitary activity of writing a novel.
  • Leaving the panel early, I walked past David Shields on Stuart St., but didn’t have time to talk with him about his panel. I had to get to “Internet Or Not” at the Trinity Forum, where I had been turned away earlier in the day and didn’t plan on getting turned away from again.
  • “Internet Or Not” was a panel of key interest for me. The unifying theme that will tie all of my VM120 (an introductory media production course at Emerson College) projects together is how social media and techno-connectedness have a corrosive effect on intra- and interpersonal connectedness. It’s something I strongly believe and think is easy enough to defend, statistically and empirically via my own personal behavioral changes. The “Internet Or Not” panel featured Nicholas Carr (whose book The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains may become one of my projects’ sources), William Powers (whose Hamlet’s Blackberry I would have purchased if I wasn’t by this point near-broke), and Eric Haseltine (who was the foil to the panel, the “Internet” to Powers’ and Carr’s “Not,” a former CIA and Intelligence worker who sees more value than evil in emerging technologies). It was moderated by Andrew McAfee, a professor at M.I.T. who, I don’t think, is in any way related to the anti-virus software company.
  • To roughly summarize each panelist’s POV:

  1. Nicholas Carr: Our brains love distractions and interruptions. At the physiological level, we get a jolt of dopamine when we receive new information. The Internet provides web-surfers with distractions and interruptions at an unprecedented level. We’re losing our ability to focus, to think deeply and contemplatively. This is a problem at both the micro- and macro-level; it affects people personally and our culture in its entirety. There have been unsettling upheavals in social expectations and workplace expectations.
  2. William Powers: The problem of seductive new technologies and digital media today is like the 8th chapter of a very long book. It’s not new, we’ve just never seen it on a scale of this magnitude before. Thoreau didn’t go to Walden to escape town, he went there to find a balance between town/community life and solitariness. Balance is essential for living happily. We do indeed seem to be moving from contemplative thought processes to short-term pleasure-seeking, instantly-gratifying ways of approaching our daily lives. The physical book is amazing in that it offers no distractions, it makes you do work (serious, reflective thought) that doesn’t come naturally to human beings.
  3. Eric Haseltine: There’s great value in “now.” The government set up something called ‘Intellipedia,’ where they can log and edit every bit of intelligence, Top Secret or not, and which they can have immediate access to. The immediacy of ‘Intellipedia’ has and will continue to save our country from acting rashly on things we otherwise wouldn’t know about. The most exciting part of the Internet is that it could create a “Collective Brain” that’s superior to all of our individual minds (Ed. note: Doesn’t this sound a little like the loss of individualism? The loss of self?) “Would you rather have a few hundred people thinking deep thoughts,” Haseltine asked, “or billions of instantaneous thinkers” contributing to the greatest of wholes, the Internet? (Ed. note: I’d use “holes.”)
  • I scooted out early, wishing I had time to hear more about the “Collective Brain” Haseltine was excited about. On the way out I saw Joshua Ferris sitting at the back of the room, taking in the panel’s discussion. It was a really quaint sight, seeing one of the festival’s top draws, for me at least, sitting in on a tech panel like a Regular Joe.
  • My second, more disheartening rejection of the day occurred when I was informed by a BBF worker that “My Mother She Killed Me…,” held in the spacious BPL Popular Room, was “filled to capacity, beyond capacity.” This was immediately disheartening because I would have liked to have seen Kelly Link. After that passed, it was a disheartening loss because I realized I could’ve stayed until the end of the “Internet Or Not” panel, maybe heard more pushback from Haseltine, maybe initiated a friendship with Joshua Ferris, become bros, something realistic like that.
  • I took a trip to the bathroom in the lower level of the BPL, by the Rabb Lecture Hall, which would be hosting the next and final panel of my day, “The Web of Relationship” with Brunonia Barry, Ann Hood, and Joanna Smith Rakoff.
  • On the way out of the bathroom I saw a man signing Nick Flynn books outside the Lecture Hall and assumed it must be Nick Flynn. He looked kind of like a world-weary Jon Hamm.
  • I have always meant to read Another Bullshit Night In Suck City. I knew Flynn had a semi-recent appearance on Rumpus Radio, so I went up to him and lied that I had just heard his episode of that podcast. He looked up from the many books he was signing, “the most he’s ever signed” he said, and told me he hasn’t heard it yet, that he can’t comment on its quality. Already we had something in common!
  • I said I liked the excerpt from The Ticking Is The Bomb that appeared in Best Nonrequired Reading last year, if that’s where it appeared. He laughed and said I must be into the whole “McSweeney’s, Stephen Elliott” scene. I said that I really like “Steve.” He asked if I knew him. I said I had a few articles on the site, that there’s a Tao Lin review I’m actually rather proud of. He smiled.
  • I asked him which book he holds closest. “If I were to buy one right now, which book should I buy?” He said he likes them all, really, but that I should get a cheap one if I’m going to get one at all. “Maybe his book of poetry?”
  • I picked up his book of poems, called Blind Huber, already signed, and turned it over. It was published by Graywolf. I cooed, “Oooh, Graywolf.” Flynn looked up at me and smiled again, maybe reading that I was trying to impress him with both my mentioning of the Tao Lin review and this verbal indication that I know Graywolf Press, and said, “Yeah, Graywolf does my poetry.” I went to check-out.
  • Nick Flynn finished signing the copies of his books and got up to leave. He walked over to me by check-out and asked if I wanted my book personalized. I said, “Sure.” He flipped open to a random page and quoted a line of his own poetry on the title page, below “John –” and above “Boston 2010.” I thanked him and he said he’ll look out for my work and see me on The Rumpus. I have yet another reason to cite The Rumpus and its community of writers as one of the best literary circles in existence today: sincere courteousness.
  • After starting Flynn’s Blind Huber in one of the BPL’s reading rooms, and liking it a good deal, I headed back downstairs to wait for “The Web of Relationship.”
  • An Observation: There was a contest throughout the day, something about tweeting or mentioning BBF in your Facebook status, for which the prize was a Kindle. That was odd and slightly discouraging to me. I don’t think e-readers will ever signal the end of material books, but who can say? Making a Kindle a prize at a “Book” festival seems slightly antithetical. To me, at least. Kindles could significantly hinder a “Book” festival’s size, I feel. And how do you sign a Kindle?
  • Once inside the Rabb Lecture Hall a feeling of expected exhaustion crept up on me. It was 4:30, but it might as well have been midnight. Light was taking a hazy, Polaroid hue and standing after long periods of being seated was becoming a minor challenge.
  • “The Web of Relationship,” moderated by the amazingly-named Henriette Lazaridis Power, was a nice counter-panel to the earlier phallo-centric Lehane/Perrotta/Ty Burr event. The four female writers on stage talked about plot structure, character, and how to use interpersonal relationships to make a story interesting.
  • Rakoff raised the most interesting points in the panel. She talked about her aversion to technology, and to writing about technology. She said she’s working on a novel now that she has set in 1994, in large part because she doesn’t want to write about Twitter or Facebook because there’s not enough of a human element in social media technologies, for her. Rakoff said she loves the modeling of the 19th century novel, said that might make her novels sound “boring,” is adorable.
  • Ann Hood talked about using the connectedness of every person your character meets in your story. How each person, each character, makes an impact.
  • Power, interestingly, called each panelist’s books “Facebook books,” in the sense that “this person knows this person knows this person” in them.
  • Rakoff talked about BBM’ing, and how the degree of importance that today’s culture places on constantly being in touch with who you want to be in touch with is burdensome to personal relationships. “You need to have time that’s not accounted for,” she said to near-applause. “You need to have space in your brain” to work out what you’re doing and how you feel.
  • Power called social networking a huge plot issue for artists because our presumptions of what you can know about another person have changed drastically in the past few decades alone. (Ed. note: Have they, though? Or is it more illusory than that?) She said that blackmail, as a plot device, will soon be dead because there will be no more secrets. (Ed. note: That is a little ridiculous, but I see her point.)
  • Rakoff mentioned the affair in Franzen’s Freedom, and how it occurs when the husband is in a place where he has no cell-phone reception. She cited that as an example of how contemporary novelists are going to have to adjust to changes in modern culture.
  • Ann Hood raised issue with Power’s statement about blackmail, as a plot device, becoming obsolete. Hood spoke for me and apparently plenty of the audience members when she suggested that “There’s an artifice to social networking,” and that the danger is in confusing artifice for reality.
  • During the Q&A, a man in the second row stands up and said, “I’m twenty-three years old and I’m not on Facebook.” People clap and Joanna Smith Rakoff almost spits up her water. I think I’ve fallen in love with her.
  • The festival proper ended with a minor train-wreck of a keynote by Joyce Carol Oates. The line outside was massive. I texted my mom that there must be a lot of fans of the We Were the Mulvaneys Lifetime Original Movie adaptation. In some ways I can’t separate Oates from that glorious made-for-TV film.
  • A BBF volunteer went up and down the line chanting, “Joyce Carol Oates! Joyce Carol Oates!,” which, after the long day I’d had, I found infinitely funny.
  • Inside the gorgeous Trinity Church, I rested my heavy eyelids and waited.
  • Things felt not-quite-right from the start. The moderator, Faith Salie, was introduced as a comedienne (?!?) and she walked on stage in, what seemed from the last pew but may have just been a trick of my tired eyes, a maroon Cheetah-print dress. Not exactly what I think of when I think of the writer who wrote “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”.
  • After a pun-y (“Welcome to the Joyce Carol KeynOates”) but unfunny introduction (during which Oates chimed in to dourly liken hearing praise she’s received to “being embalmed”) from Ms. Salie, Joyce Carol Oates read the opening short-story (or should I say short-novella) from her new collection, Sourland. My phone clocked her reading in at around forty minutes.
  • Her long selection made some sense once the “dialogue” between her and Faith awkwardly started. Awkwardly because mic issues plagued what felt like fifteen of its twenty minutes. Awkwardly, also, because from the start Oates gave the impression that she was uncomfortable and annoyed with the Q&A, or at least with the Qs Salie had prepared. And justifiably so. At one point Salie asked, “What does Joyce Carol Oates do? Does she watch TV, does she go for walks?”
  • Oates took on a defensive air reminiscent of Orhan Pamuk at last year’s inaugural BBF keynote. Pamuk kept insisting his then-new book, The Museum of Innocence, was strictly a book about love. When the host, whose name escapes me but who performed more admirably and respectfully than Salie, kept asking questions about the book’s themes of Turkish identity, Pamuk angrily announced that he himself would open the floor to questions now, thank you.
  • Oates took offense to being charged as an atheist, a term she found “too aggressive.” When asked if she believed in God, Oates turned the question on Salie. Salie said that, yes, she did. “What does your God look like?” Salie’s response was, “A black woman.” The joke didn’t go over well because 1) the crowd was filled with Oates’s fans, not Salies’s 2) the joke was told from the altar of one of Boston’s historic churches and 3) the punchline is sort of a cliché.
  • Joyce said that the issue of God’s existence is an issue too big for us to really ever get a handle on, so why try?
  • Joyce Carol Oates’s evasive answer to the very forward question of whether or not she’s experienced first-hand violence in her life: “I don’t write about violence, I write about people. Writers hold a mirror up to the world. I don’t only write about myself.”
  • Things got pretty funny after Salie asked when Oates knew if her stories were short-stories or novels. “Short-stories tend to be fifteen pages,” Oates said. After a roar of laughter from the crowd, Salie said, “Well, like, do you plan? I don’t know about this kind of stuff. I’m not an author.” Oates hilariously retorted, “Well you’d be an interesting author,” to go into a project without an idea of what you’re doing. “‘I’ll sit down and write War and Peace or maybe I’ll write a limerick.'”
  • Joyce Carol Oates (bitingly): “Often I am asked how I write so much; have you asked that yet?”
  • Oates said, with only a shade of irony, the reason she writes so much is because, at her desk, her cat jumps on her lap and digs her claws into her legs. With no choice but to sit for hours on end, Oates writes. So that’s her secret.
  • Oates’s advice for young readers was to read everything one particular author has written, from their debut to their last or most recent work, and watch the artist’s growth. Also, interview family members.
  • Oates said she’s never (never?) given up on a project, but that she’s finished entire novels without intention to publish them.
  • After the Oates event wrapped up, I headed out toward the Back Bay Events Center. I was far more excited for the “Book Revue” than I was for the Joyce Carol Oates keynote. I imagine if I was an Oates fan I would have been rather disappointed with the hour allotted her at Trinity. Alas, the most disappointing part of her keynote for me was the conspicuous absence of any mention of Beau Bridges’s star turn in We Were the Mulvaneys.
  • In short, the “Book Revue: A Literary Rock Star Showcase” was incredible. It may have been my favorite event of the day. The Events Center filled to half the capacity (as opposed to the full house on hand for Lehane/Perrotta earlier in the day), but that was okay. The event wasn’t free; it was an incredibly reasonable $10. The small crowd lent the evening a nice intimacy, especially from the second row.
  • Steve Almond emcee’d in very typical Steve Almond fashion, that is to say, awesome fashion.
  • Joe Pernice (of The Pernice Brothers) got things started, reading from his new book, It Feels So Good When I Stop. It’s a novel about “fuck-ups,” he said, and they sound like “fuck-ups” I wouldn’t mind spending a few hundred pages with. He played two songs: “The Loving Kind” and “Amazing Glow.” I hadn’t heard either and thought at the moment he ended his set that they wouldn’t sound nearly as good when I heard their studio versions. (Ed. note: They still sound pretty damn good.)
  • Dean Wareham (Galaxie 500, Luna) read next, not from his new memoir, Black Postcards: A Rock and Roll Romance, but from a letter he received from a “concerned fan” circa the dissolution of his band Luna. It was very funny and jejune and manic, but heartfelt. There was a line that was something like, “You and I both know music’s all that matter.” That was, in a way, touching. He sang one Galaxie 500 song (“Blue Thunder”) and one song by Dean and Britta (“The Sun Is Still Sunny”).
  • Nick Flynn read next. He chose a particularly melodic passage from his memoir, Another Bullshit Night In Suck City, about getting drunk, lending my Jon Hamm (Don Draper) comparison some credence! Then he read a passage very loosely about Elvis from his new book, The Ticking Is The Bomb. He ended by reading a short piece from Another Bullshit Night. By the time he wrapped up I was all, “OK, I get it, Nick! You’re awesome!”
  • Up next was the sing-along. Steve Almond deconstructed the lyrics to Toto’s “Africa” vis-à-vis a karaoke style sing-along, with the plainly ridiculous lines (“The wild dogs cry out in the night / As they grow restless longing for some solitary company”) displayed on the auditorium’s projection system. Almond stopped after each verse to hilariously analyze the diction and context of the song’s narrative and conception. It was the hardest I’ve laughed in a very long time.
  • Kristen Hersh followed Almond. She alternated between reading from her new memoir, Rat Girl, and playing songs from her apparently well-known and much-loved band, Throwing Muses. I liked very much what I heard both when she had guitar and book in hand.
  • Nick Zinner, Zachary Lipez, and Stacy Wakefield finished off the night. They have a beautifully-conceived book called Please Take Me Off the Guest List, featuring photography from Zinner (of the band Yeah Yeah Yeahs), writing from Lipez, and design by Wakefield. For their presentation, Wakefield played keyboard while Zinner made ambient guitar noise and Lipez read one of the book’s personal essays titled “You Can Always Do Better.” Throughout, Zinner’s evocative photos ran in a slide-show on the auditorium’s screen. The writing is the weakest part of the book, but it’s not completely terrible. For every line like “Vodka smells like a maze you have no intention of leaving,” there’s one of surprising, quiet profundity, like “There was R., who dumped me because I ‘couldn’t fight’ (I really can’t).” Lipez isn’t self-effacing enough for my taste, and judging by his writing (as well as the very Ivy-league striped sweater he wore and slicked back hair he styled last night) he has a lot of room for self-effacement. He prefers a sort of self-aware scumminess. To each his own. Zinner’s photos are pretty. He told me he shot most of them with a Canon point-and-shoot film camera. Wakefield’s design for the book, which is quite difficult to describe, is the most beautiful I’ve seen since Nox by Anne Carson. The essays are printed on pages smaller than the book’s, so that each essay can be read between two of the actual book’s pages. If that makes sense. It’s a really neat object.
  • After getting my copy of Please Take Me Off the Guest List signed by its three authors, I headed home, happily.

BBF 2010: A (Very Brief) Photoessay

(Inspired by Nick Zinner’s Photography in Please Take Me Off the Guest List)

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