Holly Hughes has tri-colored hair and a laugh that fills up a room. She sat three rows behind me and to the right and chortled loudly and jarringly, like a joyful parrot (it takes a sense of humor to fight the NEA). In his introduction to the introduction, David Halperin pointed out that she was in attendance and called her "insanely brilliant," but all I could do was stare at his head and think about how much knowledge was inside. You wouldn't remember me, I telegraphed silently in the direction of the head, but we had lunch together four years ago. We sat in a booth and ate potstickers. That summer I read the first 30 pages of Saint Foucault while kneeling on the floor of a public library and crying. There's no way you could know this, but it happened.
Someone asked during the Q&A whether At Swim, Two Boys was a gay book. O'Neill responded, "Let me put it this way. One night I put my book on a shelf next to Edna O'Brien's book and went to sleep. When I got up the next morning and looked, nothing had happened."