APW Book Tour: Austin

The Amazing Wonderful Fabulous & Kind Team—Organizers: Elissa R. for the taco after party * Photographers: Elissa R. Photography (Digital) & Zachary Hunt Photography (Instant)* Event Venue: Book Woman, Austin’s Feminist Bookstore *


Until this trip, I’d never been to Texas. I’m not sure how that happened, given how huge Texas is and how many friends I have in Texas (it seems like half my friends at NYU were from the arts high school in Houston), but there you are. So I was curious, to say the least. And what I can tell you is that Texas treated me very, very well, and it was also the hardest and most exhausting part of my book tour.

I showed up in Houston where one of my best girlfriends lives. She put me right to bed, and then I was up at 6:30 am for super delicious hipster Houston breakfast, and then off to rent a car and drive to Austin. I listened to country the whole way because it seemed like the thing to do. Also, a lot of country songs surprise you by being about Jesus, right at the end. Which I suppose isn’t surprising, once you know the drill. But it was like: heartbreak, I love my jeans, I love my dog, I love my wife, love my kids, I love ice cold beer… I love Jesus! And every time I was surprised by the final twist. But I digress.

So, I arrived in Austin (which is in fact more adorable and hip than you’ve heard), moved into my Bed & Breakfast, and then sat down and did four interviews back to back. Even my publicist thought I was crazy, scheduling that many interviews in a row, but I figured knock them out, get them done. And then it turned out two of the interviews were for feature articles, and were an hour long. Perhaps I should pay more attention to what I’m scheduling next time! But what the heck. I do like to talk, and everyone I was talking to was charming and smart. So by 5:30, I was done with all the interviews and I could hardly stand up, let alone speak coherently. And I had an event to do. Hum. So I lay down for a quick nap, ditched plans for an exciting hairdo, chased a wayward cat out from under my bed (which took ten minutes and made us late). Then my friend Michelle and I (Michelle drove up from College Station, just for the event) whisked off to Austin’s feminist bookstore.

And, somehow, no matter how tired I am, when you put me in front of a crowd, I’ll stand on the chair and sing my song. So I made everyone move up to the front, so we could all be cozy. Then we talked about feminism and weddings, and about how weddings brings us right up against the parts of our lives and culture that are still far from equal and makes us grapple with them. We talked about name change, and how in my opinion, the important bit isn’t what decision we make, but how we open a dialogue with the people around us (and particularly with men) about issues of equality and emotion and family names. The crowd was lovely (Austin you do it up right), and after I signed books, someone gave me a crazy delicious gluten free cupcake to eat, and I somehow stumbled off to eat a few tacos with the final stragglers of the night.

And then, when I woke up the last morning, I felt like I’d hurdled the last huge hurdle of the tour. And after some girl gab and shopping in Austin, and way more girl gab in Houston, I caught a train. LA, I’m resting up for you… because I think the last stop of the tour should arguably be the best. Let’s bring it.

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