The crowd at the McNally Robinson atrium last night were left in a state of confusion after two men appeared on stage, each bearing an uncanny resemblance to author David Bergen.
“Apparently one is David Bergen and the other is Maurice Mierau,” said book launch attendee Pete Unrau. “But Lord knows I can’t tell who is who. I haven’t been this confused since my Martha expected me to select her potato salad from among at least 6 other options at the MB potluck last Sunday.”
While one man read from his latest book Away from the Dead, the other peppered the reader with questions on Russian literature.
“I looked from left to right and right to left and, well, it was like I was in the Hall of Mirrors or something,” said Unrau. “I really wish one of them would have worn a hat or grown a moustache or something.”
Bergen, or was it Mierau, says he had no intention of causing such confusion for the audience.
“I mean, we’re all related if you go back far enough, aren’t we?” said Bergen (or Mierau). “I’m pretty sure I found Maurice in the Bergen Book somewhere.”
Charlene Diehl, director of the Winnipeg International Writers Festival, says the juxtaposition of these two writers was no coincidence.
“Starting next year we’re going to be holding an annual David Bergen Lookalike Contest,” said Diehl. “Of course, we all know Maurice Mierau is the front runner.”
Mierau says he has much greater ambitions and plans to continue sporting this Bergenesque look until he, too, wins a Giller Prize.