Spring Newsletter


I enjoy the spring more than the autumn now. One does, I think, as one gets older.
― Virginia Woolf

I hope you’re continuing to keep safe and sane as we look forward to a change of season. During the months of quarantining—that are about to morph into a year—Passager Books has been inviting diary entries that touch on what’s been happening in people’s lives. They call the series Pandemic Diaries, and I spoke about this lovely idea to Publisher, Kendra Kopelke, for WBJC’s Booknotes. You can listen to our interview here: PANDEMIC DIARIES ON BOOKNOTES

In my last newsletter, I mentioned how thrilled I was to be a guest on The Situation & the Story Podcast hosted by Chris Moore. That came out on February 13th: OLD NEW WORLDS w/Judith Krummec‪k‬

Writers & Words is a Baltimore reading series on the second Tuesday of each month, at 7 PM at Charmington’s Cafe. To their sorrow and ours, they have decided not to do virtual readings while the COVID-19 crisis is still going. Instead, they are running a series of interviews with some of their past readers. 5 Burning Questions with Judith Krummeck

There are several other “appearances” forthcoming. Going forward, as we move past the pandemic, I hope we’ll see a hybrid evolving that explores the best of both worlds in terms of online and on-the-ground, but for now, these events will be virtual:

Today, at 1:00 PM, The Three Arts Club in Baltimore has invited me to talk about my immigrant experience; the process of writing and publishing Beyond the Baobab and Old New Worlds; and the intersection of the written and spoken word. That should keep me busy for the hour!

At 11:00 AM on Saturday, April 17, I’ll be giving a presentation about Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn for The Odyssey Program at Johns Hopkins University. The bond between them, with all its force and foibles, is something that fascinates me, I think because Peter and I were so close. One day, I will try to write about it; this is a start.

In my present writing life, I’m ready to send off the manuscript of my first-ever novel to my editor in New York. It’s already passed through the hands of two beta readers —my writing partner and my spouse—and now it’s time for it to see the cold light of day. The beautiful image alludes to one of the characters.

My screenplay adaptation of André Brink’s last novel, Philida, is also tentatively putting out feelers in the real world. It’s with a casting agent in London at the moment, and I’m starting the process of registering it with the Writers Guild of America and the Library of Congress. Meanwhile, we’re exploring the casting of local actors in South Africa, and our Director has been on a location recce to the Western Cape wine farm where Philida worked as a knitting girl from 1824 until 1832. He got a tremendous feel for the place and took some stunning pics.

By the time I send out my Summer Newsletter, I’ll have been a United States citizen for twenty years, and I’m so grateful that I’ll be reaching that milestone on May 4th at a time when I can feel proud to be an American again. Amongst the myriad changes since January 20th, future immigrants will no longer be referred to as “alien.” The Biden Administration is replacing the term—as in “illegal alien,” “resident alien”—with the word “noncitizen.” Words, as we know, matter: this is a symbolic gesture that reframes America as a land of immigrants.

And, as a grateful one, I send you my best wishes until next time.


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