Promoting his second book, a short story collection, Adam Ross showed up at McNally Jackson with his editor to read and then answer some questions. Ross wrote Mr. Peanut, a novel that he explained was inspired by the mysterious death by allergic reaction of a family relation.
Ross’s performance as a reader is one of the best I’ve seen, although maybe that much should be expected from a former child actor. He was promoting a short story collection, Ladies and Gentlemen, from which read. The story followed a wild tale in the Caribbean, drug runners doing a favor for the Coast Guard. The story, perhaps bordering on hyperbole, draws authenticity by embedding the narrative in the voice of a character speaking to another. The bookends of narrative are not themselves terribly interesting, but lends some authority to the speaker. Any exaggerations left up for dispute are the fault of the speaker, not the narrator.
Afterward, Ross, and his editor from Knopf, answered audience questions. The two were friends before Ross began writing, which might explain why they’re as close as characters from a novel rather than real life authors and the editors who won’t return their phone calls.
Ross slammed the self published authors of the world, although gracefully, suggesting the benefits of an editor / author relationship are lost without the stewardship of an editor. For now I’ve added Ross’s books to my wish list, but didn’t want to pony up to buy them on the spot.