I’m the kind of person who writes our family’s holiday letter in January, except for the one year I kept promising it to people until July, and then decided guiltily that since it was then closer to the next year, I may as well wait. So it’s been exactly a month since the Giller ceremony, and I’d been promising myself that I’d post pics and maybe even some thoughts on it, and am only now doing it. The fact is that while it was terrifically fun (3 readings in 3 cities with my fellow finalists, all of whom were wonderful traveling companions, and then the red carpet evening, which I had feared would be stuffy or awkward but which turned out to be the opposite), the weeks of travel and media were unplanned-for in the middle of my semester and it’s taken me this entire month to start to catch up.
And then there was the awkwardness, in the middle of it, of trying to say what it meant or felt like. When people asked if I was anxious about the outcome, I would say, no, it doesn’t change anything about the book I wrote. Was I disappointed not to win? No, bizarrely…Perhaps because Us, Conductors is an excellent book and Sean Michaels such a sweet person? Perhaps because (let’s be frank) the ‘consolation prizes’ were pretty significant–not just the cash purse but all the extra coverage for the book, and the outpourings of literary fandom, which were admittedly welcome? Perhaps because by the time it was done, the touring and flashbulbs, I was so ready to return the borrowed gown and earrings, let that coach turn into a pumpkin and get back home to kids, writing, teaching and my Prince Charming? All of the above.
Here’s a smattering of pics from the big day. (Click on each for my comments on what’s going on!) Some people called this is ‘the event of a lifetime,’ and while I wouldn’t mind a repeat at some point in my career, that’s how I’m treating it for now.