Monday, January 18, 2010

Do It Yourself Book Tour by Stephen Elliott

Fascinating New York Times essay on the "Do It Yourself Book Tour" by Stephen Elliott, author of The Adderall Diaries, and a favorite author of mine. I covered his pre-release lending program back in July. Shortly after, he organized a book tour consisting of small readings across the country, hosted by everyday people who liked his work and invited him into their house. Here is one of my favorite excerpts from the essay.

"Soon 19 of her friends showed up, and we spread out into the living room and small kitchen. Many of them also worked at the hospital. One was a professional jujitsu fighter and personal trainer, another a real estate agent. What was most interesting to me was that none of them had ever been to a literary event. Several told me they were big readers, at least a book a week. But when I asked a few of them about their reading habits, they hadn’t heard of the authors who are famous in my world: Lorrie Moore,Roberto BolañoMichael Chabon. This is most of America, I thought; I’ve stepped through the door."