The Good Professor has set up a reading and reception for tomorrow, at the Middletown campus. Friday, April 7 at noon. Like a gunslinger’s challenge. I’ll have to show up or get out of town, I guess. I have some ideas, though I haven’t chosen the two or three passages I want to read, the most indicative of questions and connections, but also the best-crafted pieces.
I think I will talk about the structure of the story, the parallel plots of Elizabeth traveling to Kathryn in California and Billy traveling to Rita, in Jutland. Both telling her story along the way. Parallel, yet clearly different renderings of Elizabeth’s Story. And a range of collateral connection and effect. That will lead me to the second piece. Elizabeth’s Story, and the multiple (three at least) interpretations of those two words. Then I will close with a brief disclaimer about truth and fiction and where this story came from, citing the real-life Kathryn in California, our boarding school 50th reunion, the survey, her hiding. And mine, too. Our lives. We have become lovers: of Elizabeths. Her Elizabeth. And mine. Then I will ask for a question or two, read a passage, or two; another few questions, and finish with my favorite passage. I have no idea which that is, as I love them all.
I received an email from my older brother Roger in Stony Point, N.Y. I had sent him and Jo Ann a signed copy of the book. He is a tireless and always busy freelance sound and film artist. He admired the book and put it aside until the end of his busy day. He remarked on the surprise, the pure volume of effort when he opened the book. And he called me a “writer.” (His words) They echoed an email from my precious real-life writer and poet Kathryn in California, the source for so much of what is in Elizabeth’s Story. Kathryn once called me that too, a “writer.” I am marveling in these days. I hope you are doing the same, in yours. Everything is connected, by the way. Parallel tracks, remarkably similar journeys, common fears and hopes and destinations. If you find time, let me know what you are doing. I’ll bet you are a “writer!”