Struck continued

Okay, I didn't leap up the stairs and I didn't get a seat in the front row, but I did get carried away... and I did manage to get a couple of minutes to tell Mr Ondaatje about my surreal Kip-Westbury-horse-train experience, which made him laugh, briefly.

It was an inspirational evening, but also frustrating at times, as most of the people in the audience seemed intent on killing time by asking him questions which were essentially different versions of: "So tell us: HOW do you do it?" Unsurprisingly, the only way he could respond was to smile, shrug his shoulders and offer words which were essentially different versions of: "I don't know."

He did say it takes him about five years to write one novel - which was encouraging/depressing/reassuring/terrifying to hear - and that he writes almost every single day. But apart from that, he was pretty circumspect, albeit in an admirable way. His approach to the evening seemed to be that it was an event in which he was obliged to participate because of the realities of the world of publishing, but that didn't mean he was suddenly going to bare his soul and his innermost thoughts to these strangers sitting in front of him. He simply answered everyone's questions politely... and somewhat ponderously. Which was just fine. In fact, it came across as very dignified.

And then, after he'd signed my copies of Divisadero and The English Patient, and the Divine L and I walked back towards Warren Street station, I breathed in the night air and just thought, "I've met Michael Ondaatje. How cool is that?"


Lorraine said…
Very, very cool.

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