VOTM: Wha'ts the most unusual experience you've ever had at a reading?
ORNER: In Seattle once I read to a single, sleeping postman who'd come into the store to get out of the rain. It was kind of nice, peaceful almost. I've long gotten over the lonely humiliation that often comes with what I do. When he woke up I stole one of my own books from the unsold stack and gave it to him. He stuck it in his gray bag along with the rest of the undelivered mail and went forth.
PETER ORNER is the author of numerous books, including the novel Love and Shame and Love, published by Little, Brown to wide acclaim in November 2011.