The other day lulu and I were walking down the street talking about books when the author of the book she was reading walked past us! Lulu recognized her because she’d bought the book at a film the author was introducing. But can you imagine our good luck? And what if this is actually a superpower that Lulu possesses (you know, besides her astonishing ability to conduct massive amounts of static electricity)? What if she can conjure authors you’re reading? I’m in the midst of a run of thirtysomething Canadian women writers (stop me before I branch out too much!) so it’s not impossible to imagine. There’s Heather Birrell! And she’s walking down the street with Elizabeth Ruth!
I actually just finished—and must highly recommend, but I digress—This Book Will Save Your Life (which is a novel) by A.M. Homes, an author I have always liked. I love how she’s “A.M.,” instead of you know, Amy Marie or whatever it is. The initials-only people are so often have ambiguous genders and you assume that they’re doing it because they’re total recluses and can’t bear the idea of their adoring fans actually knowing their names. But not our A.M. She’s pictured on the back flap in all her X-chromosome glory.
But anyway, what if I ran into her on the street? I’d be all, yo, A.M.! I can’t see it. But isn’t it a lovely fantasy? I wouldn’t even need to say anything to my conjured authors, just savor the delicious irony of physical proximity, of having them manifest so near to the emotional space they’ve been so busy filling inside my head.