Thank you so much for attending today’s Alta Live with author Peter Orner and Alta Journal books editor David L. Ulin. If you missed any part of our conversation, you can catch up right here.
Here are some notable quotes from Orner from today’s event:
- On his new book, Still No Word from You: Notes in the Margin: “I kinda thought, Well, this is my seventh book, I don’t even know if it’s going to be a book at all, but I’m going to do whatever the hell I want. And what I wanted was to just, all day long, what I like to do is write about or converse with what I’m reading, and then go back to reading.”
- On writing truth as fiction: “I like that limitation of having some restraint on the chronic lying that a fiction writer does. I’m an autobiographical fiction writer who, constantly, I want people to think this shit happened. I do. Because that’s part of the trick, the manipulation of fiction. I want you to think it’s true. And I’ll take it if you think it’s about me.”
- On shortening attention spans: “It’s crazy, the things we are starting to do with our eyes. It has to be physically taking a toll on our ability to close read. I worship at the church of close reading, and I know you do too. I think everything is solved with that. Every problem in the world would be solved if just people would slow down and closely read. Maybe we wouldn’t fight so much.”
Check out these links to some of the topics brought up this week.
- Read Orner’s “Jimmy” in the Desert Issue.
- Read Orner’s Still No Word from You: Notes in the Margin and Love and Shame and Love.
- Attend Orner’s events in the Bay Area at Booksmith in San Francisco and Book Passage in Corte Madera.
- Explore the work of Eric Orner, including his book Smahtguy: The Life and Times of Barney Frank.
- Read the books and authors mentioned in today’s event: Midwinter Day, by Bernadette Mayer; 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel, by Jane Smiley; The Book of Disquiet, by Fernando Pessoa; Essayism: On Form, Feeling, and Nonfiction, by Brian Dillon; and the work of Eliot Weinberger.
- Join us for a party and a toast celebrating the Desert Issue on February 27 at Skylight Books in Los Angeles.•