Monday, May 30, 2011


Last week, I went to New York and it was awesome. I was reading for a Yaddo benefit along with Aimee Mann and Jennifer Egan. You are reading that correctly. It was Oscar-nominated, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Aimee Mann, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jennifer Egan, and me. I geeked out a lot.
Before the reading, right after I got into New York, I ran to Papabubble NYC, a homemade candy shop, and bought a bunch of soda-flavored gourmet candy. Then I went to Saigon Vietnamese Sandwich Deli and bought a huge banh mi for almost no money. I ate that and drank a bubble tea in my closet-sized hotel room and then ate a fistful of hard candy and then realized I was going to be eating dinner at the Yaddo benefit in less than two hours.
The reading was at Tribeca Rooftop and I got there before my agent and her assistant, so I hid in the dining area while cocktails were being served. I was very nervous. I just walked around the tables and got in the waiters' way and looked at the name cards for the seating arrangements.
I was reading with Jennifer Egan and Aimee Mann because of Amanda Stern, a novelist who also runs the Happy Ending Reading Series. I got to read for that series in 2009 and I wrote about it here. Amanda is awesome and kind and very funny and she was nice enough to think of me for this reading, which was to announce that Yaddo and the Happy Ending Reading Series were entering into a partnership. I had been to Yaddo in 2008, where I wrote a good portion of a bizarre novel that fell apart, and it had been a really wonderful experience (Yaddo, not the novel falling apart), so it was fun to be a part of this benefit.
I ate sushi and cheeseburger sliders and talked to lots of neat people and then I got to listen to Aimee Mann play songs, even the really popular songs I thought she might not play, and then I read and then Jennifer Egan read from A Visit From the Goon Squad (the chapter about the PR woman and the dictator), which was amazing, and then Aimee Mann played some more songs, which made me want to cry it was so wonderful, and then my agent and I tried to meet my editor on the roof but we all got kicked out. I went back to my hotel and unwrapped what was left of the banh mi and ate that and then went to sleep. I also ate more of the hard candy. Oh, and Lou Reed was at the Yaddo party. I thought this might have been a dream but I saw a picture of him at the benefit on the internet, so he was definitely there.


Han Stoney said...

Wow, well done. Sounds surreal but fantastic.

Alex said...

That's really cool, and in a bizarre way, helps alleviate the pain of losing Macho Man Randy Savage.

Aimee Mann!

sarafina said...

That is amazing! What a combo! What did you read?

Tania Hershman said...

Kevin - I found your blog post when searching for "Yaddo experience", wow, what an experience this must have been. I, too, say: Aimee Mann! I am a HUGE fan. Ok, must now think seriously about my Yaddo application. But: Aimee Mann!