Last Thursday, Daniel and I took a bus out to Beaverton to see Laurie Perry (Crazy Aunt Purl) at Powell’s. She read the introduction and first chapter of her new book, “Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair” and had a Q&A session afterward.
She was just wonderful! I was a bit surprised at her accent (she’s from the south, but currently lives outside of L.A.) and laughed when she said, “Y’all can understand how I talk, right?”
The Q&A session was my favorite, because it was so much more casual and you got to hear her talk about her life and her experiences. I really admire her on so many levels – her basic story is that she was a traditional Southern girl, married, contemplating children, when one day her husband informs her he is leaving her to “get back his creativity.” She struggles with him leaving, the loneliness, the drinking of many bottles of wine, and the owning of four (now down to three, sadly) cats. She takes up knitting at the request of a friend, and finds it helpful because it gives her something to do with her hands that does not involve drunk-dialing her ex-husband.
The book is prone to hyperbole and often sounds just as she does on her website, which I found comforting. Crazy Aunt Purl never fails to crack me up, and Daniel even said he really enjoyed seeing her talk.
I stood in line to get my book signed, and I even got the courage to ask her for a photo:
(Doesn’t she look like she could be some long-lost relative of mine? Strange.)
When she got up to stand next to me, she remarked, “Oh, I like you!” and commented about how most people are just so tall and it makes it hard to stand with them. (She herself is not terribly tall – 5′ 3″, I think, but she had tall boots on when I met her.)
Anyway, even if you are not drunk, divorced, or covered in cat hair, I would still recommend this book. It is not solely a knitting book (though it does have some cute, easy patterns!) and it is not just a memoir – it is filled with heartfelt emotions, charming anecdotes (like having to staple the back of her skirt together to make it through the workday after it split open) and encouragement that even if bad things happen to you, you can still come out okay on the other side.
P.S. Huge thanks to Daniel’s mom Sharon for giving me the book as a belated birthday present! I loved it.