The strangest moment was meeting the sad little ricketty owl who was found by some people as a chick, handed over to a vet who, a vegetarian himself, attempted to bring up the owl on a diet of fruit and grain. ("When we got him he was so sick we had to feed him mouse milk shakes. Well, mouse slurry.") I mean, a vet. Sigh.
I loved the whole trip and did a chunk of my holiday shopping in their gift shop, which helps keep the birds in mice.
Maddy wanted a tiny owl of her own. Lorraine loved the owls, but was less enthusiastic about watching the whole mouse-eating business.
Here's a question you may have gotten within the last month. Do you have any professional views on the literary controversy surrounding Jonathan Franzen, author of _The Corrections_, and the Oprah Book Club? Would you allow a private, nonliterary organization to place its logo on the cover of one your books if you were in a similar situation as Mr. Franzen?
I don't think it is a literary controversy. I think it's a promotional controversy. (The arguments aren't about the book; they are about how the book was promoted.)
An author, mostly, gets a say in what goes on a book's cover. Oprah's Book Club (picking a 'private nonliterary organization' more or less at random here, mostly because I can't think of any others) doesn't place its logo on a book's cover. The publisher, with the approval of the author, does.
I guess that if I wanted to do the Oprah thing, I'd take the logo and the TV appearance and the 750,000 sales. And if I didn't want to, I'd say no, and forego the logo and the print run. (It's a pretty hypothetical point, and one it's easy for me to be virtuous about, as I can't imagine Oprah ever picking the kinds of book I write for her book club.)