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Pickle Me This

April 17, 2008

Kama Readings

Tonight I had the great pleasure of attending the Kama Reading Series by World Literacy Canada.

The low point of the evening was on the way there when my necklace fell off and down my dress, and my choices were to shimmy madly on the sidewalk or reach up under my skirt, both of which involved pearls emerging from between my legs, and so I went with a combination of both, imagining everyone behind me didn’t exist.

But the high point of the evening was everything else, the readers featuring three whose books I’ve enjoyed so much during the past year: Richard B. Wright (of October), Frances Itani (of Remembering the Bones) and Janice Kulyk Keefer (whose The Ladies’ Lending Library was the start of my summer last year, and led me to “At the Bay”, and then Thieves, and then to reread Bliss).

It was completely nice to listen to authors reading stories I know well. I also like hearing new stories, of course, and the jarring recognition once I finally sit down to read them myself, but this was easier, like I was hearing old yarns but in new voices. The readers all were impressive, their passages engaging, and for the first time in my life, I thoroughly enjoyed the Q&A. Mostly because no one got up, and prefaced something stupid with, “As a writer myself, I…” or some such thing. I got to ask Kulyk Keefer a question about the multiple points of view in her book. And I appreciated the writers’ responses to a request to define what to them is success; from all of them I got the sense that such a thing is elusive and that it’s always the next book ahead.

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