On Sunday night, I stepped into the chilly cold and ventured off to see two fabulous pals — Matt Cheney and Tayari Jones — read at the Sunday Salon series with the ebullient Frances Madeson and the somewhat intense Tony D’Souza. All four readers were compelling, but the biggest surprise came when Tayari, who had assured me early on that she would be reading a “rerun,” inveigled the crowd with a chapter from her forthcoming novel, citing, to my surprise, me specifically as the guy who had seen the act before. As Tayari came down to retrieve her manuscript pages, there was only one thing to do. Express my gratitude and hug her profusely. I am known to do this from time to time. Writers sometimes need to be encouraged.
In any event, since this was an uncommon reading of material that was still being worked out, it seemed only fair to return the favor. So I’ve prepared an audio file of the first chapter of my novel-in-progress, Humanity Unlimited, which can be sampled below. It involves balding, neuroses, a stern receptionist, false accusation, and an overly exuberant photographer. This is slightly different from another version I performed once at Writers With Drinks, and will likely be different still in six months.
(Of course, if this doesn’t tickle your fancy, I should note that four new installments of The Bat Segundo Show have just been released.)