There's a lot to be said about the importance of coming from somewhere. Being of a particular place. Right now, I'm very much of Richmond, Virginia. On Tuesday, May 7, I'll hold my Book Launch Party here. This morning as I listened to my local NPR station, I heard my name announced along with the details of that party. I shouldn't have been surprised, but I am. Both by the miraculous fact of launching a first book, but also by being noticed for it in my hometown. Style, Richmond's excellent weekly alternative paper, has run a preview of River of Dust and the high-quality glossy monthly called Richmond offers a Q & A with me. I gather that our daily paper, The Richmond Times Dispatch, will post a review of River of Dust next weekend in their Books Section. I am immensely grateful for this coverage because it will encourage people to read my novel, but also because it helps me to see quite plainly that this city is my home. Wonderfully enough, though, five days later, I travel to my other home: Cambridge, Massachusetts. I'll be doing my first ever Book Talk at the Center for International Studies at MIT. That may seem like a strange place to start a novel's book tour, but it makes perfect sense. My father, Lucian W. Pye, taught in the Political Science Department at MIT for more than forty years and I will be speaking in the Lucian Pye Conference Room. I'm truly honored and touched to be doing my inagural event there.
In the evening of May 10, I'll do a second event at Back Pages Books in Waltham, the next town over from where I grew up in Belmont. I can't wait to see the friends and family who come out for it, and can't imagine a better homecoming. And maybe that's the point: like many people, I have many homes. I've lived in Hartford, New York and Philadephia, and have family in Washington, DC, so when I visit those cities and share my work there, I'll feel welcomed home, too. Having moved a number of times, I realize that I could live just about anywhere and make it work. The joy, though, is when you realize you've set down real and lasting roots, even long after you've moved away.