April 16, 2007

Northern Comfort

Well, it turns out my book won that Northern California Book Award, and no one was as surprised as I was. The program called for the winner in each category to read for three minutes. I realized on BART on the way over that I had taken the wrong briefcase and didn't have my book with me, but I figured it was unlikely that I'd win anyway. (I thought American Born Chinese would have it all wrapped up.) I stood at the podium stammering, not sure what I should do. I admitted I had forgotten to bring my book, and I think I might even have said that I had been "hoping I wouldn't win," on account of that. Fortunately, we were at a library and someone found a copy to lend me.

Still more ineptitude then ensued, during the phase of the presentation, familiar to anyone who has ever attended a reading of mine, in which I thumbed through the book for around four hours trying to find a suitable passage to read. Luckily, my book happens to have a glossary, and, even better, it happens to be in alphabetical order; so once I realized that, I was able to find the glossary entries for Jimmy Buffett and Bob Dylan, thank God. The last one went over a treat.

Till now, the only awards I'd ever won were: Most Improved Player for 5th grade soccer; and a Bammie one year for "Outstanding Punk Band." Oh, and "most likely to become a street person" at a small, sarcastic ceremony in the dining commons at my college dorm.

Lots of nice folks and writers far more distinguished than me (or should that be "than I"?) were there. Die Vegas was there, and Maxine Hong Kingston. And I met Richard Brautigan's daughter.

OK, back to work now.

Posted by Dr. Frank at April 16, 2007 01:46 AM | TrackBack

Hey, Frank. Congratulations! I love the gap between the two previous awards you won (King Dork seems to link them, don't you think?). Pardon the interview question here, but I'm curious: When you read parts of your book aloud, do you ever wish you could make some changes? I think it would be funny if you edited yourself during a reading, especially during an award ceremony.

Posted by: jo at April 16, 2007 02:10 AM

Congrats Frank!! How many brief cases do you have!? You really need an intern.

Also, sorry you missed Teen Witch. I HIGHLY recommend it.

Posted by: erika at April 16, 2007 02:12 AM

Holy shit! Maxine Hong Kingston? She's a great writer. I was just writing about "The Woman Warrior" today actually.

Posted by: costa k at April 16, 2007 05:05 AM

I loved the book - such a richly deserved award, and I'm so chuffed that I actually got to hang out with you in the place where you were writing it, while you were writing it!

Posted by: Jackie Danicki at April 16, 2007 07:12 AM

Congrats, Frank! I see that Die Vegas wasn't in your category. It would've been sweet if you'd beaten him. Maybe next time.

Posted by: Angie Schultz at April 16, 2007 05:54 PM

Congratulations! I only hope that someday I can witness you carrying a brief case.

Posted by: Manda at April 16, 2007 07:26 PM

Bravo! Let's have a toast!

Posted by: peapod at April 16, 2007 07:56 PM

Super congrats...i THINK i will see you in Contra Costa...when events depend on someone other than myself i'm never so sure. Especially since i tend to panic in the early stages of being with a cuteboy and friend. He couldn't wait till then to get the book though,he's already got it and read it in two days.

He loved it...says a solid 9.

He finds it understandable but curious that I haven't read it. I may have to after a talk we had,at least to figure out why Sam Hellerman is such a genius.

He won't tell me!

Posted by: just me at April 16, 2007 11:13 PM


Posted by: gary at April 17, 2007 05:16 AM

Congrats, Frank! That's so rad!

FYI: I did my Children's Lit book report on King Dork. I got a B because I summarized too much. That's what happens when I volunteer to present early in the semester. :/ I blame myself really.

Posted by: Megan at April 17, 2007 05:25 AM

cook's dry fit the bill?

Posted by: some chick at April 30, 2007 05:48 AM