Roz Ito has been writing some interesting stuff lately about publicity and the author, and it's become this ongoing conversation between us now about the idea of doing readings, as a writer who has a book coming out. Part of me realizes in this one year of being PUBLISHED PUBLIC I have swallowed everything I'm supposed to like a good girl and done my duty and gone out there and plodded the boards of the independent bookshops like I'm supposed to. And for what? I don't know. It's exhausting, doing readings. I say this though kind of wishing I was still reading from O Fallen Angel and knowing I will be putting that away or have put that away as Green Girl comes out in the fall. I only say this because I enjoyed the physical experience of reading from that text, which is very violent and performative, unlike Green Girl, which will be more of a staid read in public. I guess a problem with storing up all of your writing for years and then having it come out all at once. Part of me really wants to do a sort of punk-rock author tour like driving cross-country or something. I kind of idealize that. Maybe because I've never done spring break in college or driven cross-country. I've emailed one or two people who have a book coming out in the fall asking them whether they'd want to read with me. But I haven't been asked to do any readings or sought out any readings. Not only does it seem like a lot of work I'm not sure what it yields. As I told Roz I'm committed to reading in cities I've never been: I want to do a reading in New Orleans, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland. I will probably do a reading in Chicago, my hometown, and maybe one in New York. Is that enough? Too much? Are readings important? How do you set them up? What do you think about this "Brainy coven" tour? (I love Bett Williams' coining of this blogspace/community).
by the way: apropos of nothing: there's a Hughes/Plath collection at UNC Chapel Hill where John is the fancy dreamy new Rare Books Research Librarian, and John was looking for me and they have an earlier mss. of The Bell Jar signed by Victoria Lucas (CORRECTION, John writes me in an email, it is an uncorrected proof, not a manuscript.)
Did Sylvia Plath ever do readings?