National Book Festival, Part 2
So, as I said in Part 1 of this post, the festival had a full schedule of authors appearing to discuss their latest works. Some of the authors that were there included: Brad Meltzer, Michael Connelly, Alice McDermott, and Nathaniel Philbrick. From looking at the festival’s website it seemed like previous years had much better authors. I am secretly hoping that JK Rowling will appear next year!
Anyway, with the Collin factor involved I didn’t get to sit and hear nearly as many authors as I would have liked. I really wanted to see Bob Woodward since State of Denial is in the news quite a bit. It would have been cool to listen to the man who broke Watergate. Unfortunately, he was the absolute last speaker of the day at 4:00 and Collin was not making it that long. I was able to hear 2 great authors speak though.
The first was Khaled Hosseini author of The Kite Runner. What a great speaker. He has the voice of a story teller….very engaging. He spoke about how The Kite Runner evolved from his own childhood in Afghanistan. His father was a diplomat and the family happened to move to France for this reason right before the Soviets invaded in the country. Mr. Hosseini said that the character of Hassan was loosely based on a servant in his own childhood household. This servant was poor and illiterate, but he and Mr. Hosseini became good friends. Mr. Hosseini eventually taught him how to read and write. Furthermore, he said that he has been working on his new novel for the last couple of years and hopes to be done with it soon. He did not say the title, but said that it focused on the lives of Afghan women.
The second author I heard was Douglas Brinkley. I bought his new book, The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. This was the first time I heard in person from someone who experienced Katrina. Brinkley and his family had to escape from their home in New Orleans. Wow, he spoke very powerfully about the plight of the people there and how bad it still is. He also told several incredible stories about the heroism that took place during the catastrophe. Brinkley was also a great speaker.
All in all, the festival was awesome. We (or at least I) definitely plan to make it an annual pilgrimage. Now I’m thinking about The Great Read in the Park coming up October 15th in Central Park!