Thursday, May 25, 2006

Back from New York

It's going to take a long time to process our trip to New York for the PEN awards, and I'll have more to report as said processing occurs. As I said at the awards ceremony--and meant--I still feel like a grad student sequestered in his room, writing for workshop. So how'd I turn into this joker in the suit? How'd I get to a place where I could shake Philip Roth's hand? I'm still not sure. Maybe it's better not to be.

The PEN site--linked to the right--has pictures and audio up from the awards.

Now, though, is the time to say thanks to all the great folks in NYC who made our visit so memorable, especially Thomas Beller (who is not only a really nice guy, but who is also taller than me--seriously, like 6'7"), Heidi Julavits, and Victoria Redel, the judges for the Bingham Award; Joan Bingham and family, who funded the award, and who held a magnificent dinner after the ceremony in the sort of apartment I thought only existed in the pages of Salinger novels; PEN director Ron Chernow and the wonderful staff of PEN, especially Nick Burd; my editor, Ann Patty, and agent, Marian Young, who both shepherded Steph and me around with considerable patience; the incomparable Otto Penzler, for lunch and praise; the terrific memoirist Amy Benson and her husband Douglas Repetto, who spent the day before the awards ably showing off their beautiful city; and my old friend and classmate Shari Goldhagen, for coffee. (Check out the fine books by both Amy and Shari: THE SPARKLING-EYED BOY and FAMILY AND OTHER ACCIDENTS; both their web sites are linked to the right.)

And a shout-out to my old friend Jennifer, who I ran into by accident in the Strand. In a metro area of seventeen million, I saw a pal from Ohio. What a city.

That's all for now. In twenty-four hours I'll be winging off again, this time to Columbia, Missouri, for the wedding of Mike Kardos and Katie Pierce, two of our best friends. And from Missouri I'm headed to France. If I have time I'll post from the road...

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