Friday, October 17, 2008

That's a wrap: Bouchercon in words and pictures

Arnaldur Indriðason's cheerful demeanor belies his country's financial meltdown. That crisis also came up during my discussion with Arnaldur's fellow Icelandic crime writer Yrsa Sigurðardóttir. I asked her if it could become Iceland's JFK moment, a counterpart to the murders of Veronica Guerin in Ireland and Olof Palme in Sweden and a comparable spur to crime fiction. Could economic unrest spark social unrest if vanishing credit makes basic commodities hard to come by, for example?

Her verdict? Too early to tell, though she and her companion said a banker friend of theirs had been harassed in the streets. And, they added, Icelanders lack a tradition of social protest: "We don't demonstrate well."

(Arnaldur Indriðason and your humble blog keeper. Photo courtesy of Ali Karim)
Jason Goodwin's Edgar-winning novel The Janissary Tree contains tasty, unobtrusive and believable scenes of his protagonist, Yashim, preparing meals. No surprise, then, that Goodwin's Web site discusses the Ottoman culinary tradition, complete with recipes, to which Yashim would have been heir in nineteenth-century Istanbul. No surprise either that Goodwin says the book is "all about cookery," including – well, let's just say for purposes other than preparation of meals.

(YHBK and Jason Goodwin. Photo courtesy of Ali Karim)
A seafood restaurant near the convention hotels – call it Fishnet – and a brew pub next door were evening resorts of choice for a floating group that included a number of folks you've read about in my Bouchercon reports and elsewhere on this blog (me, Declan Burke, John McFetridge, Donna Moore, Christa Faust, Angie Johnson-Schmit, Stacia Decker, Scott Phillips, Duane Swierczynski, et al.) and some you haven't. (Hi, Anita.) Prominent among the group was Philly Poe guy Ed Pettit, who has made it his mission to get Edgar Allan Poe back to Philadelphia.

I can't reveal what plans were hatched at the pub and restaurant – call it the Bucket o' Bait – but had I been able to score a doggie bag big enough, Poe's body would be back in Philly now.

Hasta Indianapolis!

© Peter Rozovsky 2008

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Blogger petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

*laughing* It's very nice to meet the face behind the name, Peter!
Your posts on the Bouchercon series were interesting and enjoyable reading. Thank you.
Just visited Ed Pettit's site which
I quickly perused for lack of time.
But I'm intriqued with his mission to bring Poe back to Philly.Peter, can you shed light on why Philly? Just curious, as he'd spent time in so many locations and wasn't he born in Boston, Mass?

October 17, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Petra M., you can visit Ed's sites for the answer to why Philly. He can and does hold forth persuasively on the topic.

The gist is that Poe wrote or conceived most of his best work in Philadelphia and that his remains are in Baltimore only because he happened to drop dead there.

Per request, I bought Burke and McFetridge books for you at the reading last week. E-mail me for details and instructions.

October 17, 2008  

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