Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Garden of Old Friends: Big Night for "Suosso's Lane" in Plymouth

          Plymouth Public Library gave me and "Suosso's Lane" a big hand up a week ago when folks packed the library's meeting room for my program on the book. Lots of folks I haven't seen for years -- some of them remembering me from my days working for the Old Colony Memorial; others remembering Anne and me from our years living in Plymouth and asking after Sonya and Saul -- showed up for my talk spiced with a few excerpts. Many came up to say hi afterwards.
            I spoke on stumbling on Vanzetti's history in North Plymouth, looking up the local newspaper coverage of the world-famous Sacco-Vanzetti case (not much) in the library's reference room. And being shown by the late Lee Regan, the library's crackerjack reference librarian, where the library kept its books on the case in its local history collection.
            After taking questions, we gave away a few of the not-for-sale copies through a bookmark lottery. Anne gave a power-point demonstration on how to buy the book from the publisher's website: www.web-e-books.com/index.php#load?type=book&product=suosso
            Folks ate up all the Italian cookies and pastries we brought. Had we anticipated the size of the crowd better, I would have brought more.
            Library staff also took event photos, a couple of which I've posted here.
            All and all, a great night.
            To top it off, the next day "Suosso's Lane" received a new review from a fellow writer. Robert Wexelblatt is the author of the recently published short story collection "Heiberg's Twitch" and two other story collections. He's also a widely published poet and a Boston University professor. Here's the review:
            "The book is exemplary in so many respects:  for the keenness of its informed historical imagination, an inventive structure in two periods separated by 80 years, for conveying a vivid sense of place, managing storytelling that is both intimate and epic with the invented story as involving and moving as the well-retold historical tale of injustice.  It’s a mystery; it’s a love story; it’s a family story; it’s a young person’s story and an old one’s too.  Romance, arson, murder, Plymouth, Boston, economic history, political intrigue, real-estate shenanigans.  Points of view in great variety, from children to aging widows, young college instructors to a Ghanaian immigrant.  It’s an ethically sensitive story that slights neither cynicism nor idealism.  And it’s so well written – prose, but prose from a poet." -- Robert Wexelblatt.

            Talk about good writing! Thank you, Wex.