One of our favourite Tweeps, @tyecat, with Markus Zusak
The Conference’s other ‘International Star’ Markus Zusak stopped by on the second day and gave attendees a preview of his latest novel – the epically titled Bridge of Clay. My memory is pretty lousy, which is great, because it means this post will be kept relatively spoiler-free.
Of course, if you don’t want to know anything about the novel’s opening, then don’t read on.
Things we know for sure about Bridge of Clay:
– It’s pretty good.
– The protagonist is female.
– She is on the cusp of womanhood, so either 18 or 21 – I’m tempted to go with 18 because of the brief reference to ‘hitting the town’ to celebrate. Of course, I don’t know where this is set, if it’s the United States, then she’s almost 21.
– She’s good at jigsaw puzzles – in fact, she makes sense of the world as if it were a giant jigsaw puzzle, with the puzzle pieces/memories figuratively falling from the sky.
– She’s waiting for a boy, the same boy Zusak mentioned in his interview with The Guardian:
I’m writing a book called Bridge of Clay – about a boy building a bridge and wanting it to be perfect. He wants to achieve greatness with this bridge, and the question is whether it will survive when the river floods.
– Did I say it was ‘pretty good’? I probably should have said ‘excellent’. He silenced the hundreds of attendees with a brief passage. Well, until they broke out into applause.
He also read from one of his oldest creative writing attempts, one of the most unintentionally hilarious bits of creative writing I’ve ever had read to me in my life. The fact that Markus had the guts to read from it – and laugh at it with us – that really captures his character perfectly. Here’s someone who has experienced an unfathomable amount of success, and yet, has been absolutely unaffected by his own hype. I fear meeting authors I admire because they mightn’t be everything I imagined they’d be, but in the two times I’ve met Markus and heard him speak, my admiration is not only in tact, but intensified.