Saturday, October 29, 2005

Farewell, My Lovely

Earlier this week I was having lunch with an adult novelist who recently moved to New York. We were chatting about Park Slope, and she said, “I met this writer who lives in Brooklyn at a reading not too long ago. They just made a movie of his book, with that guy who played Frodo in the 'Lord of the Rings' films . . .”

Jonathan Safran Foer?” I said.

“Yes! That’s it. He owns a whole townhouse with his wife, who was there too. . . . Have you read any of his books?"

"Everything Is Illuminated. It's wonderful."

"Really? I haven't read it. But there were all these people buzzing around him, especially all these young women making up to him, saying ‘Oh, I just loved your book, oh, Jonathan, you’re so great,’—with his wife right there!"

"I've heard some women do that," I said.

"Hmm. Maybe it's because he's so famous, but he seemed very unconnected, very distant--he looked past you when he was talking. I couldn’t really see the attraction."

“Well,” I said, turning bright pink. “I haven’t read his new book, but Everything Is Illuminated kind of ends up being about love--it gets pretty nakedly emotional. And I can see how women in their twenties might think ‘Wow, a guy our age who’s not afraid to talk about his feelings—and he’s a smart millionaire writer too?’ Kind of hard to pass up.”

She nodded but looked unconvinced. And I went away amused but sweetly melancholy: Between this and Katy’s report on his height (there isn't much of it), another literary crush bites the dust.

Happy trails, JSF.

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