A quick update through photos. At the Slipper Room, I read with Judy Blundell, Matthew Aaron Goodman, and Theresa Rebeck:
I guess that’s the last time I try to take indoor shots in a burlesque house with my cameraphone. You’ll just have to take my word for it that those people in the pictures are who I say they are.
On Saturday, I did a quick interview with Jeff Rivera for Bootleg Books at Book Court in Brooklyn:
Me and Jeff Rivera
At the end of the interview, I think Jeff and I came to the mutual conclusion that my novel is a Korean Harry Potter, but without magic. Yeah, that sounds about right.
And today was BooksNJ, where Wendy Lee and Ed Lin and I did a panel on immigrant literature:
Wendy, Me, and Ed
It was a great time — our panel was packed, we got to sign books for eager readers, and the weather was New Jersey gorgeous.
From Book Addiction:
The book is best described as a novel in stories. It is definitely a concrete novel, it follows a mostly linear timeline and there’s a clear beginning, middle, and end to it. But each chapter is absolutely a short story in and of itself. You could read any one of the chapters, and even though you may not be intimately acquainted with the characters, you would get enough of a sense of them to fully understand and appreciate what that chapter offers.
If my novel were a house, this reviewer figured out the blueprint. As a writer, there’s no higher compliment than to be understood. She made my day.
I’ll be doing two events this week:
Wednesday, June 10: The Biggest Beatrice Reading Yet
If you were at last week’s “Beatrice at the Merc” season finale, you know how awesome the combination of debut novelists and the singer/songwriters of the Bushwick Book Club can be—but if you missed it, I’ve got good news: Next Wednesday, June 10, I’m going back to the Slipper Room (167 Orchard St.) with four writers—Judy Blundell, Matthew Aaron Goodman, Theresa Rebeck, and Sung J. Woo—and five musicians—Franz Nicolay, Susan Hwang, Dibson Hoffweiler, Tom Curtin, and Phoebe Kreutz—and we’re going to put on another no cover/cash bar extravaganza. (Doors open 7 p.m.)
Sunday, June 14: BooksNJ
BooksNJ2009 brings together writers and readers
90 authors, illustrators, and poets up close and personal
talking about their books and their craft
Crafts for kids
The event is free and open to everyone.
I’ll be doing a panel called The Immigrant Experience with Wendy Lee and Ed Lin.
The last time I was back at my alma mater was 2001, and of course, what I said is what everybody says — boy, have things changed. And now, another eight years after that witness of change, the repetition of that well-worn phrase is once again apt. They must’ve added another dozen buildings, and parts of Cornell are almost unrecognizable.
I returned for the reunion and the author signing. The best part of the event was seeing old friends and also meeting the spectacularly talented J. Robert Lennon.