Writers matter?

I think it’s strange the way that some folks in America think about writers. Here — thanks to the amazing folks at the Embassy — I have met with a variety of people: Editors, writers, politicians. And I feel strange about it. Because I’m not sure, somehow, that I deserve this.

My book is a small comedy. Compared to the people who normally visit under the invitation of the State Department, I must seem pretty inconsequential. I am not an expert on anything, really — though I know a bit about a lot of things (writing especially).

But in talking with Sarmite Elerta — the clearly brilliant and elegant editor of the newspaper Diena — I realized that I never actually really thought that anyone would read my book. Somehow, I think, writers in America work in a bit of a vacuum. We have to struggle mightily to compete with TV’s purchase on the popular imagination.

Sitting there, in the Diena offices, I suddenly wished I’d written something more serious. Although — I think the seriousness is there, in Red Weather. It’s just beneath the surface, maybe.

Anyhow. Indeed. What a whirlwind.

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