Monday, June 10, 2013

Bryant Park Blog Q & A with Philippe Petit

Another week means two more exciting Word for Word author events in the Bryant Park Reading Room sponsored by HSBC. Philippe Petit has a new book describing, among other things, the essential knots he used in his history-making high-wire walks. The subject of the Oscar-winning documentary Man on Wire will be in Bryant Park Wednesday with his latest book, Why Knot?: How to Tie More Than Sixty Ingenious, Useful, Beautiful, Lifesaving, and Secure Knots! 

Word for Word Author with Philippe Petit
Wednesday, June 12
12:30pm - 1:45pm
Bryant Park Reading Room sponsored by HSBC

And then on Thursday, come back to the Reading Room to find out how funny failing and flailing, hopelessness and hope can be? Join us in the Reading Room as Marc Maron from the WTF podcast takes us on a journey through the wilderness of his own mind while he tries to rebuild his life into something approaching normalcy in Attempting Normal.

Word for Word Author with Marc Maron
Thursday, June 13
12:30pm - 1:45pm
Bryant Park Reading Room sponsored by HSBC

You could win books from each author. Be the first person to arrive for each event after 12pm, find the Reading Room Coordinator and say the secret passcode to win. Reading Room is open weather permitting 11am to 7pm. Books available courtesy of publishers, while supplies last.

The passcode for Wednesday is High Wire, and for Thursday it is Act Normal.

Before his visit to the Reading Room, the Man on a Wire himself, Monsieur Petit gives us some personal fun facts.

What was your inspiration for this book?
My life with ropes and knots.

Where do you do your best writing?
In a very tiny room in my hideaway in the Catskills.

Did you have an “a-ha!” moment that made you want to be a writer?
Yes, at 18 years old, my first poem was published by the most prestigious French poetry review: La Délirante.

Which author do you wish had been your 7th grade English teacher?
I am French, therefore I went to French schools. Had I been part of the US school system, it would be Gabriel Garcia Marquez!

What is your secret talent?
Dismantling small machines and finding out how their mechanisms work.

What is your favorite book?
I have a long list, starting with four: Perfume by Patrick Süskind; The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino; The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster; and The Old Man Who Read Love Stories by Luis Sepúlveda.

Who reads your first draft?
My partner-in-crime, in-house editor and gifted cook, Kathy O'Donnell.

Do you read your books after they’ve been published?
Only to correct them.

Do you prefer writing on a computer or longhand?
My first drafts are always written longhand in sepia ink on good paper.

What book are you currently reading? (Old school or e-Reader?)
I am re-reading the entire Tintin collection.

What word or punctuation mark are you most guilty of overusing?
“M” dashes.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
A neurosurgeon.

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