Saturday, May 16, 2009

Sunday Salon

So this past week was a little bit busy with events and reading. I started on a small stack of books from my TBR pile and my conference stash- I got started on Godmother, by Carolyn Turgeon, as well as Strange Ways by Rokhl Faygenberg and The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway.

In addition to The Cellist of Sarajevo, the week brought me into contact with more literature on or from the Balkans. LibraryThing sent me Forbidden Bread, a memoir by an American named Erica Johnson Debeljak, about her love affair with and marriage to Slovenian poet Ales Debeljak, and I got to see Bosnian author Aleksandar Hemon read from his new collection of short stories, Love and Obstacles, at the Harvard Book Store in Cambridge. Hemon read part of a story and answered really interesting questions from the audience- questions about his influences, his ideas about literature, about identity, and more. He was funny and charming and self-deprecating in turns; I had him sign my copy of The Lazarus Project, which I still haven't read. But I think that it may work its way closer to the top of my pile sooner rather than later!

There was also a nice event at the same bookstore with Polish author Eva Hoffman, who read from her new novel, Appassionata. Appassionata is the story of an itinerant musician who has a passionate affair with a Chechen militant, and becomes implicated in his actions. The selection she read was lyrical and literary and lovely. I may or may not read the book; time will tell. But she was neat and I'm glad I went.

While I was in the store to see Hemon I picked up a couple of tickets to an upcoming event with author China Mieville in June. That one I can't wait for!

Today? Work, then reading, and more reading. And maybe some quality time with a frappuccino.