This Tuesday afternoon the Newman Conference Center at Baruch College got filled with listening ears and questioning voices. It was time for the annual Sidney Harman Writer-In Residence event, an opportunity for students and others interested to hear a guest speaker talk about her or his work. This time the stage was given to Adrian Nicole LeBlanc, nonfiction writer and author of the critically acclaimed book “Random Family,” now working on a new project about stand-up comedy.
My only prior experience of a book reading happened unplanned, when i was studying in a book store. I wondered why a microphone was set up next to me, and soon I got my answer. Frustrated over the abrupt ending of my study-session, I walked out without even concidering staying and listening to the author speak.
It was therefore with no expectaions I stepped into the Conference Center, and got my first positive surprise in form of tasty snacks. The athmospere was surprisingly good to be after 5 PM on a school day, and I do believe the free food deserves some credit for this. Even if the reading was not going to last more than a rough 1,5 hours, some extra energy would definitely not hurt the ability to concentrate.
LeBlanc herself charmed with a relaxed attitude and a passion for her work. Despite some minor issues like hearing the questions asked by the audience, I enjoyed my first real reading. And to a person hoping to have a future in journalism, LeBlanc’s talk was definitely an inspiring experience.