I love her essay!
“WHAT WAS FISHING like in Cuba?” This is the very first question directed at Thomas McGuane, even before he has a chance to sit down or take a breath. It comes at him from an eager audience member just after he finished reading a darkly comic short story from his new collection, Crow Fair March 2015. Though I am somewhat startled by the seemingly mundane question Fishing? Really?, the audience remains keenly attentive. McGuane takes it in perfect stride, and, instead of sitting down, he walks over to the edge of the stage to get closer to the questioner. The two of them talk fish for at least 10 minutes while we watch. Barracuda, bonefish, snook, tarpon. How to get to Cuba through Mexico, and don’t let customs stamp the passport, the Castro brothers, the food, the weather. This exchange says a lot about the state of letters in Montana, not only because the first question after a reading is about fishing and not writing, but also because of the downright gusto with which the state’s most famous writer responds.