Last night I attended Narrative Night in San Francisco, the annual fundraising event for Narrative Magazine, with which I am an assistant editor. Jennifer Egan, Robert Stone, and Kara Levy read from their works. Tobias Wolf eloquently introduced Bob Stone. While none of these authors were at the top of my awareness charts before, they are now. Particularly Stone, who, as a man in his early seventies, continues to compose and perform works of significance. I can’t wait to read his memoir, 2007: Prime Green: Remembering the Sixties in its entirety. While I didn’t go introduce myself to him– I am uncomfortable with putting someone in the position of saying you know him when he doesn’t know you, and feeling like a silly fan– I found him a compelling character and enjoyed being in his presence.
Jennifer Egan read an excerpt from a novel, about a man losing his virility paying a fortune to drink flakes of gold in his coffee, (but of course about so much more than that). It was very good too. Her novel The Keep is on my short list; It feels like a Hotel California sort of mystery just from what I’ve read about it.
It was a lovely event, although not quite as I-dont-know- artistic? as I had imagined it might be. I’m glad I didn’t wear anything too funky, as it was a business-event more than anything else. I enjoyed meeting the co-founders of the magazine, Carol Edgarian and Tom Jenks. And, as I mentioned, the readings were really very good.
I like Narrative Magazine because it enables me to be exposed to a variety of established and emerging writers’ sentences and to get inside them and climb back out again and search for perfection, first identify it and then create it.