St. Louis is my epi-center, I swear. There is so much Josephine B. energy there, and it’s all because of Carole Wantz, bookseller extraordinaire at Barnes and Noble in Ladue. She has personally hand-sold over 3000 titles!
On arriving in St. Louis, I was told, “You must go to see the (flooded) river. Imagine: there’s a road under there.”
I lay on the grass, on benches, twisted every whichway to try to capture the beauty of the arch. Here is my favourite:
Let’s face it: Margaret Atwood was mocked for creating the LongPen. It didn’t help that the first Big Event failed. But now it works and I hear it talked about in the US—someone had seen it in an Ann Arbor bookstore, seen A Wolf at the Table being signed by Augustan Burroughs, who was in New York. “A miracle!” They didn’t even know that our Margaret Atwood had created it. “And we scoffed,” I confessed, but proudly.
This is Rachel and her proud mother, Lanne:
I was moved to tears by the wonderful epic poem Rachel Maes, was inspired to write about Josephine B. She and her mother came to my Borders reading last night in Wilmette, IL. Rachel is going to be going to Roosevelt University in the fall, where I myself graduated. She is consumed with interest in Royals and wishes to get a PhD in history. As well as such poetry, the language and images fresh and moving, she is working on two novels. Such talent and focus at such a young age!
Also at this event was Aimee Aimee Laberge, author of Where the River Narrows, a wonderful historical novel, which I “blurbed” some time ago.
The event at Anderson’s Bookshop in beautiful Naperville, IL, was wonderful! Fantastic group. Among many others: Lady Bonheaur (who has read Mistress of the Sun already, but not—yet—the Trilogy), Jennifer (who wept so hard on a plane finishing the Trilogy that the man next to her asked if she was all right), Janice (who exclaimed so emotionally that the Trilogy were the best books she has ever read she made me tear up, as well), Wendy (who followed Josephine’s story to Paris), Cristine (whose cat is named Josephine Bonaparte), and these three wonderful sisters, Laura, Anne, and Beth (“And there are two more sisters!” they told me).
Laura had a rare complete set of the Canadian hardcover editions, one of which she found in Germany, through eBay. I was so excited chatting with this wonderful trio of sisters that I messed up signing their books!
Hats off to this wonderful bookstore. Fantastic staff.