Hawking Mr. Hawke
"He is intellectual, sexy and deep," declared Ariana Beldoch, 14, one of the 300 mostly female, mostly teenage fans in attendance. "Because of him," said Rachel Klauber, also 14, "I want a guy with emotions." Lydia Wolfe, at 29 one of the few on hand who didn't look like a recent graduate from Goosebumps books, had the simplest take on Hawke appeal. "He's cute," she exclaimed, "and he makes good movies."
Which isn't to say his faithful hadn't read the book. "I love the girl the main character is in love with," said Erin Einbinder, 14. "She's not the model type—he describes her as 'funny looking.' " Hawke read selected passages (accompanied by a murmur of comments such as "He looks better with long hair"), then signed copies and joked with delighted fans for an hour. The crowd even got an unexpected lesson on the gap between life and art. "In the book," said Klauber—noting that the author had gorgeous Uma Thurman in tow—"he fell in love with what's inside a woman."