The horror, the horror…
In which I talk to some other writers about strange encounters with readers. Here’s a bit from Michelle Berry:
One night I was reading at the reference library in Toronto and, not really thinking, picked a passage about the embalming. As I was merrily reading along I glanced out into the audience and there, directly in front of me, were two middle-aged women huddled close together. They were both crying. The rest of the audience were laughing. But these women were crying.
I was reading about liver cancer and about a mortician using eye caps, and brushing makeup on the dead woman’s neck and whistling a merry tune, and it was a scene that was touching but also a bit odd and confusing — because it was also kind of funny. I faltered, of course, and my tone suddenly suggested that I didn’t really think what I was reading was humourous, so the rest of the audience kind of went blank.