BEA Bullets (The Runaway Edition)

  • The crooked bastards at Javits want $29.95/day for wi-fi. And if you think I’m paying that much for wireless, you’ve got to be fucking kidding. The problem then becomes what to do in between the crazy period on the floor that ends at 5PM and the partying that begins at 7PM. Keep in mind that you have subway/cab traveling time, just enough minutes to wolf down some dinner (if you’re lucky), and barely enough time to offer reports. But here are some things I noticed.
  • I met John Freeman for the first time in many years today — the first time since high school at any rate. It was an effort to break the ice, to stop the needless strife between print and online, to think about the future and work together. He didn’t recognize me. He quite literally convulsed when I told him I was Ed Champion. Maybe he was alarmed by the bandage on my head. I don’t know. (I’ll get to the bandage in a minute.) Whatever the case, if Freeman’s quick sprint away from me is any indication of his diplomatic skills, I don’t think he’s interested too much in reconciliation. But I will keep trying. Even if Freeman continues to run away from me.
  • Colson Whitehead also ran away from me twice at the LBC Party last night, but at least he had the decency to shake my hand.
  • Richard Nash didn’t run away from me, but the two of us shouted “Fucking Brooklyn!” many times. So I think we’re on good terms.
  • John Leonard didn’t run away from me, but I’m happy to report that he is as nice as he is intelligent. More on the Ethics in Book Reviewing Panel later.
  • As far as I know, no women ran away from me. Maybe this is a guy thing.
  • One of the most hilarious moments of the day was kicking around the Tin House martini offering (note to Tin House: you’re going to need to work on the martini mix) with Steve Wasserman and David Ulin. Believe it or not, Wasserman and Hitch go way back. I’ll have more to report later.
  • Chad Post did not run away from me. In fact, I ran into him three times today. Just as I did last year. (He doesn’t know about the third time. I ran away myself, fearing overexposure.)
  • The boys at The Millions haven’t run away from me. Nor has Mr. Sarvas, despite his rather amazing meeting schedule, which presumably prohibits running away.
  • Yes, there is a bandage on my head. While walking to Javits, my head collided against a sign post. There was a Peckinpah-like gush of blood. I was in the middle of nowhere without a bandage. I panicked, but later applied a bandage, which was a great litmus test. Some people avoided me, fearing the bandage. Others thought me something of a renegade.
  • Must dash for parties. Must run away. More later.


  1. It’s important to select the least threatening bandage you can find, you know, and damn the expense. Similarly, don’t touch the messy food if you’re wearing a tie or a pastel shirt.

  2. I just read your review of After Dark in the Times. I have never been overly fond of the self-aware omniscient narrator, but I agree that it works very well in this novel.

    In any case, it is a welcome change in his style, which for me, had gotten a bit tired since Sputnik Sweetheart.

    Enjoy NY!

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