Sunday, November 29, 2009

Premiere of A LITTLE WORK has been POSTPONED

A few years ago, my friend novelist Stephen McCauley (The Object of My Affection)and I were between books and hit upon the idea of writing a play as a way to keep ourselves occupied until we scraped together the energy to begin new novels. It was so much fun working together on A LITTLE WORK, a mash-up of Nip/Tuck and The Man who Came to Dinner.

We held some Boston workshop readings and even did a staged reading as a fundraiser for a local organization I helped found here in Boston. ( However, we never got to a full production until now.

"Who Wants Cake," a company in Ferndale, MI, (near Detroit) was planning to give the play its premiere in January 8, but production has been postponed. Will keep you posted about rescheduling.

I'm disappointed but hopeful it will be up and better than ever next summer.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Some links

Blogs are very me, me, me. So here is some more about me:

You can watch the talk I gave to about 2500 Reform Jews about the status and future of American Judaism at the Union for Reform Judaism conference on November 4.

And here are some book reviews about Day After Night.

Jerusalem Post

New York Times

That's me all over

It's been awhile since my last post. And a long, strange, wonderful trip it's been.

A few highlights. I was in St. Louis to receive an alumni award from Washington University. The featured speaker for the night was to have been David McCullough, who has written so many terrific histories including Truman and John Adams.

Alas, it was announced, Mr. McCullough was very ill and unable to appear. As someone who travels to make speeches myself, I knew he had to be extremely sick not to show. It was our loss.

The next morning, sunning myself in the little square in front of my hotel, I noticed a distinguished gentleman on the bench nearby. I approached.

"Mr. McCullough? How are you feeling?"

He declared himself a bit woozy but much improved from the extreme misery of the day before. He was deciding whether to travel on to Ohio for his next appearance, or go home. He invited me to sit down and I spend a magical half hour, chatting about being on the road, writing, and reading. He told me about the book he's working on, which sounds amazing. (It's not my place to divulge.)

I asked him what he was reading and he said, "Trollope."

"You are the third person in the past few months to tell me to read Trollope," I said and confessed the length of his novels discouraged me. He suggested, "The Warden" as a good place to begin, and then he let me know he needed to sit in quiet again.

I went back to my hotel room, fired up my Kindle and much to my surprise and delight, I found "The Warden" available for free! I downloaded it and am enjoying it not only for the story and the writing, but also because the pleasure of that delightful mashup of coincidences and centuries and technology.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

On the road again

I write from St Louis, MO. Home of my alma mater, Washington University, for a Founders Day Celebration which includes a nice honor for me as an alum. Am also here for an appearance at Left Bank Books, which is celebrating its 40th birthday -- a minor miracle in these days of amazon and walmart sales.

I was briefly and peripherally a member of the collective that started and ran Left Bank in its original location. The details are all a bit fuzzy in my memory, but I do recall the pleasure of getting to read through catalogs and order books. Kid in a candy store.

This is the middle of a ten-day trip to promote the new novel, and so far, everything has been better than great. In Toronto, I got to spend three days with daughter as well as husband at the Reform movement biennial convention, where I also saw people I've known for years and years. (Including youth group pals from high school days, two of whom I had not seen in more than 40 years!)

Sitting between Emilia and Jim at Shabbat services last night (beautiful music and the energy of singing and praying with 3,000 people) was a profound joy.

Airplane reading: Gail Collins's history of the modern women's movement: When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women From 1960 to the Present. Having lived through this,participated in some,I find it riveting. Just finished the part where Nixon vetoed a bi-partisan bill that would have supported childcare. What a difference that could have made for so many of us...