Edgar Awards 2015 — James Ellroy on God and dogs
|James Ellroy, photos by your|
At the end of the long anteroom outside the banquet hall, a bald man slouched on a bench, looking not nearly as tall as he does when gesticulating behind a podium.
"Mr. Ellroy," I said. "Congratulations."
"I've met you before," he said, extending his hand.
"You have. Otto's store, when you read from Perfidia."
"Did you enjoy it?" he said, straightening slightly.
"I did. I read it in a week, a solid hundred pages a night."
"That's the way to do it," Ellroy said with an approving nod. "Steady reading, a couch, a dog."
"Except for the couch and the dog, just how I did it."
"Well, they want me in there. We'll talk later."
"I'll be running up, getting in people's way, shooting pictures."
"Shoot away." Another approving nod.
This was — in part, at least — a tribute to his publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, whose logo is a borzoi, or Russian wolfhound. Ellroy also said that he sees God in everything, offered the frank literary quotation that "a literature that cannot be vulgarized is no literature at all," and said: "My first words were, `Where's the book?'" and then, with a laugh I took as gently self-mocking, "and `Where's the booze?'"
Oh, and Stephen King swore more than Ellroy did.
© Peter Rozovsky 2015