(Argh…I wrote a lengthy post for this, and then somehow lost it. Grr doesn’t cover it. This version will no doubt be far sloppier as I am running out of time. Oh well, you will just have to imagine how fabulous the previous version was, as I set about this in a hurried bullet point style.)
1. I am an out and out Lorrie Moore fan girl. I have been since I first read her debut collection of short stories back in 1985 (fux sake, 23 years ago!) Her wit, shine, talent and word play enthralled me then, and now.
2. She was making a rare UK visit to publicise her Collected works, and appearing alongside AL Kennedy at an event in Charleston yesterday.
3. I first read AL Kennedy fairly recently, beginning with Paradise which thrilled me with its perfection. She was there to promote her latest novel Day.
5. For a more measured recording of the event you may be best served by reading Vanessa’s account.
6. OMFG Lorrie Moore is so…poised, articulate, smooth, self assured, fantastic, unflustered, intelligent and gorgeous. Plus, she had a great bag!
7. OMFG AL Kennedy is so… warm, open, intelligent, sparky; like some genius working at a faster speed than the rest of us – trying to slow down.
8. The extracts read were wonderful, I will read both of their books gleefully and relish every word, before reading again, trying to pick them apart to see how they work, see if I can learn.
9. The conversation with Di Spiers was absorbing. Sigh. I really felt so happy sitting listening to these two women who I admire so greatly. I would like to be friends with both of them, although I would be the quiet, dull friend with nothing to offer.
10. Both of them are funny. And very smart.
11. They are different, entirely, and yet there is a core which is similar. They were a good pairing.
12. The short story needs to be perfect, said AL Kennedy, there can be no room for flaws in craft, voice etc. She flicked a glass to illustrate the point that only a perfect one will sing the note. A novel on the other hand is more forgiving.
13. A novel is a place one has to stay for a long time, maybe several years. A short story is more of a quick visit, in and out, leaving a body bag said Moore.
14. Why should stories be happy when life is not? Kennedy does not “Do puppies”, and Moore said that even the luckiest of lives will end in death and so it is hard to avoid the dark.
15. Moore sung the Star Spangled Banner. That was a surprise.