Monday, December 08, 2008

First of all: book suggestions, from The Millions. Scroll down for my picks, but they're all interesting. I just bought Jim Shepherd's recommendation.

Secondly: what follows is a baby announcement. I just want to warn anyone who's come here because of An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination, who may be feeling fragile on the subject of new babies. I completely understand.

At any rate: I was going to go to Eastham for Thanksgiving with our friends Rob and Jim. Instead I was in the hospital, hanging around with the very nice Matilda, who arrived a month early on November 24th. I didn't meant this to be the fourth or so entry here, but she had other ideas.

Really, I meant to write about having lunch with my cousin Frank Perowsky, who was in Woonsocket, RI, with Liza Minelli, for whom he plays saxaphone. They all stayed in the Wooonsocket, RI, Holiday Inn Express. Including Liza. I ended up looking at everything in the lobby of the Woonsocket, RI, Holiday Inn Express, picturing Liza Minelli in front of it. Liza at the breakfast buffet. Liza watching CNN on the flat screen TV. I don't know if they have a presidential suite at the Woonsocket, RI, Holiday Inn Express, but I bet not.

We didn't meet Liza. We did, however, meet a bunch of other people in the show, including two of her dancers, Tyger and Cortez, who shortly afterwards showed up in a picture in the New York Times. (Unfortunately I can't find the picture in the online version of the Times.)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My friend Mark Doty won the National Book Award for poetry last night! And he's as wonderful a prose writer as he is a poet, incapable of writing anything but astonishing books, no matter how frequently he hits the carriage return. (Typing that, I realize the whole notion of a carriage return is nearly obsolete, but "how frequently he hits enter" lacks poetry. Return is somehow a much more romantic word than enter.)

You should pick up all of his books, but this afternoon, I'll particularly recommend Firebird, a memoir about his childhood that is sad and hilarious and beautiful, and captures the strangeness and drama of childhood (especially if you were perhaps a little awkward as a child--he will let you see the beauty of your own young awkwardness). It's one of my favorite books ever.

I would include an excerpt, but I foolishly loaned a student my copy last year, and she NEVER RETURNED IT.

An video interview with Mark on Galleycat (note the ribbon of his NBA finalist medal around his neck!)

A review at Salon

Buy it at Powell's

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I have an interview up at, an amazing site for mothers of lost children.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

This is not really a blog. I'm planning to post news and readings and the occasional complaint about the world in general and the occasional book I adore.

Over and out.