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 azithromycin order amoxicillin 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.

6 comments on “August in the Midwest, New Year’s Eve in Havana

  1. Jaimie says:

    That list of names at the end. I know I’m growing up because instead of seeing a wall of names I’ve never heard of, I’m like, “Oh. Oh yeah. Oh her. Oh nice. Never heard of him. Nope. Nope. … Well, you can’t win ’em all.”

    I guess when I recognize ALL THE NAMES I will be old.

    Fascinating about your family history. My family history, on my mother’s side, is all missionary pilots/doctors in the Amazon jungle. It’s pretty badass.

  2. M says:

    re: Jaimie

    I don’t know any of those people

    except for John and only because people on tumblr makes gifs of his videos

  3. Heather Head says:

    Aaaaaaand… you’re coming to Charlotte when? I know. It’s a dead horse. And I’m still beating it. You can make me stop bludgeoning the poor thing by simply arranging to stop by a bookstore in Charlotte and sign my damn book already.

    (The Bloggess came to Charlotte and she’s a bestselling author and one of my favorites too so you have a lot in common.) (Also we don’t have a lot of Midwesterners in Charlotte but we are mostly made up of New Yorkers, and most Midwesterners descended from people who passed through New York at some point so it’s practically the same thing.)

    (Anyway, have fun on your trip.) (And those are cool pictures of your ancestors. I love family history.)

  4. K. M. Walton says:

    That’s quite an epic crew of authors! I sat on a panel with Robin Wasserman at the Jefferson Market Library in NYC. While I haven’t read her book yet, the part she read aloud sounded captivating.

  5. Thomas says:

    Lev, if you ever come to Minnesota, you’d be most welcome here! I believe you spoke on MPR at least once.

    I’d also recommend a local speaking engagement at Majers & Quinn, a great bookshop in Uptown Minneapolis.

    I’d pay in real money, not Fillorian currency!

  6. More people know Tom Fool than Tom Fool knows.

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