I love the Boston Book Festival. Every year, Boston area bibliophiles get a chance to hear our favorite authors speak, and every year I'm more excited than the year before. I couldn't imagine finishing out the year without hearing Salman Rushdie give the keynote address on 10/18, so I hightailed it to Old South Sanctuary in Copley Square after work.
There were a few zigzag lines spilling out of the church, but once we approached the door (those of us lucky enough to have gotten our advance tickets) things eased up. I perched myself in the back of a balcony so I could get a bird's eye view.
I had no idea he'd be so down to earth. We were regaled with humanizing stories of hipsters in New York and influential people of faith who weren't exactly Team Rushdie. He was slated to discuss his memoir, Joseph Anton, but was more than happy to take questions from the audience.
I submitted a question that didn't get picked. I wrote: "Kafka told us that a book should be the axe for the frozen sea inside us. Has a work of yours ever broken you up in a way you didn't expect?" I love the idea of a novel or character becoming alive in the writer's mind in a way they didn't plan.
And isn't that one of the roles that dynamic literature should play - being that which enables us to sit at the feet of the ages and explore the dark, uncharted corners of ourselves?