the Strand on October 15."/> Cheap Wine, Plastic Chairs: Alison Bechdel at the Strand — The Airship
By Kate Gavino

Once a week, Black Balloon's editorial assistant Kate Gavino chooses the best Q and the best A from one of New York's literary in-store events. Here, she draws from Alison Bechdel at the Strand on October 15.

How do you reconcile the fact that you share so many personal moments despite your self-proclaimed shyness?

Alison Bechdel: I do pretty good sitting in public. I'm functioning pretty well now, I think. I feel like I've created this kind of character of myself that I can hide behind. I think it's accurate to me, but it's still like an avatar of me. When I'm trying to give the ladies at the bank a Christmas present, I'm just paralyzed with shyness and anxiety – but that's because I'm not talking about myself. [Authors] always have to go out in public and talk about themselves. But Virginia Woolf didn't have to. Imagine if she had to go on an author's tour.

Image: Kate Gavino

Next:  R.L. Stine writing an improv horror story

Previous:  Gary Shteyngart & Jonathan Safran Foer on native tongues