We've lived in Chicago since 1999, which is longer than we've lived in any one place as a family. But it's not felt natural to call Chicago "home." I see myself described variously as a "Southwest writer," "a San Diego native," "a writer with deep Colorado ties," "Tucson's own," "a border writer," etc. But I have rarely been described as a Midwestern writer or a Chicago author.
This weekend, I had the dubious pleasure of reading right after Dave Eggers at the Printers Row Book Fair here in Chicago. Oh yeah, I have been feeling cocky with all my great reviews and my various best-seller list appearances. But Eggers -- holy crap. It was like a Grand Funk Railroad concert in 1971. The joint was packed with hundreds of mop-top young men -- all of whom looked like Dave Eggers -- and short-skirted young women who hoped Dave Eggers would look at them. And when Eggers left, the entire Grand Funk crowd left with him.