Remembering Ghosts in the Garden (with a huge thank you to Ed Goldberg) and Small Damages

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I had only just returned from Florence and was still adjusting to the hours and the lack of pasta when Ed Goldberg, now a long-time friend, read my fifth book, Ghosts in the Garden, and shared his thoughts on his blog, Two Heads Together.  Ed is the kind of guy who never shouts and will not boast and does not stomp his feet or pop his bubble gum to get attention.  Only yesterday did he whisper in my ear:  Beth, I read that book.

And so he did, reinvigorating for me, in his thoughtful, surprising way, a book I wrote when I fully believed I was writing my last.  Writing is hard on the psyche—not making the books (I am dangerously addicted to the making of books), but living with them when they are out in the world.  They're not going to please everyone, nor should they.  Some will say that kindly, some will say it cruelly, some may veer from the truth, some may hurt people you love. You have to live with that, when you write books, and in writing Ghosts, I felt myself fading, vanishing toward another life, searching for another art to believe in. 

That was too many books ago, but it was a time I remember well and a feeling to which I often return. Ghosts in the Garden is a wandering, wondering book. I remain a wanderer and a wonderer, never precisely sure.

Just as Ed whispered in my ear yesterday, Jessica Shoffel, my beloved Philomel publicist, wrote to share the news that The Repository, a newspaper out of Canton, OH, had celebrated Small Damages as a novel "Worth Your Time."  Michael Green, Philomel's head honcho, wrote something Michael-ishly funny, after that.  But we're not telling.  Not a chance.   


patti.mallett_pp said...

Beth- There is so much I want to say about this post, but my mind and body still think they are zooming up 1-71 toward home. (It was a lovely drive.)

Pretty sure you understand my thoughts from afar.

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