Wordstock 2015 – John Irving Discusses ‘Avenue of Mysteries’

It was more than a bit unusual to find myself lining up outside a church with hundreds of people on a Saturday night.

I’d caught wind of WordStock 2015 at the last minute, just in time to catch John Irving in discussion with Dave Miller about his new book, Avenue of Mysteries. If the key venue for Portland’s biggest literary festival seemed a bit unusual, Dave Miller was quick to point it out. “If you’re going to talk to John Irving in a church, this would would be a good one to choose.” While standing outside on a chilly November evening, I had plenty of time to examine the church’s flyers pasted on the windows, advertising their liberal fellowship that welcomes anyone and everyone, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, and nationality. In that way, the venue actually seemed fitting; it was a bit like lining up outside one of the church’s from a novel by Irving.

It was an amazing experience to listen to him talk shop. I kept thinking how I’d spent hours and hours of my life reading his work. The festival brought other fantastic writers to town – see the list here.

john irving at wordstock 2015