Joyce Hinnefeld


Monday, October 4, 2010

Shelter from the Storm

This image (of a piece of apparently stranded machinery, in the middle of the rushing Raritan River in Clinton, NJ on Friday evening) just seems like the perfect depiction of last week's rains here in the Northeast. You want business as usual? the elements told us on Thursday and Friday--well, take that.

But we did persevere--with readings and signings at WORD in Brooklyn on Thursday night, and at the Clinton Book Shop on Friday night. Small audiences in both cases, but I still had a lovely time on both evenings. At WORD, I was interviewed by my long-time friend Eva Patton (after a fine French dinner down the street); her questions--particularly about mothers and daughters, and the kinds of things mothers and daughters choose to tell, and not to tell, one another--were insightful and generous. I was relieved (especially since there were former students of mine in the audience) that she steered wide and clear of any humiliations from our shared time at Hanover College in Indiana years ago.

Then on Friday, Jim, Anna, and I had a great time at dinner with our friends Ellen, Jeremy, and Sylvia before the Clinton Book Shop signing. We were at a restaurant right alongside the bridge over the Raritan; it really was an impressive--and kind of scary--sight, watching the high river rush by, so close to the edge of the banks.

Thanks to everyone who braved the elements and came out to these events, and thanks to Stephanie Anderson at WORD, and to Rob Dougherty at the Clinton Book Shop, for hosting me. And speaking of persevering, thanks, too, for your devotion to books, and for carrying on bravely as independent booksellers. It's thankless work sometimes, I know, but both of these warm and welcoming stores, filled from floor to ceiling with books, offer such vital shelter--whether it's raining or not. Please keep on welcoming us all in.

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