Monday, December 14, 2009

Me, Thomas Friedman, and Obama's mom

Aside from the satisfaction of showing those people who had faith in you that they were right, you really did have it in you, one of the remarkable things about having a book out in the world is the way it starts to show up, seemingly unbidden, in places that mean a lot to you. Today that tireless and good-hearted informant, my mom, told me that my book had landed on the front table of the Seminary Co-op bookstore.

Growing up in Hyde Park, home of the University of Chicago, I got a strong minority of my education and maybe a majority of my inspiration from spending time in that comforting maze, hidden safely in the bowels of the Chicago Theological Seminary. The front table was where I, and untold numbers of the scholars and students at Chicago, found out what was happening in intellectual life outside of the neighborhood. In high school I remember the first time I wandered into the University's Regenstein library to find a book on H.P. Lovecraft. I remember being stunned, mesmerized by the fact that there were books next to this one that I'd never heard of. Some had been well-used, and some seemed not to have been touched since they first made their way to these quiet shelves. Someone could have written something amazing 50 years ago and I might open that book and discover it. Hidden, waiting for that accident to unlock the remarkable potential in it. Yes I mean the Necronomicon.

Now that my book is slowly and tentatively making its way through the academic libraries and bookshelves of the world, my book too could unlock untold eldritch horror on a helpless world. Thanks, mom.


James F. McGrath said...

Congratulations on your book - my last book was published by University of Illinois Press too. If only we could get SBL and AAR to reunite more quickly so that our books would be on sale to the SBL crowd! :)

John Hobbins said...

I have memories of Regenstein and the Co-op bookstore that go back decades. Not to mention the Oriental Institute library. The smell of learning hangs heavily in all three places.

Seth L. Sanders said...

My mom commented to me, non-bloggily:

"I have had the same sensation going into Regenstein - in fact, I still have it most of the time."

One of many reasons she amazes me.