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In the Land of Eternal Spring Launch

By Alan Howard, Author of In the Land of Eternal Spring
My head is still spinning from the launch of In the Land of Eternal Spring in the Boston suburb of Newton on June 15 and then the following week, like a one-two punch, first to the head with some folks I hadn’t seen since grammar school and then to the outpouring of so many of my dearest friends for the reading in New York City where I lived for fifty years.
6_21_readingNearly 100 people in the course of a week, in Newton where I grew up and then in NYC with dozens of friends going back to the political battles of the Sixties and on through two Obama election campaigns and eight years of fighting the good fights.
Thanks to Mary Cotton and Jaime Clarke for the invite to the renowned Newtonville Books and to Kate Linker and Bernard Tschumi for hosting our NYC event as only they could have done it.
These events were like nothing I have ever experienced before (after all, In the Land of Eternal Spring is my debut novel). To feel directly the full force of so much energy, love and affection.
And the hardest questions!
 6.21.signing
Well, the NYC event did take place at the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, when our biological connection to the sun is charged to the maximum and we are pumped—historically one of the most sacred days of the year.
About that Bertolt Brecht inscription for In the Land of Eternal Spring
Ah, what an age it is
When to speak of trees is almost a crime
For it is a kind of silence about injustice!
–let me say there have been more than a few moments over the past seven months since our disastrous election when I have asked myself how I could have devoted so much time and energy writing this novel that takes place a half century ago in a small, poor and distant country.
It was only in conversation with these old friends and new readers that I began to understand the answer to that question. It is about that famous connection between the personal and the political and the force of our collective actions. It is about the beloved community that gave birth to the movement that still sustains us and that I feel fortunate to be part of and to have written a book that tries to give artistic form to a moment in that history.

 

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