The announcement of a major literary award is always cause for celebration, but how much more exciting when it's a book you love, by a really delightful author. Such was the case earlier today, when it was announced that San Francisco novelist Adam Johnson was the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for his novel, The Orphan Master's Son. (And BTW, Pulitzer Committee, see how much more fun it is when you pick a winner?)
Now, I'd encountered Adam around San Francisco at various literary events over the years, and he was always pleasant, but I never quite got around to reading his first novel. He really came onto my radar when his editor, the awesome David Ebershoff, sent me a galley of The Orphan Master's Son, along with a personal letter. I, of course, geekily wrote about that here, and suffered further embarrassment when Ebershoff left a comment on the blog post. D'oh!
I was fortunate not only attend Adam's local book launch at the Booksmith, but I filmed his talk and posted the video to the blog. I had my first substantive interaction with the man when he signed my galley. Now, you know that thing where people say, "It couldn't happen to a nicer guy"? Read on.
The next time I bumped into him it was months later, and I just wanted to thank him for the thoughtful note. He was talking to some people, so I approached quietly in order to reintroduce myself. Before I even could, he greeted me warmly by name. I was stunned. He then launched into this... this... ridiculously flattering introduction to his friends and we all chatted in the most convivial way. Seriously, what a nice guy!
Suffice it to say, I was rather jubilant upon hearing the happy news. Great book, great guy! I'm sorry