I attended the keynote address by Louise Erdrich at the Kenyon Review Literary Festival in Gambier, Ohio, last night. I went to get her signature on my copies of Love Medicine (1984), The Beet Queen (1986), The Bingo Palace (1994) and Tales of Burning Love (1996).
When it came time for the book signing, the festival committee had everyone in line write their names on pieces of paper for Ms. Erdrich to copy for inscriptions. When I gave her my books, though, she only signed her name. “These are first editions,” she said.
I knew what Ms. Erdrich meant. Signed first editions are more valuable with just the author’s signature. But I saw her drawing pictures on another person’s book title page, and I was curious what it was and what it might be for my books. Also, I’d heard inscriptions help verify the signature is real because there’s more of the handwriting to evaluate, should there ever be any question. I decided to keep quiet. She was looking to the future for the books and me.
Her signature on the title page of The Bingo Palace, though, includes the star and northern lights symbol, typical to this book.