I very much enjoyed the event with Nigerian-American writer and photographer Teju Cole at The Portobello Bookshop last night, chaired by Roxani Krystalli -- I accessed the event online. Cole is currently the Gore Vidal Professor of Creative Writing at Harvard.
He was charming and funny - and illuminating on the writing process. He talked of writing as a way of not forgetting, a sense of 'if you don't write it down it will vanish'.
I was kind of relieved
when he said that TREMOR, his new novel, is the least morose book he has
written. He referred to having been a 'serious melancholic' in his younger years - he is now almost fifty - and made play of the fact he is no longer such a 'misery guts'. I had read his first (highly acclaimed) novel OPEN CITY in 2012 and confess to not having loved it, the writing is immaculate but I got weary of the heaviness of tone (I reviewed the book here on Goodreads over a decade ago).
I am only two chapters into TREMOR and loving it.
Near the end of the event, he alluded to the current assault on Gaza and mentioned a Palestinian friend who is just now harvesting olives. I was very glad he mentioned Gaza. I think it must be hard to perform just now as artist/writer and not mention what is going on in that part of the world.
Thanks, too, to Porty Books for making the event accessible online. Hybrid events are maybe the one good thing to have come out of the pandemic.