Jessa Crispin of Bookslut
Pancakes and Sausage
A few more words about Chicago: The Book Cellar, which handled sales at the Bookslut reading, is one of those thriving, robust independent bookstores that just will not be overcome. Which makes a writer very happy.
Over dinner at the Hopleaf--a vast sandwich made with fig butter; giant paper cones of french fries--I asked Jessa if she also considered herself a writer. She shook her head, but with no rue or self-effacement. Just grace. Certainly she's a reader, a great reader, and she knows how to make one good party after another, whether in a beer-poster-clad upstairs room at the Hopleaf or Bookslut. She's a hostess for all of us, a sundress'd impressario. In that way she belongs on the same hearty category as Mike McGonigal: self-made, peripatetic, generous but with standards and boundaries. The other thing is that, like McGonigal, she gives off a slightly timeless vibe: a bit San Francisco 1950s, a bit Chianti in Greenwich Village, a bit rockabilly, a bit Christina's World. Makes me think we should all mix vintage into new, as it strikes our imaginations, is like brain candy, and certainly fits into the re-use edict of living in this heating world. She keeps it a bit cooler to be sure. Someone give her a giant grant.