order of oddfish cover

The Order of Oddfish

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I am Audrey Niffenegger

May 17, 2010

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My wife used to work as a reference librarian at the Evanston Public Library. Now the Evanston Library system is in trouble, and they might have to close some branches. (Heather leaves, the joint falls apart.)

Not if the Evanston Public Library Friends have anything to say about it! Fellow writer Margo Gremmler tipped me off to their 2010 Armchair Auction “to raise money in an effort to keep our neighborhood libraries open, and their services available to the community.”

Bestselling author and Chicagoan Audrey Niffenegger (The Time Traveler’s Wife, Her Fearful Symmetry) has donated “an enchanting evening with Audrey Niffenegger” for bidding. “Ms. Niffenegger will be your host, as you and eleven other lucky winners enjoy a wonderful dinner at the famed Russian Tea Time,” reads the item description.

Never let it be said that Audrey Niffenegger single-handedly saved Evanston libraries while I stood idly by! So I’m offering my own item for auction: er, Dinner With Audrey Niffenegger. From the auction website:

Dinner with The Time Traveler’s Wife author, Audrey Niffenegger (as played by James Kennedy)

Face it: you can’t afford dinner with Audrey Niffenegger. But I, James Kennedy, the author of The Order of Odd-Fish, will pretend to be Audrey Niffenegger.

I promise it will be just as good. In fact, better! I’ll out-Niffenegger Niffenegger!

True, I haven’t read any of her books (though I’ve always really meant to). So I promise that before our dinner I will read all of her works, plus her Wikipedia page.

Ms. Niffenegger promises you an “enchanted evening” at Russian Tea Time. I’d do the same, but have you seen the prices there? $24 for beef stroganoff?! Jesus! Let’s just go to Margie’s Candies on Western instead.

This is going to be the least popular item in the auction. The library will somehow lose money through this. I don’t know how, but they will. If you actually want to bid on this, please do.

I know what you’re thinking: “James, you’re too manly. How can you possibly impersonate a lady?” To which I respond, clearly you have not reckoned with my svelte legs and willowy hips. I might not be able to play a lady, but putting Ms. Niffenegger aside for a moment, I do make a luscious slattern:

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It was an adventurous time in my life. I was exploring.