LevGrossman

Archive for August, 2012


Sunday, August 5th, 2012

August in the Midwest, New Year’s Eve in Havana

I just completed a long car trip on a Sunday in August with two small children, which believe me is enough to convince you that Samuel Beckett was right about everything.

I’m blissfully home for I think two days, and then — I have to check my own Events page here — on Tuesday I’ve got a reading  at Boswell Books in Milwaukee, and on Wednesday I’m at The Book Stall in Winnetka.

I’m really happy about these events, because I don’t get sent to those parts of the country too often for some reason. Also I feel a funny kind of connection to the Midwest because even though I grew up in Massachusetts, my father’s family are all from Minnesota.

According to family legend — which was compiled by that one saintly individual in every family who takes charge of these things — an ancestor of mine, fresh off the boat from Ukraine, told a travel agent how much cash he had in his pocket, and the travel agent gave him tickets to the city that cost exactly that amount, which happened to be Minneapolis. Thus were begat several generations of really cold Jews.

I include, because it is excellent, a photo of two of my Minnesotan ancestors, ready to tear shit up circa 1918:

 

The caption appears to read: “the two wampires.” Sic? Though that would explain a lot.

The woman on the right was named Jennie Berman, and  she is said to have been a great beauty. She was the first wife of my grandfather Lou, who owned a successful car dealership. I, of course, am only distantly related to this great beauty, because I’m descended from Lou’s second wife, Beatrice (though Beatrice and Jennie were in fact first cousins, so I probably got like one good-looking base pair in there).

Here, because it is very weird, is a picture of Lou and Beatrice, on New Year’s Eve, 1937, sitting on a sled, in a road, in Havana:

I can’t explain any of this. But the point is: if you’re in Milwaukee or Winnetka, I want to hang out with you.

Then Thursday through Sunday I’ll be at LeakyCon. If you’re coming to LeakyCon already, you’re stuck with me, and it will be hard to avoid me, so there’s no point in my hectoring you. (Though I will say: of special interest is my conversation with John Green on Friday. Because John is interesting.) If you’re not coming to LeakyCon, but you’re around Chicago (and didn’t come to the Winnetka thing), and you’d like me to sign your book, there will be a signing that’s open to the public. Laini Taylor, Holly Black, Stephanie Perkins, Megan Whalen Turner, Dan Ehrenhaft, Robin Wasserman, and Maureen Johnson will also be signing there. It’s going to be mental.

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