Chaos reigned under the marquee Tuesday as precisely 794 book-crazed teenagers, high on fiction and spoiling for a lecture, stormed the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. They came from as far away as Corbett High School in the Gorge to hear Heidi Durrow talk about her Bellwether Prize-winning novel, and this year’s Everybody Reads book, The Girl Who Fell From the Sky. It was a homecoming for Ms Durrow, who graduated from Jefferson High School and was joined onstage by her special guest, fellow Scion of Alberta Thomas Lauderdale, who once took the petite spellbinder to lunch at the Chart House for her 13th birthday.
During the Q & A Ms Durrow was asked to advise aspiring young writers. She replied that her novel never really took off, “Until I stopped feeling sad that nobody was helping me, and started to figure out what I could do, right now, in this moment, to help myself.” To paraphrase Derek Jeter, here we thought she was talking about writing.
“Was it just me, or was it a little louder in the Schnitz tonight?” mused one audience member. Yes, actually, it was louder. A lot louder. Listen carefully: that’s the sound of our future.