The Texas Book Festival was even better this year than last, but that might be because I was so much better organized this time around. I haven't had time to digest all I saw and heard but I can say that it was a wonderful experience to hear so many authors speak - authors who were only names on a book jacket before the festival are now real people with distinct personalities, and that will make me a better reader of their work.
I will say that one of my favorite writers let me down in a big way. I knew, of course, that she was very much a liberal because I've read most of her books. I always take something positive away from reading this woman and her new book, as she explained it to her audience, sounds as intriguing as any of her earlier works. She's quite the humorist (and feminist) and makes men the butt of many of her jokes and stories so, as you would imagine, her audience was about 80% female and largely of the age group coming of age in the '60s and '70s.
I try to avoid politics here - but when she made the statement that anyone protesting the President's policies regarding health care or anything else is objecting simply out of racism - no other reason - I had to pack up my things and leave the audience (so quietly that I doubt that anyone even noticed). I'm paraphrasing what she said but I have the exact quote on my recording of her presentation (along with me muttering "bullshit" a couple of times).
This is a writer who is best known as a BS-sniffer, a reputation she takes great pride in claiming. Apparently, her BS-sniffer does not work on words that come out of her own mouth. I can't believe she believes such a simplistic explanation of the Tea Party protesters and, even more shockingly, I can't believe that she doesn't recognize how ignorant this makes her sound.
Having one of your favorite nonfiction writers call you a racist is not a great way to end such a pleasant weekend. But I'll live - and eventually I'll read her new book.