Monday, May 17, 2010
CHICAGO: MAYOR DALEY'S BOOK CLUB
Sorry to take time away from the Vietnam/Cambodia tour, but hey, I've had kind of a busy weekend I thought you'd like to know about -- namely a trip to Chicago and then off to Cannes!
First off, I flew down to Chicago, Friday -- like you couldn't tell from the photo of The Bean -- where I was put up at the Marriott Hotel to be keynote speaker to 1,500 fans of my novel CHANDA'S WARS. It was on Mayor Daley's Book Club that goes all across the Chicago school board -- the third largest in America. An honour and a thrill.
I love Chicago -- especially Millennium Park. More Bean please...
...the Gehry amphitheater...
... and that totally cool glass block statue with the changing faces of locals who spit jets of water out of their mouths. (In the heat of the summer, kids run through the water jets squealing with laughter.)
But more than anything, I love public speaking. I'm great with people if either (a) they're a small group of friends, or (b) if I'm on a stage in front of a crowd. I mean what's the big deal in talking to a few hundred fans? It's fun. But put me in a cocktail party and in five seconds I want to bolt. Honestly, who invented cocktail parties? -- "Minglers" where total strangers breathe cheap wine and brie in each others faces and talk about the weather. CHEQUE PLEASE! Getting through one of those suckers sober is a total drag!
BUT ANYWAY, MAYOR DALEY'S BOOK CLUB WAS FANTASTIC!. 1,500 STUDENTS WHO HAD READ MY BOOK AND WERE DEVOTING A SATURDAY MORNING TO THE BOOK CLUB EVENT. AUTHOR HEAVEN! And meeting Mayor Daley was terrific too. what he's done to beautify Chicago is truly amazing.
I also love Chicago's architecture, the cityscapes, street life...
And the cool public art. "Me see buildings. Yum."
After the event -- Saturday --I flew back to Toronto and packed for Cannes where LIFE, ABOVE ALL, the film adaptation of my novel CHANDA'S SECRETS, is premiering on the 18th. Daniel and I flew out yesterday -- Sunday -- so today we're either arrived or en route, heading from Rome to Nice and then a shuttle to the film festival. Then after that a few days in Venice to research my next book, and then home where I'll tell you all about it!
If you want to see some cool photos before I get back, I've pre-scheduled a post for May 20 of random shots of new stuff from Vietnam and Cambodia, to give you a taste of where I'll be taking you after Cannes and Venice. I think you'll especially like a preview of Angor Watt... :)