As I waited around outside, two other older ladies, each with small, rectangular pieces of cardboard proclaiming that they, too, were looking for tickets, got into a bickering argument when a gentleman in an overcoat decided to give one of the women his spare ticket; the other woman exhibited the injured manner of one whose cab has been stolen. “Can you believe that?” the ticketless woman said repeatedly, to anyone who would listen, shaking her head in disgust.
What then ultimately brought her back to fiction, she was asked. “There are little sparks of something like actual life,” she said after a deliberative pause, “and I don’t think an essay could ever create that friction, that feeling of being alive. And when you’re a kid, that’s why you read, and some people forget that, but for me that feeling of the fake-real, the almost-real, I get pleasure from thinking I could do that.”
At last night's Selected Shorts event actress Lois Smith tackled Tóibín’s “A Priest in the Family,” and Tony Award-winning actor Richard Easton read Smith’s 2004 New Yorker- published short, “Hanwell in Hell,” with both authors on hand to chat about their respective pieces before the story readings and, presumably, to lend moral support to their respective literary interpreters.(1)
Each week, Capital's editors will offer a list of the events, activities, releases and personal obsessions that we are looking forward to during the next week. Here is a list of our anticipations.