I'm a really a goody-two-shoes. Preferably flats, comfortable for walking, though stylish with a vintage dress.
And so last week to celebrate the paperback publication of Juliet's Nurse, I put on such a pair, and a frock, and hoofed it over to the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Gowanus (I was staying a few blocks away in Brooklyn), and gave a talk with the rather ribald title, "Capulet Gynecologist, Montague Onanist: Medieval Sex, Renaissance Death, and Romeo and Juliet."
It was a little raunchy.
But in a totally edifying way.
So if raunchily edifying or edifyingly raunchy is your thing, ignore my goody-two-shoes warning, and click here for the first part of the talk . . .
If that hasn't frightened you off, here's the second part:
And the more-or-less conclusion (the last few minutes of Q&A got cut off):
I suspect some of that wasn't on the final when you read the play in high school. Unless you went to a rather unusual high school.
You Can Always Tell a Harvard Graduate . . . But Not Much
Some people just know they're meant to be writers.
I am not one of them.
Which is a bit odd, because I love writing, in many, many forms.
But like many teens, I got discouraged just when I should have been coming into my own. And thus, if someone had told me the day I graduated from college that I'd one day be a novelist, I would have laughed. And laughed some more.
So I'm quite pleased to be proven wrong while hanging out with my great classmates and fellow authors of fiction and nonfiction, including Robbie Kellman Baxter, with whom I organized a wonderful books 'n' shmooze reception at our 25th Harvard Reunion.
I'm a writer who has published two books with major publishing houses, plus poetry, articles, and other creative work in lots of venues. Shouldn't *that* make me happy?
If the emotional lives of authors who are far more famous than I are any indication, the answer may be "no."
When I began my first novel in my mid-30s, I tried to make light of the feelings I found myself struggling with by flippantly asking my then-colleague, the novelist Pete Rock, whether writing fiction caused manic-depression or merely mimicked the symptoms of manic-depression. He answered, “Yes,” a cleverly enigmatic but also oddly confirming response. What I was feeling, he seemed to say, was common among writers.