May 9th, 2011
As many of you know, I was the writer in residence at the James Merrill House in Stonington, CT last year. Here is a link to three essays I wrote on my residency for the fabulous Writers’ Houses blog.
“Drawers and Shelves”
“A Final Offering”
May 9th, 2011
Here’s a letter I received from a student at the Access Youth Academy in San Diego.
My name is Daisy Gomez and I am a part of Access Youth Academy/Surf City Squash. Renato let me borrow the book you wrote and I really loved it. He told me to try to e-mail you on what I felt about your book. There is not much to say…I just really LOVED your book. Reading your book, I completely forgot that magicians do not exist because of the way the character, Toby was described. The plot was so interesting, I could not put the book down. I read it cover to cover and loved every single page of it. The ending was…not expected. I was both shocked and sad that the book had to end that way. It was really nice how at the end Mel compares Toby to her brother. It was a treat to read your book and I hope that soon there will be another one coming out.
October 12th, 2010
So I recently decided that it’s going to take me about a year to finish my new novel. Which might be a terrifying prospect. As a novelist I consider myself untraditionally employed. Currently I teach squash to Saudi Princesses and often neo-conservatives (much to my horror.) For the next year I’m going to keep track of all the odd jobs a semi-well educated, published novelist has to taken on in order to make ends meet and get the next book off to my agent. Watch this space.
October 16th, 2009
This has been a crazy couple of weeks. I’ve read, it seems, in all varieties of locations — Barnes & Noble near Lincoln Center, The Harvard Club of NY, and a dingy bar in Williamsburg where it was too dark to see the text and I was followed on stage by a woman playing music from John Hughes movies on the accordion. Sadly, I don’t have pictures of that moment. But, hey, it was a blast. I want to thank everyone for coming out. It’s been a pleasure reading for you, reading to you, and simply traveling around. Here are a few photos from BookCourt book launch and Barnes & Noble.
September 14th, 2009
When I was little, one of the first places my parents let me visit by myself was BookCourt, a bookstore around the corner from our house in Cobble Hill. My first solo expedition there ended in disaster. The blue BMX bike I rode was stolen from the store’s foyer. The consensus was that the bike had been taken by the squatters who, rumor had it, lived next to the shop. This was back when it wasn’t so shocking to hear that people squatted in Cobble Hill.
Even though my bike was stolen, I wasn’t deterred from BookCourt. I began stopping in on my way home from school, walking a block out of my way, even on the coldest days, even when it was dark out and I was late getting home, to read in the children’s section tucked away in the back of the store. My bedroom was filled with books, but there was something about the store, especially the backroom, that drew me in.
Every June one of my parents would take me to BookCourt and help me select my summer reading. We’d choose books, that despite being serious, since I didn’t have to read them for school, I’d consider fun. My mother leaned towards classics and my father snuck in some things I’m not quite sure are traditional middle school fare—Pynchon, Vonnegut, and Heinlein—most of which sailed well over my head.
Every once in a while, when I was writing The Art of Disappearing, and things weren’t going as well as I wished, I’d visit BookCourt. I’d stand outside the store and look at the new releases in the window and imagine my book being one of them. I’d imagine high school classmates and teachers noticing my name and buying my book. I’d hope that children picking out their summer reading, might one day select my novel.
Tomorrow my book will be in the place I’d always envisioned it. I cannot imagine a more fitting location to launch my novel than the bookstore which had no small part in inspiring me to write.
July 31st, 2009
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