Isabel Allende Reading

LB + I went to Isabel Allende's reading at SC tonight + I have to say that she was everything I had ever hoped for in an author. By that I mean she was:

1. Engagée
2. Passionate
3. Political in the service of humanity
4. Smart + strong
5. Deeply human, vulnerable + personal
6. Moving
7. Intriguing
8. Unapologetic
9. Openly self-critical + playful
10. Inspiring

In a world filled to capacity with team-playing fiction writers who mostly work at universities as tenured faculty, it was such a relief, such an extraordinary pleasure to listen to a famous writer speak boldly about what is most beautiful + most troubling in this world. She was critical, spunky, powerful, delightful, honest, inspiring, emotional at times but also so deeply human--Isabel Allende was everything that literary fiction writers aren't, can't + don't want to be + that's why I fucking adored her. She was a writer not living nor obsessed with the writerly world. She was free, the very opposite of diplomatic or glib. It was like she was channeling the spirits of her family into her words. It was part reading, part exorcism.

There's still hope for us. . .