Meeting Gabrielle Hamilton

I shouldn't be allowed to meet anyone remotely well-known (or well-known to me, anyway).  I just shouldn't.  I get all flustered and dissolve into verbal diarrhea and spend the two weeks post-meeting dissecting every stupid, incoherent thing I said.  It happened when I met Eric Rohmann, Kenny Loggins, Armistead Maupin...and the list goes on.  That said, there are a number of times when I kept my cool.  For example, it didn't happen when I met Mireille Guiliano because I didn't speak a single word to her in an attempt to break my streak (to which Adam later said to me, "Why didn't you say anything?!  You seemed crazy!").  And it didn't happen when I met a very famous children's author/illustrator, but that's mostly thanks to him - he is one of the most disarming, down-to-earth, and kind authors I've met to date; it was impossible for me to screw it up.  But, mostly, I suck at meeting authors and other awesome people.

Meeting Gabrielle Hamilton was no exception.  Gabrielle Hamilton is a renowned chef (of Prune fame) and author of BLOOD, BONES, AND BUTTER (which I posted about here), and I had the good fortune to hear her speak recently at Little Red Schoolhouse/Elisabeth Irwin H.S. here in NYC (thanks to Jen for hooking me up with a ticket!).

Gabrielle Hamilton was lovely to listen to.  She was charming and gorgeous, and she read from her own work really well.  If all the dog-ears on my book's pages are any indication, Ms. Hamilton could have chosen any number of sections to read from and I would have been happy!  She read from the seventh chapter where she is accepted to University of Michigan's master's program for fiction writing.  The whole room laughed along with her, as we have all had that experience where we have chased dreams...only to realize that, once achieved, the dream isn't all it's cracked up to be.

For the book signing afterward, Ms. Hamilton was sitting next to Roseanne Cash, who read from her book COMPOSED: A MEMOIR during the evening.  What do I immediately say to Gabrielle Hamilton?  "I love the book so much.  I blogged it and I compared you to MFK Fisher.  It's that good."  And if you're thinking that all this came out in a mad torrent of jumbled words, then you're right. To which Ms. Hamilton archly raised an eyebrow and said, "MFK Fisher?  Really?"  This might have been that moment:

And this is the moment when I should have walked away, having already done some damage.  But, no.  I kept going...

So Roseanne Cash heard me babbling and interjected, "I love MFK Fisher!"  To which I replied by holding up BLOOD, BONES, AND BUTTER and saying, "But have you read this?!"  Roseanne Cash said that she had not read it yet.  I answered, "Well, you should!"  This is the moment when I'm saying that to her (Roseanne Cash is the redhead):

Good god.

And to complete the night, this is how Gabrielle Hamilton signed my dog-eared galley of her book:

I'm so happy to have had a moment with Gabrielle Hamilton, as I really was rocked by BLOOD, BONES, AND BUTTER.  I'm just not so sure this is the moment I had envisioned.  To her credit, Ms. Hamilton handled herself with endless grace and poise, even when presented with a ridiculous fan girl.

Eat, drink, and grab the words before they fall out of my mouth!


Carol said...

Oh my ~ very funny story. Love the signature. Love that Adam said you looked crazy when not talking at another event. Love you, MOM xo

Amy Cray said...

Okay. I've been wanting to ask if you've gotten your hands on Tamar Adler's AN EVERLASTING MEAL yet. But after this post I just cannot hold myself back anymore.