I’m back home after a short trip to New York for the Carol Emshwiller 90th birthday reading party event. Jim Freund, who runs the New York Review of Science Fiction reading series and hosts the Hour of the Wolf show on WBAI asked me to interview Carol as part of the event. Which sounded like a good idea at the time…
His plan was to start out the evening by reading a section from Ursula Le Guin’s introduction to the War side of Carol’s forthcoming PS collection, then have Carol read the beginning of a story, with Jim continuing it, and Carol reading the last section. Because of her eye problems, she didn’t think she could read all of it. At first, she didn’t think she could read anything. She was shaky at the start, but did great with the end.
After the reading, we went right into the interview. I’ve never done anything like that and I’m not sure I want to again. Part of the problem (aside from my inexperience) is that Carol and I spent about an hour and a half at her apartment talking about what we would talk about, and by interview time I felt like we had said everything. I wish we had recorded our conversation. So I asked a few questions, Carol talked, and long before I should have been finished, I had nothing else to say. Jim (the experienced radio host) took over, and audience members asked questions (which had been our plan, only not so soon). And it ended (as everything does). Unfortunately, it was videotaped, and recorded for radio. I don’t want to watch.
But still, it was a fun night. It was great to see all the support and admiration for Carol. For her life and writing—not just for making it to 90.