Sunday, September 26, 2010

Blue Suitcase Full of Books

Months later and settled in New York City again with a home full of books and two furry four-legged alarm clocks/cats, I had no interest in going further than Stogo ice cream in the East Village…

…when I got the news from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts that they wanted to offer me a spot in their outpost in Auvillar, France…

But in my fuzzy socks and slippers, the thought of trekking across the globe again was less appealing.

Plus, fall in New York was one of my favorite seasons on the planet: the crisp leaves, relief from the hot breath of the summer subways, and that back-to-school feeling all over the city. Sharpened pencils, brand-new notebooks. Weather just right for long walks and adventuring around the city—not too cold, not too hot.

But then, there was France.

In the end, France won and I set off again for another spot on the globe. This time, I knew the language (mostly) and would be settled in one place for long enough to know it inside-out.

So I set off with a blue suitcase, some writing supplies, and a stack of books (heavier than a Kindle, but necessary traveling companions).

Here is a list of the books I packed (as essential as my bag of 100 ml liquids):

“Dreaming in Cuban” by Christina Garcia
“Giovanni’s Room” by James Baldwin
“Autobiography of a Face” by Lucy Grealy
“Gender Trouble” by Judith Butler
“Kafka on the Shore” by Murakami
“Educating Alice” by Alice Steinbach
“Je Veux Que Quelqu’un M’attend Quelque Part” by Anna Gavalda

…and a few more (I can’t believe how many books I packed!!—not exactly traveling light).

What I forget while packing for a residency or trip is that I discover more books en route and the ones that seemed so necessary at the start of my trip turn into dead weight as I continue on. In this amnesia, I carted a section of my library with me to France.

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