Sunday, April 03, 2005

Mutual Life and Casualty

We went to Politics and Prose this afternoon to hear our friend Liz Poliner read from her new book Mutual Life and Casualty. I don’t even know that many published authors, so this was a real treat.

Liz is an exceptional person. She is absolutely gorgeous. She is an accomplished flutist. She is a practicing lawyer. She teaches creative writing at the Writers’ Workshop in Bethesda and at GWU. She has published poetry. And now she has published her first novel. Besides all this, she is a genuinely nice and unaffected person. She is probably in her early 40's, but it is hard to tell her age.

Liz is active in our synagogue, often playing the flute at services. So the majority of the 75+ people who turned out for her reading were Micah members. Everyone loves her.

The book is a series of short stories that take place in a small Connecticut town in the early 70's. It is a study of the relationships of mothers and daughters. Two of the men in the stories work for the Mutual Life and Casualty Insurance Company – whence the title.

Liz read us one of the stories. Her descriptions of the characters and the setting were so compelling that I can still see in my mind many of the scenes. It is obvious that this book deals with some weighty issues that involve difficult decisions.

Needless to say, we bought the book and had Liz sign it. She even agreed to come to one of our couples book club meetings to discuss it with us. WOW! We never before had an author attend! Meanwhile, I can’t wait to read the book.

In the question and answer period, Liz made it clear that writing has always been her passion. She also said that she has learned a lot from her writing students. It really makes me want to take a class with her. The next one starts in May. I need to either retire or find a few more hours in every day to do all the things I want to do.


Blogger Dsquared said...

Idea For This Meeting
We hold the meeting the usual way from 7:30 to 8:30 (or maybe we move it up to 7:00 for this one time). Liz is not there for the first hour, so no one has any inhibitions about discussing the book - e.g. criticisms. Then, Liz joins us for the 2nd hour - answers questions, etc.

2:31 PM  

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