Friday, April 26, 2013

Helene Wecker says: "I'm a giant nerd."

Okay, I'm just going to make this Helene Wecker Week on the blog, because I can't seem to stop talking about her wonderful debut novel, The Golem and the Jinni.  I have already bullied stiff-armed coerced encouraged several friends to read this novel, and they've loved it as much as I have.  Really stunning debut novels are rare.  When you uncover one, the news must be shared.  Am I right?

Helene and I have been chatting casually via Twitter for months now.  It's just a coincidence that she,
This photo was too cute not to steal from Linus's Blanket!
too, lives in the Bay Area.  (Good God, we have some serious literary talent in this part of the country!)  We'd never met until last night.  I was so delighted to be able to attend her official book launch party held--where else?--at the Booksmith on Haight Street.  (For those who are keeping score, it was my third visit to the shop in a week.)

And I am equally pleased to be able to share footage of this event with folks who aren't able to catch Helene on tour.  This was her first bookstore event ever, and she performed like a seasoned pro.  In the very first clip above, she makes a few introductory remarks and also sets up the first selection that she will read.  That takes up the first seven and a half minutes.  After that, she reads the passage that introduces her golem.  In this second clip, she introduces her jinni:

These next two video clips below are the Q & A session.  Helene discusses both pop-culture and literary influnces, the research process, language barriers, and (in response to me) why golems are cool and vampires are not.  In part two, she discusses the industry of turn of the century New York, audiobiographic influences, what she'll be working on next, and overseas publication.  Look for a really amusing response to a reader's interpretation of an element of the book.

Enjoy the book, enjoy the video, and spread the word!

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