Things got to the point where I started fantasizing about running BEA, and how I’d implement a mandatory five minutes of sustained silent reading just so all the schmoozing and chatter could be put on hold. That way we could all collectively celebrate the act of reading itself… um, you know, the root reason for why we were all there in the first place.
BEA spotlights both the best and the worst of the book community.
Manning is often described as one of those underread, underappreciated 20th-century British authors; when anyone knows anything about her, they usually remember that she wrote massive novels and that she was rumored to be “difficult”: among a certain set in literary London she was known as “Olivia Moaning.”
In many cases, those “difficult” reputations are all the more reason to read an author’s work.
As a Southern woman who was raised to be polite and respectful, my instinct is to shut up and smile, to kill ‘em with kindness and hope that the audience around me will recognize that I’m fighting with class and confidence instead of whining and complaining and yelling.
But you know what? It’s not right.
Being quiet doesn’t get results.
There’s something to be said for biding one’s time, but the time to yell is now.
“If a building is going to be built, it shouldn’t be a shopping center but a library. I know that’s a romantic idea but isn’t this whole protest a romantic idea?”
The world could benefit from more romanticism and less practicality.
Sign up for our newsletter to have the best of Book Riot delivered straight to your inbox every two weeks. No spam. We promise.