Anna Quindlen. Photo by Robert Goudy.

Anna Quindlen. Photo by Rick Orndorf 

 

How does a newspaper reporter turned columnist turned op-ed writer turned novelist turned memoirist define herself?

Ask Anna Quindlen. She's all of these things, but she is, she said Monday night to a packed house at Minneapolis Central Library, a journalist at heart. All of her writing, all of those genres, she said, stem from journalism.
 
Quindlen was in town speaking at "Talk of the Stacks" to promote her latest book, a memoir of grandparenting called "Nanaville." But her talk was far-ranging, touching on how much she loves writing (not much at all, actually--and she likes revising even less); how journalism shaped her (it taught her, among other things, to write even when she didn't feel like writing); and what she has learned about being a grandmother (don't butt in where you're not invited).
 
Pohlad Hall at Minneapolis Central Library was jam-packed, and there was spillover into the overflow rooms.
 
Going out on book tour, Quindlen said, is good for writers as well as readers. "Books can make us feel so less alone," she said. "That's true for writers, too. You're sitting alone in a little room, having a conversation with people you can't see." 
 
When the night ended and the house lights were up and the crowd was getting ready to go stand in the signing line, Quindlen asked to say one more thing. Hey, Minneapolis, she said, "When you build a library--you really build a library!"
 
 

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