Friday, November 21, 2014

Does your best editing happen AFTER you've hit "send?"

If you've been following news about The National Book Awards, presented annually by The National Book Foundation, you know a few things in addition to the award winners.

You know Ursula K. Le Guin was given an award for her distinguished contribution to American letters, and gave a speech which has touched many.

And you know another author made news which was not as universally accepted.

Daniel Handler of Lemony Snicket fame (NOT crime writer David Handler as I stupidly posted in a comment to a post on Laura Lippman's Facebook wall this morning.  I say stupidly, because I knew better and just didn't catch my own error.  <sigh>). Made some racist comments which made the crowd, not surprisingly, uneasy.

He has since apologized.

I was stunned and hurt and angry at Mr. Handler's remarks, and initially (and, admittedly, selfishly) not over moved by the apology.

Then I read Ms. Lippman's piece at The Toast. I encourage each of you to do the same. I found it to be generous, gracious and brave.

All this brings up something I've been pondering since reading a Margaret Atwood quote. 

"Wanting to meet an author because you like his work is like wanting to meet a duck because you like pâté.”

I never really thought about meeting my favorite authors in quite this way, although it does bear thinking about . . . certainly . . .  I suppose. Still pondering . . .

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