Books

At Home: Sarah Style by Sarah Richardson

Years ago I went to a lecture at the University of Ottawa by Margaret Atwood, followed by a signing of her then-latest novel, Alias Grace. I was daunted by the opportunity to meet her (I’d seen Margaret and her daughter shopping at Jacob in Hazelton Lanes the year before but had been too shy to introduce myself) and pretty sure everyone around me could hear my heart beating out of my chest as I joined the impossibly long line to the table where she sat autographing books. Inching through Tudor Hall, I rehearsed what I’d say when I got to the front. I’d straighten my shoulders, look Margaret straight in the eye and say: “As long as you breathe, write.” (What cheese!) I don’t know if I’d read that somewhere or made it up but I thought it was poetry. Margaret would see that we were kindred spirits — she the Anne to my Diana! — and a lifelong friendship would begin. “As long as you breathe, write. As long as you breathe, write.” Round and round it went in my head. Finally Margaret was in view — five more people to go! — and a handler took my book, asked me my name, and scrawled it on a post-it note he slapped inside the front cover. Suddenly I was standing directly in front of her and she raised her head to look at me. I opened my mouth and whispered “As long as you write, breathe.” (Nooooooooo!) I felt my face flush beet-red. Margaret blinked, then lowered her head to sign and I was jostled ahead to receive my book from another one of her people. I don’t know if she even heard me, but I thought I’d die of embarrassment. My one chance to speak to slash befriend Margaret Atwood (the Margaret Atwood!) and I blew it. Royally.  Continue reading “At Home: Sarah Style by Sarah Richardson”