Appleton and Tasha, BookBrowse and Tamara, Serena and Small Damages

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Two years ago, in Appleton, WI, I had what will always remain one of the happiest few days in my writing life.  I'd been invited to the Appleton Book Festival, and I had nine official events in two-and-half days—teaching memoir in libraries, talking about the future with high school students, standing on big stages in middle school auditoriums to address entire student bodies, taking over a lovely green-rugged library, working one-on-one with rising poets, talking to the darling editors of school newspapers, consulting with a boy who wanted me to write his personal story.  Everywhere I went I was received with such open-hearted goodness, and one morning, in the elevator, I met Ted Kooser, that laureate poet, and told him how I had read his poems to my mother during her final days.  I loved Appleton with a passion. I walked her river in the few hours when I wasn't teaching and ate alone at night in a restaurant that soon felt like my own.  These were, in so many ways, perfect days.

Yesterday, my friend Serena Agusto-Cox wrote to tell me that an Appleton librarian named Tasha (of Waking Brain Cells) had read Small Damages and had very kind things to say.  (Serena sends word of kind reviews from time to time, and because of her, I get to thank the reviewers.)  Tasha's beautiful words are deeply moving; they epitomize the graciousness of her city.

Late last night, meanwhile, I received an email from Tamara Smith, who had interviewed me so graciously about the role of landscape in my work (and mind) a few weeks ago.  Tamara's BookBrowse review of Small Damages had gone live, and she was writing to let me know.  The review is breathtaking—and it, too, says as much about the person behind the review as it does about the story I tried to tell.  Perhaps even more.

A morning hug, to you all.


Serena said...

Thanks for the hugs...they make my day. I'm glad to be of help.

Smithwright said...

Oh Beth...thank you for your words... I am with Serena...they make my day. xxoo

Tasha said...

Thank you so much for your appreciation of Appleton and my review.

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