This past weekend, friends came over for dinner and one of them recognized my complete collection of McSweeney's Quarterly Review. In addition to very original content, I also enjoy the humorous copyright disclaimers and introductions from guest editors (such as Viggo Mortensen and Judy Blume).
MQR was created by Dave Eggers, one of my favorite writers. The first work I read by him was A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. I bought the book because of the title. It was my first experience with "stream of consciousness" writing and I found it so contemporary and hip. I wanted him to be the father of my children because I imagine him to be a cool dad who creates a stimulating and fulfilled home environment; our children would be so articulate and brilliant! (I had similar fantasies about Chris Martin after attending a Coldplay show.)
Last year, I bought another book because of the title and loved it. (The word "northern" reminded me of one of my favorite songs from the 1980s, "Life in a Northern Town".) Imagine my excitement when I learned that Vendela Vida, the author of Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name, is married to Dave Eggers! Since then, my fantasy has been revised: my husband and I live in the Bay area and are best friends with the Vida-Eggers family, enjoying great Napa wines and exchanging literary banter.