Monday, July 28, 2008

Home Team

So, I had a bunch of fun events last week. I was at the Hudson Valley Writers' Center with
JamieMalanowski who read from his new novel, The Coup - a biting satire about the political scene. And I was happily surprised to find my friend, Chris Raymond, editor for ESPN books, doing the introductions. A terrible thunder storm threatened the whole evening, but held out until the end - even nature was supporting the written word.
Then I drove up to the Boston area with my family on Friday. We stopped in the Berkshires for lunch with my sister and her husband and son, then all of us caravaned up to Newburyport where I read with my cousin Andre Dubus at Sue Little's Jabberwocky Book Store, a haven for lovers of literature if there ever was one. Sue has a wonderful area behind the store for events, and all the balconies and chairs and halls were packed with people to see Andre. It is, as a reporter for the local paper said in an article he wrote about my book, Dubus country.
I went first, and after thanking Sue for having me back - I was there for Aftermath of Dreaming - I told the crowd that Andre's daddy and my momma (brother and sister) grew up in South Louisiana, and I grew up in Baton Rouge, otherwise known as Death Valley because of the LSU Tigers' stadium. So being there at Jabberwocky to read with Andre felt a bit like playing with the LSU Tigers for their homecoming game. I was honored as hell, but just relieved I wasn't the quarterback. But it was an amazing night, it almost reminded me of my acting days. They were one of the best audiences ever. And Andre was the generous and funny and brilliant man that he is. We sat at the signing table for over 2 hours and I think I met everyone in Newburyport. This is us after it is over (Sue is in between us) and the only sustenance Andre and I had had since lunch were the grapes on the table. (And yes, I'm wearing the same damn skirt!) But it was an amazing evening, and I feel so blessed to have such a great cousin whom I adore as a writer and as a family member, and was so sweet to invite me to read with him like that. I did Borders in Braintree - south of Boston - the next day - and wore different clothes, but of course don't have pictures!! The manager there, Stacy, was wonderful and so sweet. I met lots of fun people who bought my book, and just loved chatting with them. My husband brought my sons in when I was finished and Stacy gave them a stuffed animal of Pigeon from the Mo Willems series - how lovely was that?? She was a dear. Then we went to Jeb's house where all the Dubus' gathered and we stayed up too late, but then slept late (7:30!!! I realize to most of the world, that is early, but it is noon as far as my 18 month old is concerned), Sunday morning, and we convened again at Aunt Pat's for all-morning breakfast. Thanks to my home and family here in New York, and Dubus cousins in Massachusetts, I think I might actually belong up here in the North. Maybe.


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