I went to hear Joyce Maynard read at Pete’s Candy Store with my friend Billy last weekend. In addition to being a terrific writer, she’s an incredibly good reader. Engaging, entertaining and can really keep an audiences attention. It’s been quite awhile since I’ve attended a reading (toddlers, they have this effect on you) and I had totally forgotten how important it is for a writer to be able to read their work well. Wow, isn’t it enough to be able to write? And she looks really good too. Damn her!
I also just read her memoir At Home In The World about her time living with JD Salinger. For those of you who love memoir, take a look at the latest version with the new intro. She responds to all of the criticism she received at the time of the books original publication. And I think this is probably worth an entire blog post later on. . . but apparently certain people just didn’t feel her story was her story to tell. Hello, because it involved a famous and reclusive writer? Somehow I suspect that if Mr. Salinger had come out of hiding to tell HIS side of the story, no one would have blinked an eye, or been the slightest bit concerned about Ms. Maynard’s feelings. What do you think? Does everyone have a right to tell their story?