The next two weekends I will be doing readings with wonderful writers who I admire - this upcoming Friday I will be reading at Women & Children First in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago with Danielle Dutton, whose S P R A W L I recently wrote "reads as if Gertrude Stein channeled Alice B. Toklas writing an Arcades Project set in contemporary suburbia." Really all that and the bag of gourmet unusually flavored chips. Please come! It will be so good to see you! Also I will then be doing the Mommy, Mommy, reading in Los Angeles with Jen Karmin and Cara Benson and Sean Griffin, an appropriately named series for O Fallen Angel considering one of my characters is named "Mommy" in this book, but also in your introductions you are supposed to talk about your mother, who is the polar opposite of the book's Mommy, so I might read as well a snippet from Book of Mutter, although worry about this extreme tonal variation.
Also: I am trying not to line up not many more readings for O Fallen Angel JUST RIGHT NOW I will be doing a reading in Cincinnati in the winter, maybe one or two more for this book, if I can drag Kate Durbin to do a reading with me anywhere I will read from it, but she will have to take out The Ravenous Audience then, and we can make schoolgirl posterboards that read THE TWO KATES READ WITH HATE. Ha! THE TWO MINATES OF KATE HATE. But anyway, I am planning for those who might be interested to record myself reading from the work after this next leg of readings, and post it here, there will be technology involved, but since yesterday I posted a video here I feel surely I can do anything.
Also I have news it is good news that is all I can say. Mum's the word for at least a month. To continue with this maternal imagery, the birth metaphor: I AM NOT KNOCKED UP. But there is a sort of fertility in the air yes things are being born things have been born for years and years and now will be birthed into the world and maybe it is a GIRL...that's all I can say. For those who don't regularly read this blog, and listen to my complaints and worries/waries about publishing, etc., no I am not insane, or yes, but I am just merely inelegantly dancing, like Ginger Rogers, I get everything backwards, or perhaps it is the right order, first comes the birth and then the announcement, but not yet, sorry. Although I will add that once books become public, they almost leave me in a way, I am happy to see that they will be in the world, I want them to succeed, like they are my children, but there is almost a weepiness I have taken my daughter to Target despite the ban and bought her disposable candy-colored duvets and matching trash cans (and what is her favorite color? some specific shade of something) and then have deposited her at her door, weeping as I climb into my SUV, weeping weeping as the tears roll down my cheek and then I wonder what's next in my life, what will I do...(sorry I am actually working on a mother this morning, my Mrs. Von R in Shadow, I am modeling her on Akron haus-frau/Emma Bovary/Cindy McCain concoction, excuse my unnecessary use of the stream-of-consciousness technique.)
I would conclude now by saying I KNOW I am supposed to write something about Jonathan Fucking Franzen, but really, all I want to say (sung in a high-pitched sing-song) is I DON'T CARE I DON"T CARE I DON'T CARE LADEELADEELADEE DA DUM.
addendum: oh, I just thought of one thing to say about Franzen. When Franzen first rejected being on the white couch, I was in my year of grad school, living in the little studio so small I called it the dollhouse, in Lincoln Square, removed from the former scenesterness of Wicker Park, etc., trying to read performance theory texts and be serious. And I really began to be convinced around this time that I had to write novels, I had to sort of resurrect girl fuck-ups like my former self. And I would talk to my mother on the phone maybe four times a day, because once I became an adult and we were allowed to distance ourselves and forgive the trauma of childhood (mine, hers) we were that close, it was always me calling her actually. And she was really the first one I poured out these confessions to, that I wanted to write novels, I wanted to write novels that meant something, or maybe that's a weird way of putting it considering my typical subject matter, I wanted to write novels that made girls like me feel something, and my mother kept on saying, You can do it, Katie! You just need confidence. And around the time Franzengate#1 happened my mother called me up on the phone, it was a landline, I didn't have a cellphone until about five years ago, so I had to answer it standing in the corner of my tiny tiny kitchen, and I remember her saying, KATIE (a command) if OPRAH CALLS YOU AND ASKS YOU TO BE IN HER BOOK CLUB, YOU WILL NOT TURN HER DOWN, and I remember saying, Mom, that's never ever ever going to happen, but still she made me promise, and I did. And she was diagnosed with lung cancer a year later and died a few months afterwards. So, Ms. Oprah, fellow Chicagoan, if you are interested in not TOUR DE FORCES but TOUR DE EMOTIONAL FUCKED UP VOMITOUS TORNADOES, I am your woman. Actually in Shadow Monkey hallucinates Oprah and there is an Oprah-like figure and it is all very ZEITGEISTY I suppose.
I started really writing, I guess, really furiously writing, seriously writing the self and the not-self, when I lost my mother in such a traumatic and spectacular way. The first work I ever worked on actually laid the pages for Book of Mutter, my nonfiction orphan. Both as this compulsive need to remember/resurrect and a way to pay honor, since I promised her that I would write, that I would write and write.
I would like to point out that this post was supposed to be a simple announcement about readings.