New Orleans

Dear readers!  I am just back from New Orleans where I had a completely fabulous time at Faulkner House Books—big thanks to the terrific staff and all the attendees!  I got to sit behind a huge, incredibly important-looking desk, pictured below.  The format was meet-and-greet, an interesting challenge since I was sitting behind this amazing desk.  At some point I tried firing one of my readers, as a joke (”You’re fired!”), but he didn’t seem to think it was funny.

Later I started fantasizing about getting such a desk in my apartment: I could fire my intern, and he would be so sad and wonder what he had done wrong; then I would realize it had all been a big mistake and rehire him, with tearful embraces on both sides.  This initially struck me as a really fun game that we could play over and over again on the long winter evenings.  Then I got a hold of myself and realized the desk had made me drunk with power.  By then, everyone looked so confused that I just ended up reading from the book and answering questions, same as always.

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Resignation of the soul

Loyal readers

Among the many wonderful people I met and greeted, I will mention only the physician and short-story writer Dean Paschal, who works with my dad, and who had a terrific story in the Best American Short Stories of 2003, a volume about which I have never written anything bad.

I will also mention briefly the event that brought me to New Orleans in the first place, namely, my little brother’s high-school graduation. There was a beautiful ceremony and reception, with all the boys dressed in white linen suits.



A-list writer

A-list brother

I feel like it’s just yesterday that I was in high school and Gem was in a stroller, and I was feeding him all the sausages from my jambalaya in the plantation museum cafe (he ate them all, with incredible trustingness, and then got really sick).  Now he is all grown up and going to college!  Gem, I am so proud of you!


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3 Responses to “New Orleans”

  1. SW Foska Says:

    I love the white linen suit (in my country graduands are still seen fit to parade in outmoded gowns), the name gem = Cem (recalling the Ottoman renegade, and the guy i bought an apartment from & inherited his cezve, probably worth more than the apartment by now), & the general photography…

  2. Elif Says:

    Thanks for the kind words! Yes, in fact my brother’s birth certificate says Cem, but at school they kept spelling it Gem—now he uses that spelling, and I think is even getting it legally changed. I am very proud that I was the one to suggest this name for him when I was 14. I remember insisting very seriously that “people with short names have easier lives.” It worked for the Ottoman renegade, right?

  3. SW Foska Says:

    the orthographic change is just fine – convenient for general use, near enough to the original for turconomasticians to be kept in the picture. may Gem now get many jobs with his new attestation.

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