Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Peter Carey coming to Houston

Next Monday is the 20th anniversary of the first date Robert and I had. I can usually tell you the date of our wedding, after a moment's thought (I have to count backwards - I know our first son was born three days, or was it two?, after our second anniversary. So however old he is, basically add two years and that's how long we've been married.) But I always remember the date of that first date, and the horrible, horrible play we went to see for it. (We also met at a play. A much better one. I guess theatre was quite the thing to do in Norwich in the 90s.)

Parrot and Olivier in AmericaSo, we were all set to celebrate this big day, but as it turns out, that's the same day that Inprint is bringing Peter Carey to the Margarett Root Brown Reading Series, and Robert is going to be the one interviewing him on stage after the reading. He's been blogging about Carey on the Inprint site, and also reviewed his latest novel for the Dallas Morning News.

Maybe it's just twenty years of friendship and influence on each other, but I read Parrot and Olivier in America last year, too, and agree with Robert about it. It's often bitingly funny and always smart, and Parrot in particular is a character worth savoring. If you're fond of intellectual playfulness and looking at history through a variety of prisms, Carey is an author to note. This novel mingles the early days of democracy in America with a hefty dose of mommy issues and plenty about class differences and what makes people loyal to each other. It's far more enlivening than that awful play twenty years ago.

Don't worry, though, we're just going to have our anniversary dinner on Saturday instead. After all, knowing me, it might have actually been January 22nd instead of the 24th that he first held my hand and I marveled at how tingly and right it felt.

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