Last night, I got to introduce Amitav Ghosh at the Chicago Public Library. He’s one of my very favorite contemporary writers; I want to be him when I grow up. I got to talk to him for ten minutes in the green room beforehand, and I was totally tongue-tied. You know how you think of everything you want to say after you’ve left the room? Like that. Sigh. The man is just brilliant — whether he’s writing fiction or memoir or political essays. I wrote five paragraphs of introduction, and then trimmed it down, painfully, to two, because they asked me to keep my remarks brief. So hard!