Worth Every Penny!: Amy Tan at Purdue
High points included Tan discussing her mother's influence (well-worn territory for Tannites, but I didn't know all the details). Slightly lower dips were the sentimental music that came on cue at the brief reading at the end, and bringing her dog on stage (the minute Yorkshire terrier remained in her soft carrier behind the podium, unseen until the end, when the author brought her out to the coos of the audience, and then Tan had the pooch follow her off the stage...sigh...a crowd pleaser...).
I heard, predictably, that Tan was "VERY expensive." It is interesting to see various authors and where they are in the feeding trough...where a carefully crafted crowd pleasing talk can be used on the circuit if you near the top of Amazon's listings, and where universities will pony up their funds for such. I guess Dickens and Oscar Wilde were in on this at the beginning, while Melville didn't have the lecturing chops to turn a profit there.
There is also a self congratulatory aspect to these events, eerily like a live version of a celebrity interview. At least she didn't talk about herself in the third person like rappers and athletes often do. But still, I enjoyed myself and was moved appropriately by the evening.