The post where I gush about Thrity Umrigar & a winner

Last night I was supposed to meet Bonnie at Thrity’s book signing, but on the way her car came in contact with another car whose brakes didn’t work.  Seriously?  Who is driving if their brakes don’t work?  Not to worry, she’s fine, and I missed seeing her.  Next time.

I have never read any of Thrity’s six books, but I have seen lots of love for them from other bloggers and I love to go to book signings, especially local authors.  I had no idea what to expect, but let me start by saying that Thrity was warm, personable, smart and engaging, and this may be my favorite author signing.  She read two passages from her new book, The World We Found, both of which were beautiful, and then spent an hour, graciously taking questions from the 75 people who were there.  Oh, wait, before she did any of that she heaped generous praise on the other Cleveland authors who we were there.  Sarah Willis, (Pulitzer Prize winner) Jim Sheeler, Loung Ung, Karen Sandstrom, Susan Grimm were in the audience.

I am terrible at taking photos at these events.  You can barely see Thrity up front, but on the upside, Sarah Willis is in the last row, closest to the camera.

So, why is India born Thrity a professor at Cleveland’s Case Western Reserve University? The answer is here.  That’s right she heard this Joan Baez song and decided at 21 to come to Ohio and earn her graduate degree at The Ohio State University (Go Bucks!).  One brave Clevelander pointed out that a map might have put her somewhere else since the Ohio River is hours from Columbus, but anyway…She calls this decision absurd and whimsical.  She’s been in the Cleveland area for 30 years.

When asked the requisite, who are your influences, question she answered with Virginia Woolf and Toni Morrison (Thrity’s first job after college was in Lorain, where Morrison was born).  She says both have a true understanding of human psychology.  She says she’s also influenced by music and poetry, which she has written her whole life.  She spent years as a journalist because she could write and get a paycheck and feels optimistic about the future of journalism, although she had harsh words for the 24 hour news stations calling them laughable and dangerous.

A few memorable things she said about writing

“You write because it’s an act of discovery.”

“The magical part of writing is when you get lost in the woods.”

She did spent quite a bit of time talking about India, the effects of globalization and why it is so rich with stories.  The admirable people of Bombaby live on the edge and with such bravado that the stories are there for the plucking.

I really could go on, but this is already long.  I suggest you check out her book tour  to find out if you can see her in person.  You won’t regret it. I am so excited to read her book because she was such wonderful author to spend a few hours listening to.  I am pretty sure I’ll feel the same way about her books.

So, who got the signed copy of Thrity’s new book?

It’s JoAnn of Lakeside Musing!  Congratulations 🙂

30 thoughts on “The post where I gush about Thrity Umrigar & a winner

    • stacybuckeye says:

      Beth! I’m a dufus. I got so caught up in the wonderful evening (it was a rare solo night out for me) that I should have said, one of my favorite author signings. Because I also found you warm and engaging AND inspirational 🙂

  1. Mary says:

    Wow, I’m glad Bonnie is ok!
    I checked the tour schedule and so far my indie is not on the list. The book sounds really good and the event sounds like it was fantastic. I’m glad you got to attend. I love how she landed in Cleveland 🙂 Congrats to the lucky winner!!

  2. Kay says:

    First of all, glad Bonnie is fine. Truly, who drives with no brakes? I haven’t read any of this author’s books, but I have certainly read many wonderful things about her. I must get started. Congratulations to JoAnn. I know she will be so excited. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us, Stacy!

  3. JoAnn says:

    What an exciting evening and thank you so much Stacy! I am thrilled to win this book. So glad Bonnie is ok…can’t believe anyone could be stupid enough to drive around without brakes.

  4. Nise' says:

    I read my first Thrity book last year and look forward to this one. Thank you for sharing your evening with us. I know exactly where the book store on Bainbridge Island is (her Jan 26th stop – too bad I am so far away), wonder if my brother would go for me? ;o)

  5. Amy says:

    It sounds likie a wonderful book signing. Thank you for sharing your night with us.I’m glad you had such a nice experience listening to and meeting Ms. Umrigar! I am definitely going to make sure I see her the next time she comes to NYC.

    Congratulations on winning the book, JoAnn! Happy Reading :o)

  6. harvee says:

    How lucky you were to her her read from her book and get her siganture! I have the book on my shelf to read and am looking forward to it. Glad you liked it!

    • stacybuckeye says:

      I was so happy that it was so close for me. B&N said if they had turnout like that for all their events they would have more. People just need to get out and support when they can.

  7. Bonnie says:

    …As you know Stacy, I was SO disapointed that I could not make it to the book signing as it sounds like it was a wonderful evening and I missed our girl time to catch up. I wanted to meet Thrity, I have read one of her books and read about her background and cannot tell you how upset I was that evening. I am happy that It was a wonderful event and that you had a good time and it was a great turnout! The saga of the car hitting my car without brakes, who knows if that is true sadly, she changed her story to be the brakes aren’t “good” and to top it off, she doesn’t have insurance! We will have to try to meet up again soon!

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