Live Tweeting Chang-Rae Lee

As I mention in the last blog post, I attended a lecture last Thursday from Alison Bechdel, which I had intended to live tweet as part of an assignment for this class. After arriving at the Michigan Theatre, I learned my first lesson about live tweeting: you can’t really do it without internet access.

I tried again today, this time during a fiction reading from the novelist Chang-Rae Lee, and had a bit more success. As I note in the tweets, the intimacy (and general humorlessness) of a fiction reading does not really lend itself to live tweeting. There are worse offenders though, and if nothing else, being forced to live tweet kept me fully immersed and in the moment.

This dig at twitter-less old people is my most popular tweet of the week, coming in at an impressive 3 favorites.

Here’s the part where I scramble to accurately transcribe bits of Lee’s reading. This was actually pretty hard, as Lee is a kind of a rambler whose sentences often exceed 140 characters.

A quick note: I was under the impression that Lee was reading from his 2014 novel On Such a Full Sea. After tweeting this assumption, I learned (midway through) that he was actually reading from an unpublished piece. I went back and deleted the first tweet, but didn’t think to post a tweet correcting myself or to mention that the quotes were coming from unpublished and untitled work. Lesson number two: Always give the necessary context to your live tweets

I quickly grow tired of trying to pack his words into tweets, and instead offer some basic guidelines for the eager reading attendant.

Here’s a photo I snapped. It’s much less empty than this picture makes it seem, as the entire front rows are occupied.

And finally, the reception and book signing. I wanted to speak with Lee about the reading but I had to run to my next class. I did somehow find time to decimate those cheese and brownie platters.


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