There was some talk of extending the topic of “being bad” just for me, since I had Amanda Eyre Ward as my guest last week and therefore missed a golden opportunity to reveal sordid details of my past and poke fun at myself for the sake of entertainment—mine and yours. I was eager to do so and had great plans for something funny, dark and maybe just a little bit deep. I was even going to incorporate this week’s topic, bump in the night, and tie it all up with a clever bow for you.
And then I saw Meg Tilly.
Specifically, I saw Meg Tilly do a reading from her new YA novel, Porcupine, in a funky indie bookstore, Type, in Toronto tonight.
I saw Meg Tilly read and there is no point trying to be clever after that.
Forget The Big Chill and Agnes of God and anything else to do with Hollywood, which Meg left in the dust long ago. Meg can WRITE! (I realize I’m behind some of you in this realization—I just found out.) Not only can Meg write but she is absolutely riveting as a reader.
I’ve been to lots of readings lately, some awful, some fabulous. Good or bad though, I’m always very aware of the author—aware of the author as a separate entity from their book. But Meg just…became her book. She channeled the book, filled the room with it, brought the entire world of her twelve-year-old heroine to us so vividly that I breathed with her, felt everything and heard the words as if they were coming from inside my own head.
This is the first reading I’ve seen where there seemed no barrier between the writer and the words, no barrier, even, between the words and the thoughts. It wasn’t about “acting” or “performing” or any of that stuff. It was grounded, instinctive and beautiful and it totally blew me away.
Porcupine has been released by Tundra Books and I urge you to run out and get it. And if you can somehow get Meg to read it to you in person, you’ll have trouble being clever for a couple of days, but it’ll be worth it.