“Even though the novel is mostly presented in English, I kept returning to the question: what’s the linguistic background of this book? I’m thinking of your original question here—if this book is a translation, what would the original language of this book have been?” –an interview in Fiction Writers Review
My colleagues and good friends gave their takes on the novel. It was so good to hear that what I hope to do with this work has come true to an extent. Thank you, Seth and Evan!
This space is a free place to explore Two Big Differences.
“But now that I think of it, there’s a joke in [Anna] about bourgeois art. This girl yells that she’s gonna make a painting and ‘sell it to Agnelli’ — the head of Fiat and literally the richest man in Italy — “for one million.” Even if this girl is ridiculing art, she’s ridiculing its monetization and not creativity itself, which, as you suggest, was a major component and outlet of expression of the Movement of ’77. They called it “l’arte dell’impegno” — the art of commitment. And in terms of counterculture, the ’70s in Italy wasn’t good communists wanting to renegotiate their labor contracts so they can go home to have lunch with their wives. These are people who are rejecting the entire logic of work, the whole order of society, and the space of rejection was filled with creativity and new kinds of expressions — I mean new to that era.”
Here’s the interview.
- The vagaries of capitalism, patriarchy, gender norms, or consumerism…
I’m very pleased to have my book on shelves in an IRL, in-person bookstore! Thank you to BookMark Shoppe of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn!
I am very pleased to be reading from Two Big Differences at Baruch College, where I teach First-Year Writing. Please join me on November 3rd at 7PM on Zoom. My colleagues in English Seth Graves and Evan Smith will be joining me.
As an adjunct, I don’t take this institutional validation lightly. I know many adjuncts who are artists in addition to their teaching. I want to dedicate this reading to adjuncts who work so hard for, well, what I think of as low wages. Some of us are even Guggenheim fellows. Please don’t ignore the adjuncts.
Please register for this Zoom reading.
I was very proud to read from Two Big Differences on Zoom at my alma mater, the University of Michigan. I was especially proud of the company I kept, including readers such as Ellen Dreyer. And I hope there will be more readings to come.
Here is the link to the video. Since, as you can see, I was the last (but not least) reader, I don’t begin until 1:25 or so.
Friends have asked me about getting a copy of my book while avoiding Amazon. I also have an Amazon ban. And I support the rights of Amazon workers to unionize.
On the other hand, I acknowledge that Amazon is printing and distributing my book. It’s what the publisher, MGraphics, used for this purpose. And I must admit that this model is much better and allows for a book to be published and sell without having to fit the strictures of a dying business model, one that requires publishers to choose books that will sell vast amounts only instead of, well, simply propagating art, perhaps not as popular as Fifty Shades…but culturally valuable for sure. We Americans, with our ideas about freedom ever to make a buck, sometimes forget about the social and cultural responsibility of publishers, especially corporate ones, “major” publishers. Perhaps we forgive them more than Amazon since what they do seems more innocuous.
An example of a publishing company with which I would have published is Simon & Schuster. I’ve reviewed books they’ve published. I have a sense of what’s in their catalog. However, I would be disappointed that they are publishing the memoir of who I think will become known as one of history’s worst enablers, Mike Pence. If we’re going to hold Amazon accountable for how they affect the various industries in which they’re involved, shouldn’t we hold publishers accountable for the cultural effect of their products as well? I would, nonetheless and with my desire to do so, still publish with Simon & Schuster. But I don’t think of them as more “ethical” than Amazon at this point.
Not with S&S, but I did have a choice. I published with MGraphics. And Amazon prints and distributes my book. However, if somebody is still not sympathetic with the awkward position I’m describing here and still wants to get my book, please get in touch with me. We can work something out.
My novel Two Big Differences has been published by Издательство MGraphics. You can get it here. Please take a moment to hear me when I say that this dream has been a long time coming.
I started it in 2012. It’s older than both my children.
Many of those I thank in the Acknowledgments are gone now.
It has taken a long time.
The website linked above is a supplement to the book, a space connected to the book. If you would like to say something about the book, I can publish it in that space. I’m eager to hear your thoughts. Or you can let somebody else know about it.