Earlier this year, at the Cape Town Book Fair, I met Robin Malan. Malan is a South African author and editor and one of my idols. He edited most of the English Alives in which I have published, and he was co-editor of Yes, I am! Writing by South African Gay Men.
So anways, I admire him and I was at the the stall of Junkets Publishers (which he owns) when I saw him. In the flesh. And, so excited that I didn’t realise I was nervous, I said hi and started gushing about his work and English Alive. When the poor man finally got a word in sideways he smiled and asked, “So what is your name?” Mortifying. Who speaks to an author (or anyone for that matter) without introducing themselves? Oops.
Ellie at Musings of a Bookshop Girl recently wrote about being star struck as well. And this week, The Broke and the Bookish asks about those bookish people we would like to meet. I’ve chosen to restrict this list to people who are alive.
1. Robin Malan – again. Properly this time. And I want to introduce him to my high school English teacher and debating coach, who is as much of a fan. I want to talk about poetry and South Africa and society and everything. It would be lovely.
4. Athol Fugard – he wrote the play that influenced my life most, and because of that I visited the Owl House in Niew Bethesda in Grade 11 which again influenced my life. He spoke at my university last year and I was so upset at not being able to attend and meet him. Hospital duty interfered.
5. Quentin Blake – together with Roald Dahl, he shaped my childhood reading. It would have been ideal to meet both Blake and Dahl together – I am certain they made a formidable team.
6. John van de Ruit – I finally read the final installment of Spud, and I really want my books to be signed by the author! I have a soft spot for young John “Spud” Milton and I wish I knew what happens afterwards. Also, I could not attend the author events in Cape Town as again, hospital interfered.
7. Christine from Bookishly Boisterous – She’s a teacher who almost studied medicine. I’m a medical student who almost studied teaching. I think it could be fun meeting.
8. Ellie at Musings of a Bookshop Girl – I want to visit the bookshop y’all! And see all the crazy/sweet/hilarious customers. And the cats! And talk books. And stuff.
9. John Green – Nerdfighters for the win, guys! He’s books are awesome, and his Vlog is awesome, and… yeah. I’d probably be all dumbstruck again so maybe meeting him at the same time as a bunch of other starstruck readers would be best.
10. Jonny Steinberg – okay yeah, I have only read one of his books, but it was an excellent book about scientific and political matter but written such that I could actually understand what was going on. I am infamously averse to scientific jargon.
There are many others I would love to put on this list – Judy Blume, Khaled Hosseini, Antjie Krog… but you know, rules are rules😉