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LEE TOWNDROW

You know how most live readings are kind of hard to follow because if your mind wanders even for a second, it's difficult to find your way back? And you don't have the text in front of you? And if you get lost in one extraneous detail in the course of a typical 20- or 40-minute reading, you lose all sense of whatever it is you're supposed to notice, and you feel kind of like a jerk or an idiot or a fraud afterward when everyone's going, "Wow, wasn't that amazing"? Well, none of those problems are present when someone only reads for 55 seconds and the words are right in front of you.

Sherman Alexie's You Don't Have to Say You Love Me is a book of nonfiction poetry and prose about his difficult mother. It's the kind of truth-telling that couldn't have been written until after she died. "I'm done with the bullshit that my whole career hasn't been autobiography," he told The Stranger after he wrote it. "I've been lying for 25 years and everyone knows I'm lying. This memoir has completely eliminated that thinly constructed facade."

He reads from it—probably for longer than 55 seconds (audio below)—on June 14 at Town Hall.