The Friends of the Library, who sponsored Dave King's visit on June 23 to the library at 12:10 p.m, and the full-house audience, couldn't have been more thrilled with the experience. Jessica Ley, who arranges many of the adult programs, said the author spoke "with aplomb and panache." But the audience is to be credited with asking stimulating and thoughtful questions. The combination of great questions and fascinating answers by the author was breathtaking.
David King wrote the book, The Ha Ha published by Back Bay Books, Little Brown. He has been speaking for two years to audiences on book tours about his first and only book. The library flier introduces the book with the following: "Imagine suddenly losing your ability to speak, read and write, and from then on, feeling all your thoughts and emotion are locked inside." But no blurb could fully explain all the many layers of this book, which the author discussed with the audience.
Some of the most fascinating information concerned the author's background brought out with audience questions such as "What authors do you read and who influenced you?" E.M. Forster was one of the authors because of his moral emphasis. Another person asked about King's future plans. King won the Rome prize so he will be going to Rome for a year to write a second novel. The first audience member to raise her hand made a comment about the rhythm of his sentences, which launched King into a fascinating story about his graduate studies at Columbia University's fiction program where he pursued more poetry studies than prose. He did write some of the story at one point in iambic but changed his mind and switched to prose. When asked about how he got the ideas for his characters, King said he grew up with an autistic brother, and so he planned to tell the story of someone with a disability. Also, several people asked about the development of the characters.
Friends of the Library members, Carol Hiller and Amy Kass, facilitated book sales of The Ha Ha, which was discounted. For those who haven't read the book it's at the library and the movie is in the advanced planning stage.