The Pulitzer Prize winning author of “The Hours”, Michael Cunningham will be in Seattle Oct 14-15 to promote his new novel, “By Nightfall”. Mr. Cunningham will give a reading at Town Hall on Thursday, October 14 at 7:30. Tickets for the event are free with purchase of the book at the University Bookstore or just $5 otherwise. The novel
is a heartbreaking look at the way we live now. Peter and Rebecca Harris are in their mid-40s, living in Manhattan, and nearing the apogee of committed careers in the arts. With a spacious loft, a college-age daughter, and lively friends, they are admirable, enviable contemporary urbanites with every reason, it seems, to be happy. But a visit from Rebecca’s younger brother, known in the family as Mizzy (“the mistake”), leaves Peter questioning his work and career—and the entire world he has so carefully constructed.
For those of you unable to attend the Town Hall event, Mr. Cunningham is also making an appearance at Elliot Bay Bookstore on Capitol Hill the following day, Friday, October 15 for a noon reading. If you loved “The Hours”, “At Home at the End of the World” and my favorite, “Flesh and Blood” then you’ll want to check this out. He is arguably one of the most important writers, gay or not, writing fiction today and his novels always feature fascinating, compelling and complex queer characters.
I’d love to interview the man, but would be scared to since he probably has a negative view of Seattle journalism… A few years back, around the time that the movie version of “The Hours” came out, he did an interview with, uh, another local gay publication and it was an AWFUL interview, unprofessional and snarky and every single question asked of Mr. Cunningham was “gay” related (and, the author is well-known for hating the “gay” labeling of artists and their art), and stupid and shallow and demeaning. He got asked crap like, what did he think of an actor cast in one of the film adaptations of one of his books and whether he thought the actor in question was “hot” and did he think that the actor might be gay and other such gossipy garbage and naturally Mr. Cunningham got angry and ended the interview and the “newspaper” in question had the nerve to print it because they were seemingly proud of their “journalism”. It was embarrassing and I remember being outraged on Michael Cunningham’s part that he had to put up with that kind of crap. The perils of celebrity and success apparently include having to put up with amateurs and asshats.
And, for those of you interested in reading “By Nightfall”, it comes out Sept 28. I’m very keen to read it, but I’m poor right now. If anyone with some reviewing talent wants to check it out and do a review of it for SGS, let me know. We’d love to see what you think!