Sunday, October 08, 2006

Interviewing a Pulitzer Prize Winner


Saturday at Borders in Largo, Maryland I was the moderator in a colliquy with Pulitzer Prize winner Edward P. Jones. Marie Arana, Washington Post Bookworld editor and herself a National Book Award finalist for her memoir American Chica, posed questions and teased Mr. Jones out of his shell. He's eccentric, sure. Monastic asa description for his life is an understatement. No furniture. A small, old TV. He takes the bus everywhere. Has the same apartment in DC he's rented for years. Yet now I know what it may have been like to light a clay pipe with Cooper and Melville, mix a mojito for Hemingway, swill some bourbon with Fitzgerald. Maybe share a coffee with Hughes, an uneasy yet forthwright couple of words with Wright in a cab? Or just a hug from Zora. When I show my grandchildren his books, the inevitable inscriptions on library walls, I can tell them with pride that I was among the lucky few in this life who got to share some words and a even a few laughs with a hero. The man grew up in abject poverty in the Nation's Capital. His mother couldn't read or write; she was a maid for five decades. I wish he was a hero to more folks, especially the young...

5 comments:

Adamantium said...

I think it's tragic that younger African Americans embrace this "ghetto fiction" craze and not works like Jones'. I your old post you seem to advocate for this trash. Are you a devotee of rap music as well?

Christopher Chambers said...

Re-read the 9/22 post. Ghetto fiction is like a Twinkie, a treat. I don't "advocate" treats, I just enjoy them. The issue is the innundation of our shelves with treats and nothing more, and the arrogance of the treat-bakers in saying that the meat, veggies are irrelevant.

"Slink...slink..." That's the sound of my own claws popping out. What made you choose the nom de plume? Wolverine fan? I've never been such. Strangely, I enjoy the film version of the character, and it's really not because of Hugh Jackman. See my comic-to-film posts below.

Anonymous said...

Not suer i know how to do this

indispensabledestiny said...

Nice post. How about leaving a biblio so this whitety paleocon can find new light?

Just don't give me anyrthing that can get me kicked off a plane. Those TSA agents can be jerks.

Kevin Mark Coleman said...

Jones is a genius. Where was this event, in DC? Kudos to you for getting that gig.

Please post a review of All Aunt Hagar's Children by Jones.