Dave left for Shanghai on Saturday morning. The day before, my parents, who'd been visiting with us for three weeks, went back to St. Petersburg. My brother is working in Israel this week. I need a computer just to keep track of the time zones. I've spent the weekend reading. I've read from a few books about China, some magazines, a couple of novels, I've even picked at some poetry books and started Dead Souls again -- I must've started this book a dozen times already, and I never make it past page 50. I find it painfully boring. But then, I always run into the Dead Souls enthusiasts who make me think I'm missing something. Last week, I was talking to a person who not only lavishly praised Dead Souls, but also told me Marcel Proust has changed her life. Luckily, my weekend is almost over.
In the spirit of international travel, I had lunch yesterday at a Korean BBQ at a food cart a block away from my house. Check out San Francisco Street Food Cart project. The neighboring cart sold pretty awesome cupcakes.
Last week, my Russian book Keys From the Lost House went on sale at the Russia's largest online bookstore, Ozon.com (if "ozon" sounds like "amazon," I'm sure the similarity is intended). Check it out here: http://www.ozon.ru/context/detail/id/5515182/.
Two Sundays ago, I read my story "Sweet Dreams" at the Barely Published event, a part of Litquake. The crowd was very friendly and laughed a lot, so I count the reading as a success. Our local literary reporter Evan Karp wrote up the event and filmed all of it on video available through youtube. Here's Evan's article: http://litquake.org/blog/a-post-rest-meditation. Scroll down to Barely Published and click on my name to see and hear my bit. But all the readers were excellent, and I highly recommend listening to all of them.
And here's a link to Marie Houzelle's story "Égalité" that is now featured on Narrative Magazine as a Story of the Week. Marie is my friend from a writing conference I attended at Skidmore college over a year ago, and I'm very proud to be able to link to her story. Her writing is profound and hilarious at the same time, there's an unmistakable voice in everything she writes. This story, like much of her writing, is set in Paris in the 1970s, in the middle of all kinds of social and personal turmoil. So good!