Kindle Popular Highlights

I’ll be doing a little reading up here in Vermont and I was going through the Kindle edition of my book to figure out what to read and stumbled on the Popular Highlights feature.

Because I’m up here doing the truly daunting task of trying to finish a second novel, I thought I’d share some of those highlights from The Solomons. More to shore myself up than anything else. It was fun to look back on some of these lines. Many of them I remember of course, but one or two, I don’t. In fact, if I had not found them in my OWN BOOK I wouldn’t have believed I’d written them. Funny how that happens.

In this book I was obsessed with the idea of wanting and desire. Not even sexual desire although that was certainly a part of it, but also, wanting. Wanting things, wanting a new place to live, wanting to be someone else. My old professor and friend wrote this down for me long ago: Desire always exceeds the object. (Lacan)

You want something in you killed but you don’t want killing it to kill you, yet you’re willing to kill yourself in order to kill it if that’s what it takes. Is that right?

They are shipwrecked on the coast of the Israeli left.

Is there something Shira could buy that would eradicated all the wanting? That is the thing she wants most of all, whatever it is.

At your age you never think you’ll get old. You never think you’ll die. You think you’ll be prepared when you final do. You’ll be done with being young, but you never are. It’s not that I want to be immortal. I just want to go back to that time before I knew I would die. You know?

You want something in you killed but you don’t want killing it to kill you, yet you’re willing to kill yourself in order to kill it if that’s what it takes. Is that right?

That morning he will understand that the substance of ambition is only ever a shadow of what we thought we wanted.

Marc has a theory that no one loves anyone after a certain age. We are, none of us, really capable of it. Right about the time you stop discovering new music, that’s the moment you are incapable of love. Everything beyond that moment is as mechanical as a wind-up toy. It is all memory and ghosts. And yet.

The bottomless wanting is what will ruin her in the end because bottomless wanting is like falling through a well. Everything one desires is a tenuous little shelf that only briefly breaks the fall.

Yom asal, yom basal, Marc thought. He’d thought this often recently. One day honey, the next day onions. It was an Arabic expression he’d heard from his father as a child, or perhaps it had been imprinted in his DNA, long ago, before he was born.

Books & Booze MONTREAL Bibliotheque publique juive/Jewish Public Library

So excited to announce I will be appearing at the Montreal Jewish Public Library this coming April with my friend and “work spouse” Spencer Wise. Spencer and I have appeared together in New York City at McNally Jackson, Books and Books Miami AND Books and Books Key West so we pretty much have our banter down. He’s a good friend and a great writer and a treat to see in public.

I am excited to head to Montreal. I’ve never been. First order of business will be finding Leonard Cohen’s house and grave and boning up on his poetry before I go. I’m a huge fan. I’m not going to say out loud that I’d preferred that he win the Nobel Prize rather than Dylan but I just did.

Anyway, if you are in the area or fancy a trip to Montreal, come see us!

The event will be Thursday April 18.

Book sale on location. Light refreshments will be served.  
Registration required. Contact or call 514-345-2627 ext 3002



Eastern Michigan University

Last week I had the chance to jet off to Detroit where I headed over to Ypsilanti to do an event at my alma mater EMU. I haven’t been back since I graduated.

When I left EMU, I left academia for good, I believed. I’d thought to get a masters in Women’s Studies. I’d been offered the chance but ultimately I turned it down. I had a lot of ideas back then. It had taken me a good six years to get out of undergrad with a year off and I kind of knew I was done with all that. I was on the white hot heels of a (soon to be failed) romance and I was heading out to Santa Fe for a Big Adventure. When it didn’t work out, I headed to New York City. I barely had the chance to look back.

When my book published I reached out to EMU and it was ultimately Marty Schictman who invited me to come and speak on behalf of the Jewish Studies department he heads up there. If Marty invites you anywhere, go. I was treated so well, I didn’t want to come home. And that’s saying a lot when we are talking the middle of Michigan in February. We had two dinners and a lunch and I met many EMU professors and felt like a proper grown up, rather than a geeky and awkward student that I’d been. I think at one point I used the word “healing” to describe my experience, but that might have been the two glasses of prosecco I had along with half a dozen oysters in a lovely restaurant in Plymouth called The Sardine Room. But it was healing. Immensely so.

I loved the students at EMU. They were inquisitive and smart and asked good questions. One student asked me what I got out of going and talking about my book and I got a little choked up and said something like, it is an honor and a privilege to talk to people about my work. I could see myself in them. I watched one student discussing work options with Professor John Staunton whose lit class I visited. He was taking class two days a week and working full eight hour days the other three. I could relate to the hustle.

It was a cold and snowy few days and as an added bonus I watched two movies in one night at the State Theater: The Favourite and Cold War. So different. Both excellent. Perhaps not flawless but excellent. Especially Cold War.

Sometimes in fact you can go home again


Cowboy Junkies


 wonderful night at Tarrytown Music Hall. My first time there! Saw a lot of neighborhood friends. Cowboy Junkies were amazing! I have loved them since Trinity Sessions.

Kim Brooks

My friend Kim Brooks blew into town last week. We stayed up too late and talked a lot and laughed ourselves silly all over the streets of the Lower East Side and the East Village. She has a book coming out, Small Animals, this summer. I'm sure everyone will soon here all about it. But until then, here's a lovely New York article she wrote a few months ago. 


Book swap!

Cari Luna and I swapped books! Can’t wait to dig in. What a brilliant title too.


More writing books

This one from Robert Olen Butler, recommended by that great writer-sailor, Peter Nichols. 


Snow Days

So many days off, half days, vacation days. My friend David Means just sent me this to cheer me up.


Paperback Writer, at last!

My mother would have sooner gnawed off her own hand than buy a hardcover book which is why I’m so proud to see my new paperbacks! They will be available next month and include a new glossary of Hebrew terms and a readers guide for book groups. 


i love book groups and if you are local to me I’m happy to come! Just feed me a glass of red and I’m happy to dish about the Solomons. Skype works for farther flung locations in which case I will bring my own wine!