I can’t thank you enough for selecting The Submission for your Reading Together program, and even more, for the hospitality you showed me. It was wonderful to spend a couple days in a city that combines the warmth of a small town with the vibrancy of a cultural center.
And what readers! I almost fell over when I met a book club who had spent four hours discussing my novel, give or take a little time spent on the carrot cake. And who caught a tiny change I had made between the hardcover and paperback versions. When I spoke, the audience’s energy was palpable and their questions stimulating. And seeing the student art inspired by The Submission and displayed at the library was among the most inspiring experiences I’ve had since publishing my book.
Both the community and the library staff have my admiration and gratitude for doing so much to support readers and writers. The ideas for programming for Reading Together were brilliant, and I wish I could have attended.
I’m working hard on my next book so I can get back to Kalamazoo...
Last fall, Amy Waldman won the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for Fiction. Those of you who were able to take part in Waldman’s visits to Kalamazoo last week will certainly understand how she became the winner of this prize sponsored by the Susan B. Anthony Institute that promotes promising new authors. As the winner of this prize, Waldman joins quite a prominent collection of previous winners including Anne Tyler, Ann Patchett, Ursula K. LeGuin, and Toni Morrison. So if you haven’t read The Submission, I encourage you to do so and discover a promising, new author who just might become a favorite.
~Judith J. Bosshart, Library Director
T. F. Reed Memorial Library
I hope you had a chance to hear Amy Waldman this week, either at her thought-provoking talk on Tuesday evening about writing The Submission, or perhaps at Kalamazoo College on Wednesday when she dug a little deeper into the topic of writing fiction versus writing as a journalist. Maybe you even had the opportunity to ask her questions during the live web chat she graciously agreed to do at MLive/Kalamazoo Gazette. Whether or not you were fortunate enough to hear her speak, I’m happy to report that Kalamazoo is the richer for having had Amy in our midst.
Her authenticity, her sense of humor, her vulnerability, and her honest approach to writing fiction and continually learning something new in the process, all affirm what the selection committee has always known to be true: that our community conversation about a specific book, the hallmark of Reading Together, can only be heightened by having the opportunity to meet the author and learn more about her motivation and life experiences. Amy Waldman is no exception.
Amy’s visit is the springboard for many more events coming up in the next month. Please keep the momentum going and join us!
Amy Waldman in Kalamazoo