Chicago at Katerina’s

Due to the hurricane, couldn’t get there in person, but thanks to Gina Frangello’s initiative and the technical prowess of her husband David, I was able to Skype in.  I’m told that in my image up on the projector, I had ghostly glowing reflections in my eyes.  On my own viewscreen, all I could see was a menu (that is, of the physical, restaurant variety).  Until the very end–when the laptop was moved and I suddenly saw a laughing crowd.  Everyone seemed to be having a good time–thanks for coming out, dark, laughing crowd, whoever you were!

hurricane morning

On the weather map: a whirling vortex.  When it arrived: nothing but eye.

Brooklyn, New York

What a warm and terrific audience.  We’re at the beautiful Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene (thanks, Alexis, for managing this great event).  Many friends here, and in the third row at the end, my parents.  Next to me and out of the frame: Susan Choi, who graced us with a breathtaking passage from her novel-in-progress.  Here she is with me at the bar afterward…

…wondering if it’s really such a good idea to be digging into this–yes–Luminarium cake!  Who knows what’s in it?  Here’s me and my editor Mark, succumbing to the effects:

And here’s Jay Reed, the knife-wielding lunatic who brought it, going mad from the hallucinogens his pastry chef friend baked into it:

Chicago launch

The suave man up front with the wine glass is Jeff Waxman, who together with Thomas Flynn (both of the Seminary Co-op) organized this classy event.  We’re in a wine store here, LUSH, in University Village near UIC, where I lurked as a grad student for quite some time.  Next to Jeff is my wonderful colleague at UIUC, Audrey Petty.  Hand on hip in front, my wife Olivia.  Warning: that guy in the red shirt stole six cases of wine and was last seen in Eugene, Oregon.  Three Zen men stand in back, otherwise keeping us in line.