introducing readers to writers since 1995

February 11, 2004

Night Life

by Ron Hogan

Went to a reading at KGB for the first time in ages last night to see Elizabeth Kadetsky read from First There Is A Mountain (longtime readers of this blog know I'm a fan). Both sections from which she read were set in India -- first she recounted the difficulties she and a friend had catching a bus to Agra, followed by a journalistic passage in which she probed the tensions caused by the introduction of yoga techniques to the West by Iyengar (who was also her own yoga mentor while she was in India).

Then Cynthia Kaplan read--not from her collection of essays, Why I'm Like This, though. That's been out for a while, and "if you read the hardcover," she told the audience, "you should get the paperback, too. It's funnier." She treated us to an unpublished piece called "Foreign Correspondent," which she's working on for an anthology, which starts off by expressing regret at never having had an exotic foreign adventure in her youth. After all, she quipped, "what else do adults do but sit around and tell stories that make them look cool?" From there, it eventually works its way around to her 20th high school reunion and how people who never gave you the time of day in school now act as if everybody was best friends. It's still a work in progress, but as I told her when we chatted afterwards, it seems much more done than not done. (For a fuller sense of her style, try "Mountain Men.")

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