Guests included The Mountain Goats, Kimya Dawson and Neil Gaiman, who, along with the Green brothers acknowledged “that the world might deal us ugly hands sometimes, but can make up for it in magical, unexpected ways.
The evening at Carnegie Hall (Hank gave several stomps of a foot to the stage anytime anyone said the words; the audience stomped back) was a celebration of the one-year anniversary of John’s most recent book, The Fault in Our Stars. If you haven’t, you really should read it. It’s about two kids who meet and fall in love at a cancer support group, and in it he manages the unexpected: It’s life-affirming instead of maudlin; beautiful and moving instead of simply depressing.”
Check out The Atlantic Wire full report here.
- Many of the songs (performed by The Mountain Goats and Kimya Dawson as well as Hank Green) were about love and how important it is to each of us, whether it’s love for another human or love for something creative and compelling.
- There was talk of writing, in connection with loneliness and also with collaboration. “This is what I love about novels,” said John. “They jump into the abyss to be with you where you are … reading a good book helps us feel un-alone.” He added that the life of Esther Earl, a friend and inspiration for The Fault in Our Stars, had taught him a “hero’s journey is not from weakness to strength. The real hero’s journey is from strength to weakness.”
- In the question and answer portion of the night, Green was asked for his advice for aspiring novelists. He said, “Read a lot, read broadly, and tell stories to your friends. Pay attention when they get bored. Write a lot.” Gaiman added, “Read everything. Write. Finish things and get on with the next one … You’ll learn more from a glorious failure than from something you’ve never finished.” Hank was asked, “When do you feel like you’re a real adult?” and responded, shrugging his shoulders, “Hopefully you never will.” Later, resolving an age-old Internet battle, it was determined by Hank in the Q&A lightning round that “gif” is pronounced “jiff,” and not with a hard g.