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Susan Ito trying to do it all: reading writing mothering spousing daughtering working living

Sunday, August 07, 2005

There's No Place Like Home... for Author Readings

I had no idea that I was part of a wave of cultural hipness, but last year I began hosting book parties and author events at our new house. Lo and behold, Poets and Writers published an article saying that home readings are the future. I invited friends to hear my author friends Mary Sharratt, then Masha Hamilton and Fotokids photographer, educator and organizer Nancy McGirr. There's something so cozy and personal about having a home-based party instead of a bookstore event, with indifferent strangers and the distracting brrring of the cash register in the background. But we have the best of both worlds, because our great neighborhood bookshop, A Great Good Place for Books, sends a personal bookseller to staff a tableful of the gorgeous new books. It's a win-win.

I've decided to do more of these in the future, and maybe to stock up on my own collection of Cost Plus folding chairs, rather than hauling them up the hill from the bookstore every time. First up this fall will be Madeleine Kahn, my ex-professor and current friend and walking buddy. She has written a book with a provocative, eyebrow-raising title, Why Are We Reading Ovid's Handbook On Rape?: Teaching and Learning at a Women's College.

Why Are We Reading Ovid’s Handbook on Rape? raises feminist issues in a way that reminds people why they matter. We eavesdrop on the vivid student characters in their hilarious, frustrating, and thought-provoking efforts to create strong and flexible selves against the background of representations of women in contemporary and classical Western literature. Young women working together in a group make surprising choices about what to learn, and how to go about learning it. Along the way they pose some provocative questions about how well traditional education serves women. Equally engaging is Kahn's own journey as she confronts questions that are fundamental to women, to teachers, to students and to parents: Why do we read? What can we teach? and What does gender have to do with it?

Mark your calendars for November 19th (dessert, coffee, and lively conversation!) and the kickoff to this year's home reading series. I'm throwing around different name possibilities for the series. People have suggested Home Page (cute!), and the Shepherd Canyon Authors' Series. Any other ideas?


Blogger Masha said...

How nice to see the photo of your house! Filled me with those warm squiggly feelings.

I've got to tell you, Susan, the event at your house was one of my favorite EVER. You know I'm a bit shy about these things, but at your generous-spirited home, it felt like I was getting to be part of a meaningful conversation.

Monday, August 08, 2005 11:55:00 AM

Blogger C(h)ristine said...

...paranoid me! i've been on the net so long -- be careful, keep your address/home whereabouts off your blog...? I worry! i really do! i've had a few stalkers myself, from the "early days" of the web, and have learned my lesson/s.

Monday, August 08, 2005 4:35:00 PM

Blogger Susan said...

Christine - thanks for the heads-up. I wouldn't post my home address here. Do you think the photo is too much?

Masha, I would love for you to come back again when you do your paperback tour. Or for any reason at all.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005 10:40:00 AM

Blogger C(h)ristine said...

I am just being paranoid. I am a worst case scenario type of person! You have a beautiful house, I'm glad you shared the picture! And there's no visible address or landmarks around it so you're fine.

You know -- I was once told that my profile made me a perfect fit to become an FBI or CIA agent, if that gives you any level of caution about things. :P

Tuesday, August 09, 2005 10:44:00 PM

Blogger expatmama said...

Oh, Susan, I would love love love to attend a reading at your lovely home. Too bad it's not in the cards...

Thursday, August 11, 2005 2:18:00 PM

Blogger Susan said...

ONE day, expatmama, you will come here... you must.

Thursday, August 11, 2005 8:04:00 PM

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