“A scene with Jewish pirates”

Whew! I cannot believe April is almost over. I’ve been working away on books for fall 2016, spring 2017, and spring 2018 (today I wrote the year 2026, and paused to reflect on its utter impossibility). I’ve also been preparing a large veggie plot and herb patch in the backyard…there’s nothing quite like weeding and tending to the soil for clearing the mind. On a related note, seasonal allergies are rearing their scratchy, snotty head, and I learned that sniffing peppermint oil can help relieve the symptoms…naturally, I lost my little bottle of essential oil while biking to the Danforth for a piratical book launch.

On April 5th the mighty Yiddish for Pirates by Gary Barwin set sail. We celebrated with a launch for Gary in his hometown of Hamilton, Ontario. Gary is a saxophonist, and joining him onstage were Tiny Bill Cody and Treasa Levasseur. Tiny Bill Cody (a.k.a. Tor Lukasik-Foss) wrote a song for the evening, all about a gay Jewish parrot. Refrain: oy oy oy… I forgot to smash a bottle of champagne on the book, but I did snap a photo. 

Musical launch of Yiddish for Pirates at Gallery on the Bay in Hamilton.

Gary did a spirited reading, and passed on some writerly advice: “If your novel includes a parrot sex scene, read that.”

Tonight Gary held a Toronto launch, and I’ve now heard him read that sex scene three times—it never gets old, and I always require a nosh if not a cigarette after.
The book is already finding its tribe, hitting the bestseller lists and attracting glowing reviews. My favourite, from S. Bear Bergman in the Globe and Mail, says that the book is “simply not like anything else…. It’s absolutely marvellous and will woo you, should you let it.”



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