Saturday, January 19, 2008

Book Junkies

by Jennifer Kaufman & Karen Mack

Book Junkies. It was when we first realized we both had this affliction that it all began.Whenever life threw us a curve ball, or for no reason at all, we'd drop out, close the door, turn off the phones, climb into the bath tub with a good glass of wine and read for days on end.

Jennifer was having a particularly hard run.Two years of reading.Escaping into fiction.No work.No play.All escape all the time. I decided, as her friend and fellow book junkie, I had to do something about this.What about creating a character who embodies the whole process and pleasure of dropping out and reading a book.Someone who goes overboard.

Our first novel, Literacy and Longing in LA, started as a road to recovery.We created Dora, named after Eudora Welty.A quirky, offbeat misfit who uses book as a coping mechanism.For passion, she reads Flaubert, for histronics and drama she reads Tolstoy, for wit and wicked satire, Dorothy Parker.But she is also an indiscriminate book junkie, reading romance novels and detective novels and thrillers.Like TS Eliot, who once said,I read much of the night and go south in the winter.

And then a funny thing happened. After the book was published, every place we went, women would say to us,"that's me, I'm Dora."We were not alone.The book struck a chord.Surprised our publishers and sure as hell surprised us.It stayed on the LA Times Best Seller List for 15 weeks reaching number one.It won the Southern California Indepent Booksellers Award for Best Fiction.We were suddenly authors.

Now we are back with our second novel, A Version of the Truth. Signing on Tuesday, Jan 22 at 7pm. Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd. Corte Madera. More about that later.

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