Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Four by four, one on one

Two belated posts from a brief flurry of activity for Phawker.com, one of the Internet's largest and snarkiest repositories of my writing.

Q&A with David Harrington of the Kronos Quartet, for Phawker, Nov. 6, 2009.

Before setting up this interview, I wondered if the Kronos' publicity manager would put forward a member other than David Harrington; it had always been my impression that Harrington dominated the group's media presence. In the end, though, Harrington was a wonderful interview -- very thoughtful and generous, and digressive in the best possible way. We were both on the road as well -- he to San Francisco International Airport, I from Bucknell University back to Philadelphia -- and managed to avoid any dropped calls or poor connections.

The collected works and quirks of A.J. Jacobs, for Phawker, Nov. 6, 2009.

I really wanted to attend Jacobs' event at the First Person Arts festival, and it seemed the best way to do that was to put together a retrospective look at his two books and the genre (the First Person Arts director called it "shtick-lit," a surprisingly harsh dig) he's birthed, or at least revivified. Jacobs' presentation ended up being almost stand-up-comedy-like, and though people familiar with his works could have seen many of the punchlines coming, he was funny and endearing off-stage as well, and, fortunately for me, willing to give autographs and to inquire about the work of young, ambitious writers.

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