Dani Shapiro
September 20, 2008

A Very Good Idea

A couple of weeks ago, I received group email from the novelist Ayelet Waldman asking fellow writers to send her signed copies of their books for a Barack Obama fund raiser. Usually, when I know I need to send someone a book, it takes me a little while. I get daunted by the envelope (I never seem to have the right size of padded envelope no matter how many trips to Staples I make), the postage, the whole thing. I need an assistant and don’t have one, and probably never will. Sigh. Anyway, this time I was obsessed; I couldn’t get a copy of Black & White to the post office quickly enough. I also forwarded Ayelet’s email to a bunch of my writer friends, asking them to do the same. Before I knew it, writers as disparate as Jamie Lee Curtis, who sent her children’s books, and Jane Green, who sent her massively bestselling new novel The Beach House, also couldn’t get to the post office fast enough. And just this morning, I discovered that a website has been created: books4barack.com

Over 750 writers have contributed their books. And Ayelet is sending a randomly-assembled basket of goodies (there are Alice Sebold first editions, Stephen King, Tobias Wolff, Alice Waters, you name it) to people who contribute $250 or more to Obama’s campaign.

Check out the website. And go Ayelet! I just love when a brilliant idea takes off.