First of all, that beautiful line about family is taken from Alan Shapiro, one of our best and most humane poets, and I am grateful to him for giving me permission to use it as the epigraph to the novel.
Secondly, you must all rush out to your independent bookshop (if you’re lucky enough to have one, or order a copy from THE REGULATOR BOOKSHOP) and get Gregory Maguire’s new novel, the third in his WICKED trilogy. It just came out . . . two days ago, I think. If you haven’t read the first two, WICKED and SON OF A WITCH, get those, too, write them off on your taxes or send me the bill, and buy the third one IMMEDIATELY. It’s called A LION AMONG MEN, and I cannot stress enough how much this man is a national treasure.
You know the rest of the drill: book club talk, I’ll answer questions, you will take off on tangents about mashed potatoes, someone will accuse me of abject cruelty, Delonda and Melinda will step in and be funnier than I have been on my finest day, George will rule, Amanda will offer her genius close-readings, JohnM will say just the right thing to torture me because he no longer lives here, Kate will shine like the sun, and the rest of you will surprise me and make me teary with your astonishing insights and everlasting kindness.