November 5, 2015

Carrie Brownstein: musician, writer, actress … minister?


Carrie Brownstein, image via Sterwogum

Carrie Brownstein, image via Stereogum

Earlier this year, we made what we thought was a foolproof, ironclad argument against having author Q&As at the end of literary readings: these events are often held on or shortly after publication day, when almost no one in the audience will have read the book. Variations on “How did you write your novel?” are really asking “How can I write my novel?” “Questions” are often, in fact, “comments.” Ban Q&As, we said!

But we are big enough to admit when we’re wrong.

At a sold-out reading in California on Tuesday, Carrie Brownstein, appearing on behalf of her new memoir Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, was asked by a young woman in the audience if, after everyone else had asked their questions, Brownstein would perform a marriage ceremony uniting her and her partner. Though the event was orchestrated by Vroman’s Books, it was held at Pasadena’s Central Presbyterian Church, and Brownstein is (who knew!) an ordained minister. And so, why not?

Amy Poehler, who moderated the reading, grabbed flowers from the stage and played “Greensleeves” on the piano, and Brownstein offered a short speech: “In the way that we always root for ourselves, in the way that we root for love to always win out over despair, for hope to win out over fear, all of us here are rooting for you.”

A full video of the impromptu nuptials is available here:



Taylor Sperry is an editor at Melville House.