READING AT THE CORNELIA STREET CAFE, WHAT A BLAST!

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who came to that wonderful venue known as the Cornelia Street Café last week to hear me read. It was a sizeable crowd and a warm one, and all who came seemed to appreciate my choice of material: one complete story from Love and Other Terminal Diseases plus a short scene from my novel, Wounded by History, which – as far as I know – is still due out next month from Cantarabooks. Included in my list of thankees is most certainly Angelo Verga, the ringmaster, for his kind words in introducing me, and David Friedman, the Pulitzer-prize nominated poet who shared the podium with me, whose Green Bear poems still reverberate in my mind. Since I’m still suffering from a low-grade bronchitis, I was also grateful I didn’t cough during my reading, the urge yielding nicely to the demands of literature.

Secondly, I’d like to thank all those who didn’t manage to be there but sent their good wishes. September proved a difficult month for some! When I first heard about my late September reading date I cheered, thinking “Hooray! Everyones’s back from their summer jaunts, wherever they chose to sizzle or chill this year.” But then I realized what a busy month September is! In New York, after all, people don’t just study and learn in the daytime. I know several who couldn’t come because they were teaching: yoga, drama, writing, and other pursuits. And others were tending recently foaled young-uns, whom I like to think of as fresh arrivals to the readership.

The reading was recorded, thanks to my wonderful Jill, and a few of you who didn’t make it will receive cds. (Actually, anybody who bothers to ask I’ll send a cd to!) Thank you all!

Finally, I’d like to say a word about a reading that took place two days later, that of Ben Fountain at the Strand. What a great writer he is, and a good reader as well! Ben had intended to read from a different story, but recent events in Myanmar reignited his anger about the regime and its treatment of its people, so he read instead from his wonderful and disturbing story, “Asian Tiger”, one of the very best in his award-winning collection, Brief Encounters with Che Guevara. Since I’ve already read the book, Jill and I bought copies for friends.

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