Sunday, June 5, 2011
I published Seeing Past Z in 2004 at the height of the competitive parenting era, when children's dreams were often proscribed, their futures chosen, their schedules packed, their resumes shined. Honoring the unquantifiable imagination, talking about the sweetness of community over the attainment of blue ribbons, was probably foolhardy in the midst of all that, but a few years later, the tide had turned. Slow parenting was gaining force. Character was again in vogue. A recession hit and many of those who had been primed for greatness faced unanticipated woes.
By that point, Seeing Past Z had been remaindered. I'd received my two boxes full of unsold books and paid the shipping price. I'd been sent the sad sales figures. It was almost as if the book hadn't happened, though I am reminded, every now and then, that it did. Once by a young woman who had found a copy in her Singapore library and wrote to tell me about it. Several times by neighbors passing by, sometimes by teachers, sometimes (thank you) by bloggers.
But last week was unusual—an odd confluence of notes and conversations about a book I'd always quietly believed in. These are the valued surprises in a writer's life. These are notes we value more than readers can imagine.