It’s one of those strange, disorienting days–the day your own book hits the stores. I remember, when my first novel was published, thinking that something would actually happen, like…I don’t know…a bit of swelling orchestral strings in the background of my life. Black & White is released today, and aside from the glorious bouquet of flowers sent by my agent, it feels pretty much like any other day. It’s appropriate that last night was the first night of Passover. Why is this night different from all other nights? Well, on Passover it’s because we eat matzo instead of leavened bread, because we recline at the table instead of sitting up…but I’m pretty sure that no one at any seder table around the country was saying: because Dani Shapiro’s new novel is being published tomorrow!
Actually, I taught at Wesleyan last night–didn’t even bring matzo for my students. Because I am a Bad Jew. Because I couldn’t come up with another night to make up the class, as I am about to go on book tour and am just back from two and a half weeks in Europe and my time is not my own. I’m an even worse Jew because I didn’t send my son to Hebrew School on Sunday precisely so that no one would ask him what his family was doing for the first seder, since the answer would have been: eating eggs and a salad at eight o’clock at night and then calling the in-laws to wish them a good yontef. Oh, well. I was weepy about this last night–holidays always make me miss my dead parents, my dead aunts and uncles, and bring home to me the fact that the family I have is the family I’ve made–but I had to remind myself that next Passover I will not have a book coming out, and we will be around the seder table with my wonderful in-laws, the whole raucous family I now call my own.