Friday, October 9, 2009

Buckley slays at Novello Festival

Posted By on Fri, Oct 9, 2009 at 9:30 PM

click to enlarge Christopher Buckley

Christopher Buckley, the best selling author and satirist, kept his audience chuckling Thursday night at ImaginOn's McColl Family Theater as part of the 19th Annual Novello Festival of Reading, presented by the Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. The next event, Wordplay, will be held Saturday.

Buckley is famous for a long list of things, including being the son of William F. Buckley, Jr. -- founder of the Conservative rag The National Review. He's also the author of the books Thank You for Smoking, Little Green Men and Supreme Courtship ... among others.

More impressively, depending on whom you ask, he served as Bush the First's speech writer for two years in the early 80s and is the recipient of numerous literary awards.

Most recently, he's famous for voting for President Obama.

On the surface, that might not seem like a big deal. However, when your father is one of the founders of the Conservative movement in American politics, that's huge news in some circles. (You know the circles where it's O.K. to respond to such news with comments like, "Yep...all the tell-tale signs of 'rebelling against Daddy'" and "How liberating. Both the parents dead. The inheritance securely probated. Finally.")

But, since Novello is all about reading -- and, for many, writing -- Buckley didn't spend much time talking politics, unless you'd consider calling the elder Bush "the good Bush" and W. "the anti-Christ."

What he did do -- in addition to giving a shout out to Camden, S.C., where he spent some time during his youth and where he once met Strom Thurmond ("I was on LSD at the moment," Buckley said.) -- was discuss the painful process of choosing a title for a book and how, mostly, he doesn't pick winners in a market where, he says, of the 400,000 books published in the U.S. annually, "half are by John Grisham and the other half are by Dan Brown."

Good titles are hard to find, he said, "Writers have to be like truffle pigs to find one."

Though, he admitted, the most difficult thing about being a writer in America, "is hiding money from the IRS."

Missed Buckley? That's too bad.

Make sure you don't miss the rest of the Novello Festival, which will host a variety of events through the month of October.

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