15 December 2009

I saw Julie Powell

 she's the little standing speck in the back

A couple weeks ago, I watched Julie and Julia and so I was pleasantly surprised when I unwittingly ran into a reading Julie Powell held at Vroman's bookstore yesterday.

Of course I knew Amy Adams was not Julie but I was still surprised to see the physical embodiment of Julie Powell herself who did not look like a movie star but like a normal woman with longish hair and comfy wrap around clothes.

Let me just say, writers are eccentric. She was kind of quirky and funny and definitely the kind of person who works from home and gets a little isolated.  I liked it.

And then there were the audience members who thought she was their best friend or daughter or niece and asked her really really awkward questions that made me want to shriek and run out the door.

Such as "How's your hormone syndrome and are you going to have babies soon?"


"How's Eric doing?"

or the most awkward one

"You must get tons of people at these book readings that want to understand your magical juju and ask you how it is that you got it.  Now, I don't care if you have a magical juju or not--that's not what I'm trying to ask but what I want to know is how do you respond to people that ask questions like that?"

OMG--kill me now.

Then there was the older woman who ran up to the podium and placed a stick of butter on it.

And the other older woman who asked her how she wrote without a laptop while she traveled writing her latest book Cleaving to which Julie replied, "In a notebook, a diary."

The woman had a hard time believing her and kept questioning her with, "Really, how?"
"With a pen, I just wrote."
"Really, you didn't wait until you had your computer?"
"No, I just wrote...in my notebook."
"Really, incredible, a notebook."
"Yes, a notebook.  Next question?"

There was a surprising mix of men and women in there and most were 40s and up which surprised me.  I thought Julie pulled the 20s-30s female crowd. 

I had to leave to go pick up J. from his meeting but readings are fun.  Try them out.


  1. I went to hear Barbara Kingsolver speak a few weeks ago, and the questions were similarly personal and awkward (I think it was Animal Vegetable Miracle that especially made people feel like her best friend and advocate). So fun to listen to, though, because she's soooooo smart.

    BTW, I also tried out the omelette from the Jula Child video you posted. Definitely not as pretty as hers, but so much fun to make.

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  3. yeah I remembered what you had said about that. Lydia called me last night and told me she had read Julie Powell's new book Cleaving in one sitting. I was trying to figure out during the reading if she had gotten a divorce or what but couldn't piece it together. Turns out (according to Lydia)--the book is about butchery and her 2 year long affair with another man that occurred soon after Julie and Julia was sold into a book! She's still with her husband so I guess that's why people in the audience seemed to wonder how he was doing and how they were doing.