Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.
― Yoko Ono
Fun Fact: Yoko Ono became a permanent resident of the United States in 1973 …
As we remember our exuberance this summer, we are also celebrating Immigrant Heritage Month. The celebration was ratified by the 116th Congress (2019-2020) as “a celebration of the accomplishments and contributions immigrants and their children have made in shaping the history, strengthening the economy, and enriching the culture of the United States.” It was a wonderful thing to hear my words spoken by Jon Shorr on an episode of Passager’s weekly podcast, Burning Bright on May 11th. Immigrants: What We Carry With Us
I bet you never thought that my newsletter would ever, ever feature goggas (the Khoikhoi word for bugs) but these are extenuating circumstances. One of the many things I’ve come to love about my adopted country is how neatly summer is bookended by Memorial Day (yesterday) and Labor Day (September.) This particular summer is one with a difference—just as it is every seventeen years. If you live in the vicinity of Maryland, New Jersey, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, or D.C. and surrounding Virginia, you will know exactly what I mean. If you don’t, let me be the one to spread the news that hundreds of billions of Brood X Cicadas across the Eastern United States have emerged from their seventeen years of hibernation underground to hatch and mate and yell from the treetops in a pulsating chorus. While they give me the heeby-jeebies, they are harmless and, actually, a little bit miraculous. This seventeen-year cycle—the longest lifecycle of any insect—has been going on for millennia, uninterrupted by humanity or plague or any other world events.
This cyclic occurrence has got me thinking that, now, as we begin to emerge from Covid-19, it’s as if the lifecycle of the book world is also emerging from a kind of hibernation that was brought on by the exigencies of physical distancing. And, this very evening at 6:30, I will be in conversation—LIVE!—with the lovely Sujata Massey (also an immigrant) to launch the third book in her award-winning Perveen Mistry series, The Bombay Prince. We’ll be on the back patio of The Ivy Bookshop.
At the other end of summer, August is typically a dormant time for the publishing world, but not at Bethany Beach Books. I’m eagerly looking forward to heading up to Delaware for an Old New Worlds event that we were obliged to cancel last year.
Meanwhile, I wish you a wonderful summer—or winter, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere—and I’ll cycle back again in our autumn, if not before.