Falmouth Public Library is a stately building on sweet little Main Street in Falmouth, the corner of the Cape near Woods Hole, littered with PhDs and farmer’s markets and ferries bound for the islands. There was a nice turnout, and it was great to meet my doppleganger, a woman whose mother had come from India around the same time as mine and also married a fair-skinned American. Good conversations, during the Q&A, and after. A Punjabi man arrived late, straight from his English classes, and he told me about how he once worked for the water department there. “There is no good water in Punjab,” he said to me, shaking his head. “No good water.”
Typewriters, music, teen tent, children’s stage, guerilla haiku, sunny skies, throngs of people (80,000 I heard), authors from every genre, and the occasional raptor overhead. It was a fine weekend for the Decatur Book Festival, celebrating its tenth year. It was great to sit down with Anna Badkhen, author of Walking with Abel: Journeys with the Nomads of the African Savannah, in a conversation led by writer Anjali Enjeti in the plush red-carpeted Decatur First United Methodist Chapel. We discussed being an outsider, the uniquely American phenomenon of climate change denial, how much we trust digital equipment, whether to step into our stories (or, rather, admit to doing so), and, of course, vultures.
I love WCAI, the local NPR affiliate here on the Cape & Islands. I love the way sounds surprise me on it, as it shifts from reporting on Syria to a thirty-second Sonic ID of a boy describing the revving of an engine — vroom! vroom! — or a clammer telling stories from the old days. But I especially love the soothing voice and inquisitiveness of Mindy Todd on her show The Point. So it was with great pleasure that I got to sit with her for an hour in the cool WCAI studio this morning and talk about A River Runs Again.
And then, one can’t pass up the opportunity for a popover from the Pie in the Sky bakery across the street, so I didn’t. What should come lumbering by but a massive load of oceanographic equipment from WHOI, with solar panels and whirligigs and a tremendous aura of mystery and intrigue. #Ifuckinglovescience.
A River Runs Again book tour got off to a lovely start on a sultry night in Cambridge, where — in spite of summer ending and the school year starting — a great crowd of folks came out to the fiercely independent Porter Square Books. Thanks to my friend and wonderful talented musician, Mark Erelli, for snapping a few photos.
Lots of book tour events are lining up. Check the calendar here for all updates & details.
- Wed., Sept. 2 (7:00 pm): Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA
- Thurs., Sept. 3: WCAI The Point with Mindy Todd (Cape Cod NPR)
- Sat., Sept. 5 (11:15 am): AJC Decatur Book Festival, Atlanta GA
- Wed., Sept. 9 (7:00 pm): Falmouth Public Library, Falmouth, MA
- Thurs., Sept. 24 (7:30 pm): Wellfleet Preservation Hall, Wellfleet, Cape Cod, MA
- Wed., Sept 30 (12:30 pm): UVA Medical Center Hour, Charlottesville, VA
- Tues., Oct. 13 (3:00 pm): Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington DC
- Thurs., Oct. 15 (6:00 pm): NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, NYC, NY
- Sat., Oct. 17: Texas Book Festival, Austin, TX (details TBD)
- Oct. 23 – 25: Indo-American Arts Council Literary Festival, Hunter College, New York, NY (details TBD)
- Sun., Nov. 1: The Axe & Fiddle, Cottage Grove, OR
- Mon., Nov. 2 (7:30 pm): Powell’s on Hawthorne, Portland, OR
- Tues., Nov. 3 (7:00 pm): Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA
- Thurs., Nov. 5 (7:00 pm): San Francisco World Affairs Council, San Francisco, CA
- Tues., Nov. 17 (6:30 pm): Sturgis Library, Barnstable, Cape Cod, MA
- Sat., Nov. 21: Miami Book Fair International, Miami, FL (details TBD)
Hope to see you. If not, there’s always this. 🙂
It was a pleasure to join Camille Buat and the locals and travelers and students of Landour for a double-talk evening. Camille spoke about the complicated forces at work within the labor movement of the jute industry in 1930s’ Calcutta (sometimes labor won!), and I shared some photos and thoughts on the work-in-progress of Elemental India.
The Brooklyn Book Festival is the largest free literary event in New York City presenting an array of literary stars and emerging authors who represent the exciting world of literature today. Killing the Buddha will be there. Will you?
I’ll be moderating the panel, The Sacred and the Profane: A Modern Pilgrim’s Progress, featuring Buddha-killers Darcey Steinke (Easter Everywhere), Michael Muhammad Knight (The Taqwacores), and Peter Bebergal (Too Much to Dream). We’ll be exploring unorthodox approaches to faith—how we find it, how we lose it, and how we redefine it for ourselves. Sex, punk Islam, and sober psychedelia will all be on the offering table. Hope you can join us!
Sunday, September 18, 2011
5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Brooklyn Borough Hall (209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201)
St. Francis Mcardle Hall
As the word continues to spread about the Best Women’s Travel Writing 2011 book, some of us got to contribute little snippets to Ladies’ Home Journal about how we travel, where we travel, what we carry with us, and where next. Read mine and the other contributions here.
And if you’re in the Boston area, we’re having an event at Brookline Booksmith on July 25th — that’s this Monday! — featuring Carol Reichert, Anna Wexler, Marcia DeSanctis and lil ole me. The event starts at 7 pm at 279 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA. Hope to see you!
Mark your calendars for a couple of upcoming readings to celebrate the publication of Best Women’s Travel Writing 2011, just out from Travelers’ Tales.
If you’re in New York City on June 16, come out to Lolita Bar for the Restless Legs reading series. I’ll be joining a handful of other fine women as we read from the anthology. I mean, how can you pass up a reading series that caters to the “wanderlust stricken”? The Restless Legs gatherings bring travelers, travel writers, and the people who love them together for an evening of sharing tales from the road, gossiping, and general debauchery. Join us at 7 pm at Lolita, 266 Broome Street on the Lower East Side.
For those in the Boston area, we’re having an event at Brookline Booksmith on July 25th featuring Carol Reichert, Anna Wexler, Marcia DeSanctis and lil ole me. The event starts at 7 pm at 279 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA.
Hope to see you!