Thursday, July 16, 2015

My Piece in SALON -- Why I won't be reading GO SET A WATCHMAN...

The argument started on Facebook. Robin Black and I went back and forth, resulting in two very different essays on why we're refusing to read Harper Lee's GO SET A WATCHMAN .

Mine appears today at Salon.
Robins appeared yesterday at TIME.

Monday, July 13, 2015

1 promotional for 1 personal -- cosmo!

As per our agreement, one promotional & one personal.
1st. So excited that HARRIET WOLF is in the August issue of Cosmo! It reads: "The hunt for lit-genius Wolf's final book is so on." (Just give in and order it.) 

2nd, As a kid in summer, some friends and I used to try to organize song-and-dance numbers that would be staged in our 7 Eleven -- the idea was one kid starts humming in one aisle, another picks up the tune near the Slurpee machines, etc ... until we were all singing and dancing, in sync, taking our goods to the counter. Sadly, we never pulled it off. 

Harriet Wolf on Readers as Versions of the Self...

Pre-order today at AmazonBN.comPowells, or your local indie! 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

On Mothers & Fathers & the Authors They Raise

Tuesday was a challenging day. I saw a voice mail from my Dad but had no time to listen. Then the roses showed up with a note from my parents who'd just finished reading the advance reading copy of Harriet Wolf to each other aloud. It was a congratulations -- not on pub day but on the book itself. My parents don't send me flowers normally. This should be noted. 

I listened to the voice mail and it was my father -- his voice all choked up, telling me how much they love this book. 

I called. 

My mother answered. She said, "This isn't just my favorite book of yours. It's the best book I've ever read." 

I said, "Wait. Does this include Lee Smith?" 

She said, "Yes." 

I said, "Okay, I'm sending this book to Lee Smith and I'm telling her that it took me twenty books, but my mother says I've finally written something better than Fair and Tender Ladies." 

My mother agreed that I should do this. 

I added, "I'm also tracking down Anne Tyler and telling her the same thing, Pulitzer and all." 

My mother also conceded. Yes. Anne Tyler. 

I don't have the guts to ask my father about Vonnegut. But, still, the day had turned a corner. 

I know it's no great feat for a writer to say my Mommy and Daddy really love my book -- except sometimes it is.

Harriet Wolf on the Veil of Fiction

Pre-order today at AmazonBN.comPowells, or your local indie! 

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

One personal, one promotional ...

True to my agreement with friends on Facebook, here's something personal to go with something promotional. Let's get this over with. I once performed a jazz dance number to STRAY CAT STRUT. I was still in my youth but not young enough so that it was a cute thing. This is embarrassing AND potentially shows my age. That’s all you get. And that’s enough. 

AND NOW, Caroline Leavitt -- whom I admire and adore -- was one of the novelists kind enough to take an early look at Harriet Wolf's 7th Book of Wonders and lend it some gravitas. What I love most about her take is what she says about stories themselves, the kind that exist within families. 

Here it is: “Dazzling and ambitious, Baggott’s gorgeously written new novel explores the ‘miracles born out of desperation’ of three generations of women, all set against an astounding sweep of 20th Century history. A mesmerizing tale of a star-crossed love, and of the dark secrets of a fracturing family, the book is also a profound meditation about stories: how they create and trap us, how they protect us, and how, even amidst great tragedy, they can sometimes make us bloom. So full of wonders, it leaves you haunted, amazed, and like every great read, irrevocably changed.” —Caroline Leavitt, New York Times Bestselling author of Is This Tomorrow and Pictures of You

Harriet Wolf on the Reader's Heart

Pre-order today at AmazonBN.comPowells, or your local indie! 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Don't Shout at Sir Ben Kingsley.

A few weeks ago we were in NYC with three of the kids and saw Sir Ben Kingsley, elegant in a tux, waiting for a car to pull around. I told my kids that I had the instinct to shout out, "The greatest currency of an actor is stillness and silence!" which he once said on INSIDE THE ACTORS STUDIO. 

My 18 year old whispered reverently as if not wanting to scare off a rare bird, "He's doing that ... right ... now." 

And Kingsley was both still and silent. 

We moved on and later in the hotel room, getting into bed, I imagined him getting into bed somewhere in the city and how, if I had said it, he'd be trying to fall asleep, thinking, "Why the hell did that woman shout that at me? I mean, was she schooling me in acting?" And maybe, just as he was drifting off, he might remember that he said it to James Lipton that one time or maybe not.

In any case, one shouldn't shout at others and I didn't.

In a separate incident, my 18 year old was trying to pass in front of a bunch of people clumped in front of a window display at Barney's and just as he was scooting by them, he looked up and saw Sarah Jessica Parker dancing on the other side of the glass. It was disorienting.

[Don't shout at Sir Ben Kingsley but do feel free to buy books and I've got just the one.]