Some nice news this week. Let’s start with this: The first “official” event for my forthcoming story collection, Quiet Americans, has been confirmed! If you’re going to be in the Washington, D.C., area on Sunday, February 6, 2011, please consider yourself invited to come by the National Museum of American Jewish Military History (near Dupont Circle in the District) for a reading and discussion. The event will take place from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and it will be free of charge. Bonus: Refreshments will be served (the event coordinator is a very kind and gracious person!).
I approached the NMAJMH for several reasons. First, it’s a museum I’ve been curious to visit myself. My paternal grandfather served in World War II, and (here’s reason #2) his military experience as a Jewish serviceman inspired one of the stories in Quiet Americans. In fact, I’d say it’s pretty likely that I’ll read from that story, “Lebensraum,” that afternoon. (I’d love to situate it alongside some other Jewish-American military-themed fiction, so please share any tips you may have in comments. Already on my list: Philip Roth’s “Defender of the Faith” and Rachel Kadish’s “The Argument”.)
I also wanted to maximize the event potential inherent in a trip to D.C. That’s where the next Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) conference will be held, from February 2-5. I haven’t been to an AWP conference in a couple of years, but D.C. is relatively nearby, and having two panel proposals accepted sealed the deal. (Here go some more of those vacation days I’ve banked up at the day job!)
Speaking of those AWP panels, this week I learned exactly when and where each one will be taking place. Please visit my updated “News & Events” page for details. Those of you who are planning to come to AWP, I hope that you’ll have time to stop by one or both!