1. Paul Dano was there! Be still my heart! I mean, Paul Dano was there, he’s the star of the Flatscreen book trailer and some other things. NBD. 2. There were dumplings, which made everyone wonder why all lit events don’t have dumplings.
It’s Adam Wilson week at The Outlet! Or maybe it’s Adam Wilson week in New York, or the universe, and we’re just trying to keep up. The number of people that turned out for the launch of Wilson’s debut novel Flatscreen at BookCourt corroborates the theory.
When you’re covering an event for Electric Dish, there are a couple things you hope not to find on arrival. Dingy lighting (bad photos). Ill-stocked bar. Or, in the case of this well-lit, wine-river party, a room so crowded that one step in any direction is a move into someone’s discomfort zone. It’s precarious for us, but it’s downright great — and a reflection of your greatness — if you’re the one whose week in the universe it is.
1. EL family portrait: editorial assistant Molly Auerbach, Molly’s hair, Molly’s friend, and fellow Dish writer Sam Gold. 2. The Coffin Factory co-founders Randy Rosenthal and Laura Isaacson. Don’t miss the mustache logo on Randy’s sweater. Somewhere a Lacoste brand exec is crying.
While I was immobilized by the masses (which it took me too long to realize had something to do with ebb and flow from a table full of dumplings), Wilson was somehow everywhere, looking sharp and laughing with people in all corners of the room. When it came time for everyone to “please take a seat,” there were, of course, quickly none to be found.
1. The night’s dream team. Adam Wilson is flanked by his editor, Michael Signorelli, his girlfriend, Sarah Rapp, and a man whose name I didn’t catch (damnit). 2. Author of Other People We Married and woman we love Emma Straub introduced Adam and said that Flatscreen was “exactly what I knew it would be: full of weed smoke and porn.”
The ineffable Emma Straub introduced Wilson by way of professed love for him, and for Flatscreen, too. “This book is destined to be dog-eared and cherished,” she said, “maybe even hidden under a mattress or two.” Wilson is too cool to blush, but when he took to the mic he seemed truly overwhelmed for a moment, maybe realizing all at once just how many people were there, now that he was staring into the legions that stretched to the back of BookCourt. He led with, “I think I’m at a loss for words for the first time in my life. Let’s ask my parents: have I ever been silent before?” To my right, an adorable woman shook her head with that beaming pride that only moms have.
1. Speechless Adam. 2. If The Outlet were a teenage girl’s MySpace profile, this would be the serious-face, look-away, look-I-own-a-mirror photo.
Wilson thanked Straub and Bookcourt not only as host venue, but also as his former employer, “for not firing me so many times when I was writing on the job.” Then, without a lot more ado, he said, “Now I’m just gonna read some really pornographic stuff.” And he did! Be assured that Flatscreen is every bit as raunchy and funny and deeply compelling as Straub and Julia Jackson have led you to believe. Wilson is a terrific reader too, with an even more entertaining vapid-girl/stripper voice than you might imagine.
1. Q&A Adam. 2. I love that you can feel the love between Emma and Adam in this photo.
1. Jack of all trades Asher Lewis and literary scout Cathrin Wirtz. 2. Adam had been signing books for a good half hour and the book signing line still looked like THIS.
Many members of Adam’s fan club have their own fan clubs—Paul Dano, James Yeh, and Justin Taylor among them—so a crowd remained even after the mic was removed and the dumpling trays exhausted. When I left, the book signing line still resembled something inside an Apple store. Just another day in the week of Adam Wilson.
–Kai Twanmoh is a regular contributor to Electric Dish.