We apologize for stepping ever so briefly on the lovely toes of our guest blogger Katherine Taylor. We promise not to intrude again. But we wanted to direct you to the loads of BEA coverage out there, as well as posting a few of our own fleeting impressions before diving into our revisions.
On Thursday morning, we met Dallas Morning News book editor Michael Merschel who was attending his first BEA. He asked for our advice and we told him that BEA basically breaks down into four parts (for us). The meetings - of which there are always more than there should be, going longer than they should. The panels - which are never as interested as they promise to be. The floor - which is always completely overwhelming. And the parties - of which there are always more than we can get to, which go later than they should, and where we drink more than we should.
This year more or less followed the pattern. (Although the meetings part is our fault - we always overplan but there are so many people we like to catch up with.) We can report that, for the first time, we religiously followed our own advice about picking up books and came home with exactly eight galleys - everything else will be mailed to us later. (The new Philip Roth novel Exit Ghost was among the coveted galleys.)
And if we hear one more word about the Crisis in Book Reviews, we will almost surely kill someone, if not ourselves.
The big BEA book for us this year was David Leavitt's absolutely stunning The Indian Clerk, about which you can expect to hear a great deal more from this quarters some time in July.
It was a great opportunity to reconnect with some old friends, make some new ones and spend a salutary weekend talking books with loads of people way smarter than we are. Highlights included a lovely, celebratory lunch with our Super Agent Simon Lipskar; meeting so many of you at the LBC shindig at Kettle o' Fish; the strongest martinis in recent memory served up at the Tin House booth; our annual dose of quality time with Steve Wasserman at the New York Review of Books party at the Museum of the City of New York (which we'd never seen); finally meeting Matt Weiland of Granta and Brigid Hughes of A Public Space, both of whom were eloquent and thoughtful at the Debut Fiction panel; hearing book tour anecdotes from Arthur Phillips; recapping the weekend with James Marcus; and so much more but, above all, being in the thick of all things bookish for four solid days. Incidentally, for all you local readers, BEA comes to Los Angeles next year.
We're fairly certain more posts/memories/recaps will dribble out in the weeks ahead but, for now, here's an overview of some of the plentiful BEA coverage that's out there:
* As always, Publishers Marketplace leads the way with comprehensive BEA coverage, including blogs, stats, and photos.
* At Inside Higher Ed, Scott McLemee takes on BEA from the perspective of university press action.
And with that, we leave you in the able hands of Ms. Taylor until we return to these precincts next Monday.