Table Tennis Nemesis

Table Tennis Nemesis

The opposite of stately and plump, Geoff Dyer walked into Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington D.C., tall and gangly. Even though he is 56 years old and an Honorary Fellow at Oxford, the author is still cloaked with the slightly adolescent air of a slacker. So, it wasn't entirely inappropriate when I greeted him and said, "I am your table tennis nemesis."

"I am ready," he replied. "You can only sharpen a knife so much. And this knife is as sharp as it can be." Then he walked off with Anna Thorn, the erudite booker of these sorts of events.

He was there, of course, not to trounce me at pingpong, but to promote the three...