What’s more fun than mixing drinks? Mixing genres. Alden E. Jones’s session Writers Talk About Writing About Writers will have attendees fanning over interesting authors and inspired to explore the lives of their own favorite authors. Head to our Lit Crawl Boston event page to mark this session on your schedule and check out our previous blog posts to discover more about our other great sessions.
Tell me a bit about how your session came to be? Was there something that inspired you to form your group?
Alden: Fiction Advocate launched the Afterwords series in 2018, and its editors asked a number of literary critics to choose a major, recent work of fiction or memoir that had made an impact on them. We were given instructions to use 25,000 or so words to combine literary criticism with whatever other style of nonfiction we would like. We four Afterwords authors thought it would be fascinating to talk about how we each engaged with a text in different creative ways. Also, when you accumulate as many facts about certain writers as we have—our books are on Ben Lerner, Cormac McCarthy, Jonathan Letham, and Cheryl Strayed—we thought creating a trivia game from that knowledge would be fun for us and other fans of these writers.
What is one thing you hope those attending Lit Crawl Boston will gain from your session?
Alden: The genre combining literary/cultural criticism and memoir is in bloom. We hope attendees of our session will feel inspired to consider the books and writers that have impacted them the most, and that our session invites them to consider creative ways to write about other writers and their writing. Also—trivia prizes!
In honor of Lit Crawl including drinks or food, what would your session be if it could be any type of drink and or type of food item?
Alden: Fusion cuisine, of course. This session as a drink list would be quite eclectic: fancy vodka martinis for Stacie Williams’s book on gentrification; Snapple lemonade to acknowledge Cheryl Strayed’s fixation with it in Wild; and, to honor Cormac McCarthy, homemade whiskey with a touch of rattlesnake venom.
Boston is such a historic and literary city! If you could have any historic figure attend your session who would it be and why?
Alden: I think Oscar Wilde would get a kick out of this session. In his own critical writing on art and culture, he loved to go rogue, get personal, and invent his own style. I’d like to ask him what text he’d chose for his own Afterwords volume!
Thank you Alden for the wonderful interview. Now let’s get ready to “Lit Crawl!”