Thursday, October 4, 2007
New Book/ My Encounter With Douglas Coupland
So, Coupland's new book, The Gum Thief,came out in the States just yesterday. You can read a synopsis of it here. The last time I was able to spek with Coupland (after a book reading in London) he told me that this book was about the interior world of Staples employees. I can't wait.
Speaking of speaking with Coupland, I dug out an old e-mail I sent to friends after my most memorable encounter with Coupland. Here it is:
I have finally met the key subject of my PhD dissertation, Douglas Coupland!! He wrote and starred in a play that was performed at the RSC in Stratford upon Avon. One of my French friends, Stephanie, and I explored Stratford and then went to Coupland's play _September 10, 2001_. My story(not Coupland's play!) is quite a long and sordid tale that involves getting kicked out of a pub called The Dirty Duck--I'll try to make it short.After speaking with about 5 folks associated with Coupland, I met the play's director who went to ask Dougie if he could meet me. This very nice director guy came back with a large note (written in bright red ink) from Coupland that said I could meet him at the cast party later which would take place at the Dirty Duck pub across the road. So, my friend and I wandered around a very dead Stratford, hopping from tudor pub to tudor pub, until our meeting time, when we went back to the Dirty Duck. I saw a large table with a reserved sign on it and, assuming it was for the cast party, I sat there. The next thing I know, a stumpy, red faced little publican came aggressively towards me, aslking me what I was doing there. The table was apparently reserved for the cast of King Lear; I tried to get up and move and explain this confusion, but this was immediately misinterpreted as a demand to sit there. So, my poor little FRench friend, once again embarrassed by her loud mouthed American friend, tried to quietly leave. I, on the other hand, demanded to know why we were kicked out!! By now, the entire population of a very crowded pub was looking at Stephanie and me, and we were asked again to leave and to "Never Come BAck!"So we went back to the theatre and waited until we saw Coupland coming down the steps and heading for the pub. I introduced myself and, rather than complimenting his play or speaking about my PhD work with him, I proceeded to tell him the saga of the Dirty Duck pub. Thankfully, he was just as shocked as we were and asked us to come back to the pub with him. We ended up having a nice time hanging out with Coupland and his entourage (of course were just sophisticated, friendly intellectual on-lookers, not groupies!! hmm hmm). It was a great, if traumatic evening, and the big man ended up giving me his e-mail address so I could write and ask questions about his writing.