My Sister’s Living Room: A Reading and Signing for What Survives in Denver, Colorado

My Sister’s Living Room: A Reading and Signing for What Survives in Denver, Colorado

For animal lovers, I repent. There are none in this blog but the human kind! Stay tuned for more four-legged creatures in future blogs. I do not like to disappoint!

Even though there were five inches of snow on the ground on April 29, we were an even dozen gathered for a reading and signing at home of my sister, Gay. I thought I had the best book club anywhere, but my sister’s is, at the very least, clearly on a par with mine. Everyone had read the book (not the case in all book clubs), and they had excellent questions and comments. One lovely couple had lived in Egypt for a number of years and raised interesting issues with regard to the Muslim faith and the observance of Ramadan. Paula stated that if one had a medical exemption from fasting (as Adalet did), they were required to make up for it later. This I did not know. I wonder if it varies. Another member commented that she found my Jewish mother too much of a stereotype, and although I certainly understand her feelings about that, the Jewish mother was based on a real person. And I will never reveal just who that mother was! Not mine. Truth is often stranger than fiction, and certainly, one can always learn from one’s readers! My feeling was actually sympathetic to Mark’s mother. She was coping with too much at once.

As some of you may note who have attended my events, I have the book in my lap but no notes this time. I am becoming a bit more comfortable speaking in front of people and so have abandoned reading from a paper. To my surprise, this actually makes me more comfortable, and I am able to enjoy a more natural interaction with the group. When I saw Tina Carlson read from her new book of poetry, Ground, Wind, This Body, and how directly she communicated with her audience, I was so struck by her ease that I decided it was time to shove the paper aside. Psychoanalysts sit in a room all day long with one person at a time, so getting up in front of any audience – unless we are conference presenters, which I am not, can be a daunting experience.

In any event, the reading and discussion could not have been nicer or livelier. My sister and I have, for the most part, always enjoyed each other’s friends and each other’s company. I could not have asked for a more supportive sibling in my life, both when we were growing up together and since we have been grown-ups in the real world. She is an incredibly talented artist, and you can go to her website to see her amazing creations at

Myopia, a memoir (my family memoir) will be going to press shortly. It stars my father, “Nathan who art in New Bedford,” as my sister and I used to say. I am told it should be coming out in June. I know that my sister’s friends will be curious to read it and I hope they will. It would be fun to come back and discuss the memoir, what my sister remembers and how it might differ from what I remember. We thought for a time we’d write it together and call it “Double Vision,” but when my sister decided to leave the task to me, it became Myopia, a memoir. The titles are both derived from my father’s profession. He was an ophthalmologist.

I am fortunate to have such a loving sister and brother-in-law. Thank you, Gay and Rob, for hosting this delightful event for me. And I thank all of you wonderful book club members for reading and attending.

The author with Mary Ellen Lawrence

The author with Mary Ellen Lawrence

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