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Thisbe Nissen: Tour Diary

Preliminaries - Day 1 - Day 2 - Day 3 - Day 4 - Day 5 - Day 6 -
Day 7 - Day 8 - Day 9 - Day 10 - Day 11 -Day 12 - Day 13 - Day 14 - Day 15 -
Day 16 - Day 17 - Day 18 - Day 19 - Day 20 - Day 21 - Day 22 -
Day 23 - Day 24 - Day 25 - Day 26 - Day 27 - Day 28 - Day 29 - Home Diary - July 25 - July 26

Day 26: Oakland and San Francisco

It's a really nice thing to get to sleep in, and wake up just before Lisa gets back from the Berkeley Bowl (the greatest market on earth) with blackberries with which she plans to bake muffins, and to sit in the kitchen and drink coffee while the muffins are baking and read old copies of McSweeny's and talk about the cult phenomenon that is Dave Eggers. And then to pretty much just hang out until Chris and I drive to Book People, a really nice distributor in Oakland, where I'm scheduled to sign stock.

Then we drive in to SF for tonight's reading, and EVERYBODY at A Clean Well Lighted Place for Books is somebody I know from a past life: since I'm reading with Goldberry Long (whose novel "Juniper Tree Burning" I am very excited to read) who's also an Iowa person, the Iowa contingent is vast: Ann Williams, and Julie Orringer, Sue Kim and Rick Barot, Doug Dorst, Tom Barbash, Jonathan Blum, ZZ Packer, Eliza Harding... it's like being at a who's who in writing event. Some of these people I haven't seen in years. So great! And then Chris Adrian! I FINALLY get to meet Chris Adrian, because he's doing his residency in SF now, and that's a great thing, because I've only been hearing about him for eons and I loved "Gob's Grief," and it's so good to finally have a face on him and a handshake and a hello. Then my camp friends Eben and Betsy are there, and Haven! Haven, my Wilderness Ventures friend from high school, who lives in Colorado, who's now a fiction writer herself -- Haven and her boyfriend are on a road trip and just happen to be in the Bay Area today! So they're there, plus Oberlin people: James Borda and Andrew Roy and Kate Becker, who's just flown in from Japan en route back to Boston, coincidentally here the night of my reading! And Andi (Lisa's BITCH magazine partner) and her finance Jeffrey! Everybody's here! It's incredible! I read, Goldberry reads, no one has any questions because everyone knows what our answers would be already. We all retire to Max's Opera Cafe afterwards, and I find out that Tom's novel comes out in the spring, and ZZ's about to hand in her stories to the publisher, and Doug's just signing with Nan Talese for his stories and a novel! So incredibly exciting! I am whipped by the time everyone has gone and it's just me and Chris and Betsey left at Max's, but it's a good kind of whipped. Whipped by friendship. I'm not complaining. I wish I'd gotten to talk to everyone more...