A friend of a friend was in town today for a book reading and in the interest of supporting budding writers, trundled along to Andersonville this evening. Promptly got lost trying to find the bookstore and thus ended up exploring the neighborhood. Guilt, shame and denial all happened simultaneously as one realised that as much as one's heart belonged in a place like this, one would still continue to live in the yuppie paradise of Lincoln Park. Finally managed to find the Women and Children First bookstore at the corner of Clark and Berwyn. An independent, feminist store, it was exactly what one expected it to be - Plath ruled the poetry section.
Soon, the usual suspects started streaming in. Middle-aged activists from Wisconsin, students and wannabe students who looked like they just stepped out of their classrooms, a modest sample of second generation South Asians, three women of the Oprah variety who one was sure would surely feel one with the widows in the book before the reading was over, desi aunties and one uncle, a couple of moi-type people, about 40 in all. Women ruled, no more than 5 men. Guilt struck again as one realised one hadn't heard about the book until yesterday, so ran to shelf and pretended to read random passages until the authoress made her appearance.
The reading went very well. Devyani was extremely articulate, super-confident and great at reading out loud. Right amount of witticism, intelligent answers to questions, connected with audience. The passages themselves, while not exceptional, sounded well-written. One thinks that the book is definitely worth looking into especially if one's into memoirs and such.
The book: Shooting Water
The writer: Devyani Saltzman aka Deepa Mehta's daughter
Book reading schedules here
PS: Did spend some time with the writer later and she is not only nice but seems sensible too.