Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Wild About Larry 

As Lawrence Block wends his way across the country to promote his new book, THE BURGLAR ON THE PROWL, it seems that some folks were just a little bit skeptical that he'd be making an appearance at their local library. Here's why:

When employees of the local Live Oak Public Libraries system heard that bestselling author Lawrence Block wanted to visit the Bull Street Library on April 1, they thought it was a joke.

April 1, after all, is April Fool's Day.

"We were like, 'Ha, ha ha. Really funny. Nobody that big is going to come here,'" said Susan Lee, Live Oak Public Libraries' public relations coordinator.

In fact, they were so unconvinced the famous New York author wanted to come here as part of his book tour that they asked his "alleged" publicist, Maggie Griffin, for proof.

"I said, 'I call him Larry. Will that do?'" Griffin chuckled on Tuesday.

All right, I have to admit I myself am chuckling about the whole thing, but maybe because I've never heard anyone referred to as an "alleged publicist" before.....

Anyway, as noted here before, Larry's been blogging about his ports of call and roaming around city highways and byways in his trusty SUV, outfitted with all sorts of goodies and books you can buy from him (think backlist. Really, really extensive backlist. After all, this is a guy who has almost 60 books to his name, never mind all the ones he won't officially admit to writing.) Anyway, from one of his earlier entries, he reveals that a biography of folksinger Dave Van Ronk is in the offering:

I've got something wonderful to read---a memoir of my friend of many years, the folksinger Dave Van Ronk, who died in January 2002. He'd been working on it with Elijah Wald, who has now completed the editing, and who invited me to write an introduction. I wish Dave were still around, I wish I could sit in a club again and listen to him sing, I wish I could sit and talk with him in the Vivaldi.
I wish a lot of things, but nobody gets to edit the Moving Finger, and everybody gets the finger sooner or later. The book's the next best thing, it sounds just like the man, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to write the intro. I don't know what I'll say, but I'll think of something.

Van Ronk figured rather prominently in one of Block's best books, WHEN THE SACRED GINMILL CLOSES, with the haunting lyric that was quoted in the book at various times to correlate with the main character, Matthew Scudder's descent into alcoholism and his recovery afterwards. No doubt it will be a biography worth reading.

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